Skip to main content

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


Popular posts from this blog

100 Greatest Hockey Players Of All Time

What follows is a listing of the 100 greatest hockey players of all time, in my opinion. As discussed earlier, the definition of greatness is a very personalized endeavor and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
While there is no way of ever truly ranking the top 100 definitively, it is important for the creators of such lists to be open and transparent of how the came to their conclusions. That accountability allows the reader to better understand the process. 

Although admittedly I'm using a completely unscientific formula, I weigh career achievements (era statistics, awards, championships) and legacy (impact on and off ice, peak dominance) equally high. I rank player ability as the third most important ingredient, as first and foremost as a tie breaker. Hence, I'm not necessarily looking for the better player, as in text book definitions of what a hockey player should be, but for players with the greatest careers and greatest legacies. Therefore the best player is not n…

Top Ten Junior Players Of All Time

Let's take a look at the Top Ten junior players of all time. For the purposes of this list we will at players in the WHL, OHL and QMJHL only.

10. Pat Lafontaine, Verdun, QMJHL Rookie-record 104 goals, 234 points in 1982-83; major junior player of the year.

9. Denis Potvin, Ottawa, OHL 254 games, 95 goals, 234 assists, 329 points. Broke Bobby Orr's junior records.

8. John Tavares, Oshawa, OHL 215 goals, 433 points in 247 games; most goals in OHL history; eligibility rules changed to admit him at 15; 2006 major junior rookie of the year, 2007 major junior player of the year; two world juniors, named 2009 all-star, top forward and MVP.

7. Sidney Crosby, Rimouski, QMJHL 120 goals, 303 points in 121 games; two-time major junior player of the year; silver and gold with Canada at two world juniors.

6. Eric Lindros, Oshawa, OHL 97 goals, 216 points in 95 games; one Memorial Cup victory; three world junior tournaments; major junior player of the year in 1991.

5. Mike Bossy, Laval, Q…

Greatest Hockey Legends: M