Editorials

Chicago Blackhawks Throwback Thursday: Cam Barker

By Sean Fitzgerald
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Do you remember Cam Barker’s time with the Chicago Blackhawks?

This summer, we have seen some of the Chicago Blackhawks’ biggest dealings in the Stan Bowman era. In this edition of Throwback Thursday, I look back at Stan Bowman’s first big player traded, Cam Barker.

Barker was the third overall pick of the Blackhawks in the 2004 NHL Draft. Barker was picked behind Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin and drafted ahead of former Chicago Blackhawk Andrew Ladd. Barker’s NHL career would come to an abrupt end. He would be out of the NHL by the age of 27.

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Barker spent his junior career with the Medicine Hat Tigers of the WHL. In his 214 games in juniors, he compiled 51 goals and 128 assists for 179 points as a defenseman. He was selected to two Canadian World Junior Championship teams. In nine games, he had three goals and four assists.

After being drafted by the Blackhawks, he spent three in the AHL before being called up to the NHL. Barker played his full first season with the Blackhawks in 2006-07. He appeared in 35 games, recording one goal and seven assists. In his sophomore season, he appeared in 45 games, recording six goals and 12 assists.

The 2008-09 campaign was Barker’s best season in the NHL. He played in 68 games, scoring six goals and registering 34 assists.

With Barker coming up for a new contract the following offseason, Bowman decided to trade him to the Minnesota Wild for Kim Johnsson and Nick Leddy. Johnsson would appear in eight games in 2009-10 before disappearing back to Sweden.

Leddy would become a contributing defenseman for the Blackhawks until he was traded away after the 2013-14 season. The Blackhawks would go on to to win the Stanley Cup for a third time in six years in 2015, without Cam Barker, Johnsson and Leddy on the roster.

In Minnesota, Barker signed for three years. He would never regain his magic from the 2008-09 season and spent only two seasons in Minnesota. He amassed only 12 points in two seasons in Minnesota before being let go. He would spend 25 games in Edmonton in 2011-12 and 14 games with Vancouver in 2012-13.

His career then took him over to the KHL, where he has spent the last three seasons. There has been no word on a possible return to the NHL for Barker.

Bowman made the right move by trading Barker to early before his contract came due. Let’s hope he has made the same type of trades with Andrew Shaw and Teuvo Teravainen.

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