Former Sharks at the 2022 Winter Olympics

Feb. 4 marks the beginning of the 2022 Winter Olympics. Similar to the 2018 Winter Olympics, the NHL will not be participating in the men’s hockey tournament. Many former San Jose Sharks players have either found homes on new teams or have retired, but a few players that once dawned the teal will be making an appearance in Beijing.

Related: Marleau Breaks Games Played Record

The biggest name on the list of former Sharks eligible to play in the Winter Olympics is undoubtedly Patrick Marleau, the current leader in games played in NHL history. However, it would appear that Marleau will not be representing Canada in the tournament this year. Despite his absence, there are still a decent number of Sharks competing this year, even if none of them hold prestigious records like Marleau.

Jason Demers

Jason Demers played for the Sharks from the 2009-10 season to the 2014-2015 season. He was originally a seventh-round selection by the club in 2008. On Nov. 21, 2014, he was packaged with a 2016 third-round pick and shipped to the Dallas Stars for Brenden Dillon. During his time as a Shark, Demers put up 16 goals and 82 assists for 98 points in 300 games.

Jason Demers, Arizona Coyotes
Jason Demers with the Arizona Coyotes (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Demers’ last year in the NHL was the 2020-21 season, where he put up four points in 41 games with the Arizona Coyotes. After he went through the offseason without receiving a contract offer from an NHL club, he decided to take his talents overseas. He is now a member of AK Bars Kazan in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), and has one assist in five games.

The veteran presence on Team Canada is sporadic at best. Demers will provide some much-needed veteran leadership on the blue line. Playing alongside young talent like Owen Power, Demers will be able to lead the Canadian defense with his NHL experience.

Daniel Winnik

Daniel Winnik’s tenure with the Sharks was short. He was initially acquired for the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, but unfortunately their playoff stint was short-lived. After only 5 games, the St. Louis Blues knocked the Sharks out of contention. As a result, Winnik’s time with the Sharks would also come to an end with five points in 21 regular-season games and one point in those five playoff games.

Daniel Winnik
Daniel Winnik (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Winnik ended his NHL career with the Minnesota Wild in the 2017-18 season. After his departure from the NHL, Winnik began playing for Genève-Servette HC in the National League (NL), where he continues to play. Unlike his time in the NHL, Winnik found his footing in the NL. He currently has 44 points in 38 games, and has been an alternate captain for two seasons.

Team Canada lost a heavy dose of firepower when the NHL backed out of the Winter Olympics. Luckily for them, it appears that Winnik might provide some unexpected scoring potential. However, Team Canada is not the only team that former Sharks will represent.

Lean Bergmann

Lean Bergmann signed with the Sharks in the offseason following their 2019 Conference Finals appearance against the St. Louis Blues. He played two seasons in the organization, but Bergmann never seemed to find a consistent scoring rhythm in the NHL or the AHL. After the 2020-21 season concluded, Bergmann was put on waivers with the purpose of contract termination. He headed overseas to play for Alder Mannheim in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL).

Bergmann is a special case compared to other former Sharks participating in the men’s hockey tournament. His tenure with the Sharks was recent, and he is only 23 years old. He has recorded 12 points in 30 games this season, which is about the same rate he was scoring with the San Jose Barracuda in the 2019-20 season.

Lean Bergmann announced to Team Germany for the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Team Germany lost many of its biggest names due to the NHL no longer participating in the Winter Olympics. However, despite not returning to the NHL, Bergmann does have experience playing against NHL-level talent. Therefore, he could play a significant role in the potential success of Team Germany in the coming days.

Mikkel Boedker

Mikkel Boedker was the eighth overall pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, and he played with the Arizona Coyotes until the 2016-17 season. During the 2016 offseason, the Sharks signed Boedker to a four-year contract, and he played with them for two seasons before he was traded to the Ottawa Senators as a part of the Erik Karlsson trade, which was only fully completed recently.

Mikkel Boedker Sharks
Mikkel Boedker, former San Jose Shark (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Boedker continued to play for the Senators until his contract expired at the end of the 2019-20 season. However, his final season saw him barely play. As a result, he decided to take his talents to HC Lugano in the NL. Boedker has been playing there for the last two seasons.

Related: Revisiting the Erik Karlsson Trade

Team Denmark will be playing Boedker often during the Winter Olympics. There is little NHL experience on Team Denmark, so Boedker’s presence will be well received by the squad.

Mirco Mueller

Mirco Mueller was a first-round selection of the Sharks in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. He played for the Sharks for four seasons, but he never was a regular on the roster. He managed to put up six points in 54 games with the Sharks before he was traded to the New Jersey Devils in 2017. This trade resulted in the Sharks getting the draft pick that they would use to draft Mario Ferraro.

Mirco Mueller’s draft day experience in 2013

Mueller played for the Devils for three years before he left to play overseas in the 2020-21 season. He originally began playing for Leksands IF in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL), but that only lasted for one season. This year, Mueller has joined Boedker on HC Lugano in the NL, where he has 15 points in 42 games.

Mueller will be joining Team Sweden for the Winter Olympics. Considering the history of Sweden’s success in the Olympics, it will be interesting to see how Mueller can contribute to the team.

Johan Garpenlov

Skaters are not the only former Sharks appearing at the 2022 Winter Olympics. Johan Garpenlov was traded to the Sharks in the 1991-92 season. He was a great point producer for the club for four seasons before being traded to the Florida Panthers. During his time with the Sharks, Garpenlov scored 46 goals and 86 assists for 132 points in 184 games.

Garpenlov finished his NHL career in the 1999-00 season with the Atlanta Thrashers. From there, Garpenlov began coaching. He has coached Team Sweden in all types of tournaments. This will be his first time as head coach of an Olympic team, but he has been an assistant coach for Team Sweden in the 2018 Winter Olympics.

The 2022 Olympic Hockey Men’s Preliminary Round begins on Feb. 9. While none of the former superstars that once wore the teal are playing this time around, there are still a decent number of former Sharks that will be making an appearance in Beijing. Perhaps more players will be taking the ice next time the Winter Olympics roll around. However, only these six former Sharks will be representing their countries in 2022 for now.

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