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Which Former Sharks Are Playing in Olympics?

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Credit: clydeorama (CC BY-NC 2.0)

WELCOME GUEST WRITER KAT PITRE! KAT CURRENTLY COVERS THE SAN JOSE SHARKS AT FEAR THE FIN AND HOSTS THE “THIS IS HOCKEY CULTURE” PODCAST. 

Alas, no Patrick Marleau.

After the NHL and NHLPA jointly decided to pull out of the Olympics, Team Canada was left scrambling to dip into their pool of Junior and college hockey players and Free Agents (FA). It’s made for a guess-who game of possible roster additions, but after an ill-timed (read: a day early) tweet from the IIHF announcing the Canadian Men’s Olympics roster, the wait is over.

Marleau was reportedly interested, but Team Canada appears to have gone in a different direction than the San Jose Sharks legend.

If you’re searching for familiar faces, Jason Demers will stick out to Sharks fans. Demers was drafted by the Sharks in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft in the seventh round at 186th overall. He spent six seasons with the franchise, from the 2009/10 season until he was traded to the Dallas Stars in the 2014/15 season.

Over the course of his career with the Sharks, Demers totaled 16 goals, 82 assists, and 98 points in 300 games. Across his 12-year NHL career, Demers played 699 games for a total of 45 goals, 169 assists, and 214 points.

Demers is currently signed with AK Bars Kazan of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) through the rest of the 2021/22 season. He has played five games for the team and has totaled one assist thus far.

Demers isn’t the only former Shark represented on Team Canada, although he’s most likely the more well-known of the two; Daniel Winnik spent the latter half of the 2011/12 season with the San Jose Sharks after being traded to the team from the Colorado Avalanche.

Winnik only played 21 games for the Sharks, which culminated in three goals, two assists for a total of five points. Across his 11-year NHL career, Winnik played 798 games for a total of 82 goals, 169 assists, and 251 points.

Demers and Winnik aren’t the only former San Jose Sharks to be featured at the 2022 Olympics. Mirco Mueller, who played for the Sharks from 2014 – 2017 made Team Switzerland’s roster. Mueller was drafted by the Sharks in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, in the first round at 18th overall. Despite being a first-round pick, his tenure with the Sharks was relatively short-lived. Mueller played 54 games for the franchise for a total of two goals, four assists and six points.

Lean Bergmann, who made 13 appearances for the Sharks during the last two seasons, was named to Team Germany, although he may be best remembered by Sharks fans for his presence with the San Jose Barracuda during that same time frame. Over the course of his tenure within the Sharks organization, Bergmann played 63 games for the Barracuda, for a total of 10 goals, 14 assists, and 24 points.

Team Denmark also has a familiar face from San Jose; Mikkel Boedker, who spent two seasons with the Sharks, from 2016 to 2018. For the Sharks, Boedker played 155 games, for a total of 25 goals, 38 assists, and 63 points. Beyond the Sharks, Boedker had an impressive 12-year NHL career, the majority of which (eight seasons) he spent with the Phoenix/Arizona Coyotes.

Team Sweden’s head coach, Johan Garpenlov, is also a familiar face for older San Jose Sharks fans. Garpenlov played for the club from when he was traded to the Sharks in 1991 from the Detroit Red Wings, until 1995, when he was traded to the Florida Panthers. For the Sharks, Garpenlov played 184 games for a total of 46 goals, 87 assists, and 132 points. Garpenlov retired from professional hockey in 2001, but he never left the sport. Garpenlov has been the General Manager for the Swedish men’s national ice hockey team since 2010, and has held the position as head coach since 2019.

Twelve teams will be represented across three groups at the Beijing Olympics, and teams have until the end of Jan 24 to finalize their rosters. Team China is the last organization to have yet to formally announce their Olympics rosters, although, given the timeframe, it’s likely that they will officially release their lineup in the next day or so.

The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) is the reigning gold medalist, with Team Canada the defending silver medalists, and Team Germany the bronze.

The Olympics groups are as follows (with seeds):

Group A
Canada (1)
USA (6)
Germany (7)
China (12)

Group B
ROC (2)
Czech Republic (5)
Switzerland (8)
Denmark (11)

Group C
Finland (3)
Sweden (4)
Slovakia (9)
Latvia (10)

A list of the currently released rosters for the Olympic teams can be found here.

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Gary To

I understand NHLers are not allowed to go, I guess that applies to AHLers as well? I thought guys like Blichfeld and former Shark Alex True were shoo-ins for Denmark.

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