CALGARY – There’s a Lethbridge connection to the team that will represent Canada in men’s hockey at the Pyeongchang Olympics.
Rob Klinkhammer, a Lethbridge product, is one of 14 forwards named to the team Thursday, Jan. 11. This will be the first Olympic winter games since 1994 to not include rostered NHL players.
Klinkhammer, 31, played for the Lethbridge Hurricanes between 2003-06 and also played for Seattle, Portland, and Brandon during his WHL career. His 193 game NHL career includes stints with the Ottawa Senators, Phoenix/Arizona Coyotes, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Edmonton Oilers. He currently plays with a Kontinental Hockey League team in Russia
In a telephone interview from Kazan, Russia, the Lethbridge native spoke to Global TV and talked about his reaction when he received news of his selection.
“I was kind of speechless and, obviously, unbelievably excited and, I don’t even know what to say – once we land in South Korea and once we get to the Olympic village, then it’ll probably hit.”
While Klinkhammer’s participation in the Olympics will, undoubtedly, be followed by the entire city, it’s brought particular excitement for his parents, who still call Lethbridge home.
Gerry Klinkhammer, says he hasn’t missed an Olympic hockey game on TV in about 40-years but, with a son now participating, he admits Olympic hockey will be different this time, because he’s going to be nervous.
“To represent your country in a sport, or to represent your country in anything, is a real honour, I mean, you couldn’t ask for anything better than that.”
Other NHL veterans named to the men’s Olympic team include forwards Gilbert Brule, Mason Raymond, Derek Roy and Wojtek Wolski, as well as goaltender Ben Scrivens.
Canada is seeking its third straight gold medal in men’s hockey; however, the wins in 2010 and 2014 were by teams stocked with top NHL talent. That fact doesn’t faze Rob Klinkhammer, who expressed confidence in the team that will represent this country.
“I think we have depth, I think we’re built to work and be hard and physical and be a tough team to play against.”
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