Former NHL Players at the Olympics

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We’ve known for some time that, thanks to some serious Bettman-ing, NHL players aren’t allowed to take part in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. But there are plenty of former NHLers who’ll be appearing in the games. Here’s a breakdown of some names you might recognize who’ll be playing in the tournament. The men’s games start on February 14th with the gold medal game on February 25th. Until then, there’s plenty of good women’s hockey (the Swiss team won their first game 8-0), gnarly snowboarding and lunatics on luges.

Group A


For a roster made up of players who are either too old or too bad to play for an NHL team, the Canadian team looks pretty good. The bookies have the Canadiens as hot favourites to be not quite as good as Russia, but better than everyone else. Chris Kelly will be wearing the C for Team Canada.

Skater Current Team Former NHL Team(s)
Justin Peters (G) Kolner Haie Carolina, Washington & Arizona
Kevin Poulin (G) EHC Kloten New York Islanders
Ben Scrivens (G) Salavat Yulaev Ufa Toronto, Los Angeles, Edmonton & Montreal
Stefan Elliott (D) HV71 Colorado, Arizona & Nashville
Chay Genoway (D) HC Lada Togliatti Minnesota
Cody Goloubef (D) Stockton Heat Columbus & Colorado
Marc-Andre Gragnani (D) HC Dinamo Minsk Buffalo, Vancouver, Carolina & New Jersey
Maxim Noreau (D) SC Bern Minnesota
Karl Stollery (D) Dinamo Riga Colorado, San Jose & New Jersey
Rene Bourque (F) Djurgardens IF Chicago, Calgary, Montreal, Anaheim, Columbus & Colorado
Gilbert Brule (F) Kunlun Red Star Columbus, Edmonton & Phoenix
Andrew Ebbett (F) SC Bern Anaheim, Chicago, Minnesota, Phoenix, Vancouver & Pittsburgh
Quinton Howden (F) HC Dinamo Minsk Florida & Winnipeg
Chris Kelly (F) Belleville Senators Ottawa & Boston
Rob Klinkhammer(F) AK Bars Kazan Chicago, Ottawa, Phoenix, Pittsburgh & Edmonton
Brandon Kozun (F) Lokomotiv Taroslavl Toronto
Maxim Lapierre (F) HC Lugano Montreal, Anaheim, Vancouver, St. Louis & Pittsburgh
Eric O’Dell (F) HC Sochi Winnipeg
Mason Raymond (F) SC Bern Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary & Anaheim
Derek Roy (F) Linkopings HC Buffalo, Dallas, Vancouver, St. Louis, Nashville & Edmonton
Christian Thomas (F) Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins New York Rangers, Montreal, & Arizona
Linden Vey (F) ZSC Lions Los Angeles, Vancouver & Calgary
Wojtek Wolski (F) Metallurg Magnitogorsk Colorado, Phoenix, New York Rangers, Florida & Washington
Derek Roy #9 and Ryan Miller #30 of the Buffalo Sabres and David Desharnais #51 of the Montreal Canadiens all keep an eye on the puck during their NHL game at First Niagara Center on March 21, 2012 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

Czech Republic

Skater Current Team Former NHL Team(s)
Roman Cervenka (F) HC Fribourg-Gotteron Calgary
Michal Jordan (D) Amur Khabarovsk Carolina
Roman Horak (F) HC Vityaz Calgary & Edmonton
Michal Repik (F) HC Slovan Bratislava Florida
Jiri Sekac (F) AK Bars Kazan Montreal, Anaheim, Chicago & Arizona
Vojtech Mozik (D) HC Vityaz New Jersey
Tomas Kundratek (D) Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod Washington
Jakub Nakladal (D) Lokomotiv Yaroslavl Calgary & Carolina
Martin Erat (F) HC Kometa Brno Nashville, Washington & Phoenix
Martin Erat #10 of the Nashville Predators plays against Ryan Smyth #94 of the Edmonton Oilers at the Bridgestone Arena on March 25, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

South Korea

Fun fact, both Plante and Young are Canadian by birth, but have become naturalised South Korean citizens. They also both had very short, forgettable careers with the Oilers.

Skater Current Team Former NHL Team(s)
Alex Plante (D) Anyang Halla Edmonton
Bryan Young (D) Daemyng Killer Whales Edmonton


Although it’s unlikely that the Swiss team will get far, having Jonas Hiller in net is probably worth a point or two.

Skater Current Team Former NHL Team(s)
Jonas Hiller (G) Felben-Wellhausen Anaheim & Calgary
Tobias Stephan (G) Zurich Dallas
Raphael Diaz (D) EV Zug Montreal, Vancouver, New York Rangers & Calgary
Cody Almond (F) Geneve-Servette HC Minnesota
Simon Moser (F) Bern Nashville
L-R) Dustin Brown #23 of the Los Angeles Kings pursues the puck, as goaltender Jonas Hiller #1 and Ben Lovejoy #6 of the Anaheim Ducks defend in the first period of Game One of the Second Round of the 2014 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Honda Center on May 3, 2014 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Group B


Skater Current Team Former NHL Team(s)
Ivan Baranka (D) HC Vitkovice Ridera New York Rangers
Ladislav Nagy (F) HC Kosice St. Louis, Phoenix, Dallas & Los Angeles
Tomas Surovy (F) Banska Bystrica Pittsburgh
Peter Olvecky (F) HK Dukla Trencin Minnesota & Nashville
Ladislav Nagy #47 of the Los Angeles Kings skates against the Anaheim Ducks during their NHL game on September 30, 2007 at the O2 Arena in London, England. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)


Mursak, the only former NHLer on the Slovenian roster, played three (part) seasons in Detroit between 2010 – 2013 (the bad seasons).

Skater Current Team Former NHL Team(s)
Jan Mursak Frolunda Detroit


Technically the team is named Olympic Athletes from Russia, thanks to the country’s ban for state-sponsored doping. This also means that those snazzy jerseys we saw a while back have been consigned to history and replaced with boring, neutral threads instead.

Skater Current Team Former NHL Team(s)
Alexey Marchenko (D) HC CSKA Moscow Detroit & Toronto
Nikita Nesterov (D) HC CSKA Moscow Tampa Bay & Montreal
Slava Voynov (D) SKA Saint Petersburg Los Angeles
Andrei Zubarev (D) SKA Saint Petersburg Atlanta
Pavel Datsyuk (F) SKA Saint Petersburg Detroit
Mikhail Grigorenko (F) HC CSKA Moscow Buffalo & Colorado
Sergey Kalinin (F) SKA Saint Petersburg New Jersey
Ilya Kovalchuk (F) SKA Saint Petersburg Atlanta & New Jersey
Vadim Shipachyov (F) SKA Saint Petersburg Vegas
Sergei Shirokov (F) SKA Saint Petersburg Vancouver
Mikhail Grigorenko #25 of the Colorado Avalanche advances the puck against the Vancouver Canucks at the Pepsi Center on January 25, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

United States

Wisniewski sure got about the league in his time.

Skater Current Team Former NHL Team(s)
Chad Billins (D) Linkopings Calgary
Noah Welch (D) Vaxjo Lakers Pittsburgh, Florida, Tampa Bay & Atlanta
John McCarthy (F) San Jose Barracuda San Jose
Brian O’Neill (F) Jokerit New Jersey
Brian Gionta (F) Free Agent New Jersey, Montreal & Buffalo
Bobby Butler (F) Milwaukee Admirals Ottawa, New Jersey, Nashville & Florida
Chris Bourque (F) Hershey Bears Washington, Pittsburgh & Boston
Jim Slater (F) HC Fribourg-Gotteron Atlanta/Winnipeg
James Wisniewski(D) Kassel Huskies Chicago, Anaheim, New York Islanders, Montreal, Columbus & Carolina
Bobby Sanguinetti(D) HC Lugano New York Rangers & Carolina
Jonathon Blum (D) Admiral Vladivostok Nashville & Minnesota
Mark Arcobello (F) SC Bern Edmonton, Nashville, Pittsburgh, Arizona & Toronto
Chad Kolarik (F) Adler Mannheim Columbus & New York Rangers
Ryan Stoa (F) HC Spartak Moscow Colorado & Washington
Matt Gilroy (D) Jokerit New York Rangers, Tampa Bay, Ottawa & Florida
Brian Gionta #21 of the Montreal Canadiens in Game One of the Eastern Conference Final during the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Bell Centre on May 17, 2014 in Montreal, Canada. The Rangers defeated the Canadiens 7-2. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Group C


Fact-slam: every player on the German roster plays their hockey in Germany.

Skater Current Team Former NHL Team(s)
Christian Ehrhoff(D) Kolner Haie San Jose, Vancouver, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles & Chicago
Timo Pielmeier (G) ERC Ingolstadt Anaheim
Marcel Goc (F) Adler Mannheim San Jose, Nashville, Florida, Pittsburgh & St. Louis
David Wolf (F) Adler Mannheim Calgary
Christian Ehrhoff #10 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates with the puck against the Detroit Red Wings at Consol Energy Center on March 15, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Matt Kincaid/Getty Images)


Skater Current Team Former NHL Team(s)
Mikko Koskinen (G) SKA Saint Petersburg New York Islanders
Karri Ramo (G) Jokerit Tampa Bay & Calgary
Lasse Kukkonen (D) Karpat Chicago & Philadelphia
Sami Lepisto (D) Jokerit Washington, Phoenix, Columbus & Chicago
Joonas Kemppainen (F) Kajaani Boston
Petri Kontiolan (F) Seinajoki Chicago
Mika Pyorala (F) Oulu Philadelphia
Oskar Osala (F) Vaasa Washington & Carolina
Teemu Hartikainen (F) Kuopio Edmonton
Karri Ramo #31 of the Calgary Flames makes a glove save on the shot of Brett Connolly #14 of the Boston Bruins during an NHL game at Scotiabank Saddledome on December 4, 2015 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)


Skater Current Team Former NHL Team(s)
Jonas Holos (D) HC Fribourg-Gotteron Colorado
Patrick Thoresen (C) SKA Saint Petersburg Edmonton & Philiadelphia


After Russia and Canada, Sweden are expected to take at least a bronze medal. Staffan Kronwall is the younger brother of Detroit’s Niklas Kronwall.

Skater Current Team Former NHL Team(s)
Jhonas Enroth (G) HC Dinamo Minsk Buffalo, Dallas, Los Angeles & Toronto
Staffan Kronwall (D) Lokomotiv Yaroslavl Toronto, Washington and Calgary
Joakim Lindstrom(C) Skelleftea Columbus, Phoenix, Colorado, St. Louis & Toronto
Dennis Everberg (F) Avangard Omsk Colorado
Joel Lundqvist (F) Frolunda HC Dallas
Viktor Stalberg (F) EV Zug Toronto, Chicago, Nashville, Carolina & Ottawa
Erik Gustafsson (D) HC Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk Chicago
Viktor Fasth (G) Vaxjo Lakers Anaheim & Edmonton
Magnus Hellberg (G) Kunlun Red Star Nashville & New York Rangers
Oscar Moller (C) Skelleftea Los Angeles
Carl Klingberg (F) EV Zug Atlanta/Winnipeg
Anton Lander (F) Ak Bars Kazan Edmonton
Linus Omark (F) Salavat Yulaev Ufa Edmonton & Buffalo
Tyler Ennis #63 of the Buffalo Sabres clears the puck after a save by goalie Jhonas Enroth #1 in front of Tom Pyatt #11 of the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on March 6, 2014 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)


Those are all the former NHLer’s hoping to win Olympic gold in South Korea. All rosters correct at time of writing. H/T to Hockey Reference for being invaluable.


Written by Mike Laybourne and republished with permission from The 4th Line Podcast.

Mike Laybourne on Twitter @mikelaybourne


Main Image: MOSCOW, RUSSIA – MAY 22: Pavel Datsyuk #13 of Russia skates against USA at Ice Palace on May 22, 2016 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Anna Sergeeva/Getty Images)


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