Despite the NHL not allowing its players to represent their countries at the 2018 Winter Olympics, the Chicago Blackhawks will be well represented. Three former Blackhawks were among the players named Thursday to Hockey Canada’s roster for the 23rd Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Forwards Rene Bourque (2005-08), Andrew Ebbett (2009) and Rob Klinkhammer (2008-11) will all wear the red maple leaf for Canada.
Bourque is the most notable name among the trio. He signed a free agent deal with Chicago in July 2004 after four seasons at Wisconsin. He would win the Dudley “Red” Garrett Memorial Award as the AHL’s rookie of the year in 2005 with the Norfolk Admirals before joining the Hawks the next season. In his three seasons with Chicago, he scored 75 points in 183 games. The most notable part of his time with the Hawks came Nov. 12, 2006, when he suffered a cut to his neck from Nikolai Zherdev’s skate.
Chicago traded Bourque to Calgary in July 2008. He then went on to play for Montreal, Anaheim, Columbus and Colorado before the now 36-year-old signed a one-year deal with Djugardens IF of the Swedish Hockey League.
Ebbett, 35, was waived after 10 games with Chicago in 2009. He scored only one goal with the Hawks. He would go on to play for Minnesota, Phoenix, Vancouver and Pittsburgh in the NHL, along with a stint for the Chicago Wolves before heading for Europe to suit up for SC Bern in Switzerland.
Klinkhammer, 31, played in only one game — Dec. 10, 2010 — due to an injury to Patrick Kane. Most of his time with the organization was spent in the AHL with Rockford, where he scored 109 points across parts of four seasons before being traded to Ottawa in 2011. He played for Ottawa, Phoenix, Pittsburgh and Edmonton before opting to sign as a pending free agent with HC Dinamo Minsk of the KHL in June 2016.
The men’s hockey tournament at the Olympics will run from Feb. 14-25. Canada has won back-to-back Olympic golds and three of the last four.