The NHL may not participate in the Beijing Olympics in 2022, but that won’t necessarily slow the Calgary Flames’ connection to the tournament.
In all, the Flames have 18 former players and four prospects ready to step into their respective countries’ skates at the two-week tournament February 9-20, 2022 in Beijing, China.
The NHL and the NHLPA have reached an agreement withdraw from the Olympics last month. The decision was made following the increase in cases of COVID-19 and the highly infectious variant of Omicron.
Still, there are plenty of reasons to remain vigilant.
Starting with Team Canada.
entering Canada, announced tuesdaypunctuates all the Olympic Games with four former members of the organizationincluding forwards Corban Knight, Ben Street, Adam Cracknell and defender Tyler Wotherspoon.
They will play in Group A against the United States, Germany and China, and against six former members of the Flames organization.
Kenny Agostino and Nick Shore will each represent Team USA in the tournament, and David Wolf, Tobias Rieder and Yasin Ehliz – who have had the shortest stints with the American Hockey League’s Stockton Heat – will play for Germany. Spencer Foo, who now plays for Kunlun Red Star and scored two goals in four games for Calgary in the 2017-18 season, will represent host China.
The Russian Olympic Committee includes two former Flames and a former prospect. Nikita Nesterov and Alexander Yelesin will patrol the blue line, while draft pick Pavel Karnaukhov, who also spent time with the Calgary Hitmen, will play up front.
The ROC will play in Group B with Czechia, Switzerland and Denmark.
That includes longtime Flames forward Michael Frolik and Roman Cervenka for the Czech Republic. Denmark has no former Flames participants, but Switzerland will still feature goalkeeper Reto Berra and defender Raphael Diaz.
Joakim Nordstrom, a member of the Flames last season, will play for Sweden in Group C with fellow Calgary ex Oskar Fantenberg. Markus Granlund will play for Finland in the same pool, as will familiar face Marek Hrivik for Slovakia. Hrivik will be joined by teammate Milos Roman, who was drafted by Calgary in 2018. Latvia, the fourth team in the group, has no connection to the Flames.
The men’s hockey tournament at this year’s Games kicks off on February 9 with the ROC taking on Switzerland and the Czech Republic taking on Denmark.
NHL players attended every Winter Olympics from 1998 to 2014. Attendance at the 2022 and 2026 Olympics was negotiated in the NHL’s most recent collective agreement.
Here are all the players who played with the Flames or were prospects for Calgary and are ready to play in the Olympics: