September 16, 2017

Legends of Team Canada: David Harlock

David Harlock played over 200 games in the NHL, but is an often forgotten hockey player of the past.

He had quite career, too. Captain of the University of Michigan Wolverines. 1994 Olympian with a silver medal keepsake. A long pro career including stops in four NHL cities.

After graduating from Michigan with an English degree Harlock joined the Canadian national team with Olympic dreams. 

With the likes of Paul Kariya, Petr Nedved and Corey Hirsch, Canada made it all the way to the gold medal game where they lost in a heartbreaking shootout. 

Harlock, like all members of Team Canada, were devastated with the loss. With time they have all come to appreciate what they did accomplishment.

"Everyone was really disappointed. I think that, as an athlete, we all went to Lillehammer to win a gold medal. And when you're that close, it's certainly disappointing, and it hurts an awful lot to have a game decided in the manner in which it was. But our coaches just told us that they're exceedingly proud of us, that silver was nothing to be ashamed of, and that we should hold our heads high and carry ourselves that way.

"We were two minutes away in regulation to winning the gold medal. And then even during the shootout we had opportunities in which, if we had scored, we would have won the gold medal. But you really can't look at it that way.

Harlock did not shoot in the shoot out. He couldn't even watch it all unfold.

"I sat on the bench and looked at my feet. And when each shooter went, I sort of would peek up over everybody's shoulders and see what happened. And then I would sit down again and look at my feet. A lot of the guys had a hard time watching it all, so it's just that it's so pressure-filled. And it's almost unfair that a team game gets decided by individuals."

Harlock will always remember returning from the Olympics to the welcome of countless Canadian fans at the Toronto airport.

"It was absolutely overwhelming. I think when you're that removed, when you're in Norway, you certainly --. We were inundated with faxes and telephone calls and certainly our families that were back here in Canada kept us up-to-date with all the coverage that we were getting. But I don't think we really realized the magnitude of everything until we stepped off the plane to that welcome."

Harlock feels Canadian hockey benefited from a national team program and sending developing players to the Olympics instead of NHLers.

"I think that what's great is kids were given the opportunity to play in the Olympics and sort of rejuvenate careers, and it gave us a place to play. Obviously, if we had had the opportunity to play in the NHL, then quite a few guys would have been doing that. But it gave us a place to play and an experience that we'll never forget. And I think what's great about the Olympic experience is getting to go through the whole year and travel all around the world and see different places. And I wouldn't trade that for the world."

Harlock went on to become a senior vice president of a large insurance company

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