Former Chicago Blackhawks Are On Team Canada’s Exhibition Teams

SAN JOSE, CA - NOVEMBER 26: Ryan Garbutt
SAN JOSE, CA - NOVEMBER 26: Ryan Garbutt /

A pair of former Chicago Blackhawks are part of Team Canada’s exhibition rosters

In preparation for NHL players not being allowed to play in the Winter Olympics, Team Canada has announced rosters of two exhibition teams. The rosters are composed of players who currently skate for European teams, and two former Chicago Blackhawks are among the group.

Ryan Garbutt is the most recent Blackhawks player. In case you forgot, Garbutt played 43 games for the ‘Hawks in 2015-16. He was traded away for Jiri Sekac.

Garbutt tallied two goals and four assists for the ‘Hawks before being shipped out. This will be his first season playing overseas with HC Sochi of the KHL.

The other Blackhawk is from the 2009-10 season in Cam Barker. Barker was drafted third overall by the ‘Hawks in 2004. This was one of the missteps by Dale Tallon in the draft.

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  • Barker never lived up to his hype and was shipped to Minnesota in 2009-10. Barker lasted in the NHL/AHL till 2012-13. He has played in the KHL ever since. He is currently playing for Astana Barys of the KHL.

    So while I have been in favor of the NHL ruling to not let NHL players in the Olympics, I did not think it would be this bad. We will now have to watch second-rate NHL guys play for their respective countries. Garbutt was and Barker had enough talent to make the NHL but not stay there a long time.

    That is going to worse than watching the World Championships or the World Junior Championships.

    Team Canada’s thought process

    The reason Team Canada went with players playing in European leagues is because of an AHL rule.

    AHL players on a two-way contract cannot play in the Olympics because they might by needed to play in the NHL at some point.

    So if Jeremy Morin was in any sort of consideration for an Olympic team spot (it would be with the U.S.), he would not be able to play because of his contract.

    Team USA could go the same route

    Team USA could go the same route as Team Canada. They could pick former NHL players playing in professional European leagues along with some of the top NCAA stars.

    The USA could turn to several players. Former NHLer Mark Arcobello is a big-time scorer in the Swiss League. Another former NHLer in Brandon Bochenski was captain of Barys Astana and could be lured out of retirement to play for Team USA.

    Former Edmonton Oilers top prospect Rob Schremp is playing for the Nürnberg Ice Tigers in the German DEL. He had played in the AHL as recently as 2015-16. He just finished up playing in the Swiss-A league before heading to Germany.

    So get ready everyone, we are going to see former NHL players play in the Olympics. I guess the Rolling Stones were right.

    "You can’t always get what you want You can’t always get what you wantYou can’t always get what you wantBut if you try sometimes well you might findYou get what you need"