The 2022 Beijing Olympics kicked off last week, and the men’s hockey portion of the festivities begins on Wednesday when the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) takes on Switzerland at 3:40 AM ET. 12 national teams across four groups will battle to get to the gold medal game, which takes place on Saturday, Feb. 19, at 11:10 PM ET.
Although the NHL decided not to send players to the Olympics again this year, there are plenty of former NHL players representing their countries in Beijing. Nine of those players appeared in games for the Florida Panthers.
Steven Kampfer, USA
The 33-year-old defenseman spent most of his nine-year NHL career with the Boston Bruins, but he did play 73 games with the Panthers. He was signed by the New York Rangers in July of 2014 before being traded to Florida three months later.
Kampfer appeared in 25 games for the Panthers during the 2014-15 season and 47 games for them during the 2015-16 season. He played in one game for them in 2016-17 before being traded back to the Rangers on Nov. 8, 2016.
The Ann Arbor, Michigan native, who played in 20 games for Boston last season, currently plays for Ak Bars Kazan of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).
Nikita Gusev, ROC
After eight years in the KHL, Gusev came over to the NHL in 2019. He played 82 total games for the New Jersey Devils in 2019-20 and 2020-21, scoring 15 goals and adding 34 assists.
The left winger signed with Florida as a free agent in April of 2021. He appeared in 11 games late last season for the Panthers, registering five points (two goals and three assists).
The 29-year-old spent training camp with the Toronto Maple Leafs prior to this season but returned to Russia after being cut. He currently plays for SKA St. Petersburg in the KHL.
Jason Demers, Canada
The 33-year-old defenseman played 12 seasons in the NHL, including one with the Panthers. After six years in San Jose and two in Dallas, he signed with Florida in July of 2016.
Demers played a career-high 81 games for the Panthers during the 2016-17 season, registering 28 points (nine goals and 19 assists). The Panthers traded him to the Arizona Coyotes in September of 2017.
The Quebec native played in 41 games for the Coyotes last season. After not being signed during free agency during the offseason, he went to the KHL, signing with Ak Bars Kazan.
Michal Repik, Czech Republic
Repik played four seasons in the NHL, all with the Panthers. Florida drafted him 40th overall in the 2007 NHL Draft, and he played sparingly with the club from 2008 to 2012.
The right winger appeared in 72 total games for the Panthers, scoring nine goals and adding 11 assists. He was also an AHL All-Star in 2011, finishing with 45 points in 53 games for the Rochester Americans.
Repik returned to the Czech Republic to play following the 2011-12 season. He played in the KHL and also spent time in Finland and Switzerland. The 33-year-old currently plays with HC Sparta Praha in the Czech Extraliga.
Michael Frolik, Czech Republic
The Panthers drafted Frolik 10th overall in the 2006 NHL Draft. He made his debut in 2008, tallying 45 points (21 goals and 24 assists) in 79 games for Florida that season. He played all 82 games the next season, scoring 21 goals and adding 24 assists.
The right winger had 29 points in 52 games for the Panthers during the 2010-11 season before being traded to the Chicago Blackhawks prior to the trade deadline. He won the Stanley Cup with Chicago in 2012-13.
Frolik also saw action with the Winnipeg Jets, Calgary Flames, Buffalo Sabres, and Montreal Canadiens. The 33-year-old went to Switzerland in October of 2021 to play with Lausanne HC of the National League.
Reto Berra, Switzerland
The 35-year-old goaltender played in 76 total games in the NHL from 2013 to 2018, most of them with the Colorado Avalanche. Colorado traded him to Florida in June of 2016.
Reto Berra appeared in seven games for the Panthers in 2016-17. He started four of them, going 0-5-0 and giving up 18 goals on 145 shots in 313:07 of ice time.
Berra signed with the Anaheim Ducks following the 2016-17 season, appearing in five games for them the next season. He returned to Switzerland in 2018, signing with HC Fribourg-Gotteron of the National League, where he still plays.
Denis Malgin, Switzerland
Malgin was drafted by the Panthers in the fourth round of the 2015 draft. He played in 47 games for the Panthers in 2016-17, 51 games with them in 2017-18, and 50 games with them in 2018-19, totaling 24 goals and 24 assists.
After scoring four goals and adding eight assists in 36 games for Florida in 2019-20, the center was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs for current Panther Mason Marchment in February of 2020. He appeared in eight games for the Maple Leafs before the season was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Malgin was re-signed by Toronto and loaned to Lausanne HC due to the delayed start to the NHL season. He ended up staying in Switzerland for the entire 2020-21 season. The 25-year-old signed with the ZSC Lions of the Swiss National League in September.
Harri Sateri, Finland
The 32-year-old goaltender appeared in nine games in the NHL, all with the Panthers. 10 years after being drafted by the San Jose Sharks, he made his NHL debut with Florida in February of 2018.
Sateri played in nine games for the Panthers, starting seven of them. He finished with a record of 4-4-0, stopping 247 of 271 shots in 492:36 of ice time.
Sateri has spent time in the SM-liiga in Finland, the AHL, and the KHL. He currently plays for Sibir Novosibirsk in the KHL.
Lucas Wallmark, Sweden
Wallmark played in 187 games in the NHL between 2016 and 2021, 11 of them divided into two stints with the Panthers. In February of 2020, he was traded to Florida by the Carolina Hurricanes in a deal that also involved current Panther Eetu Luostarinen.
The center played in seven games for Florida in 2020, notching one goal and one assist. He also appeared in two playoff games. He signed with the Chicago Blackhawks prior to the 2020-21 season, playing 16 games for them before being traded back to Florida with current Panther Lucas Carlsson in April 2021.
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Wallmark played in four games for the Panthers last season. He signed with HC CSKA Moscow of the KHL last June, though the 26-year-old has yet to appear in a game for the team.