After a quick cup of coffee with the Chicago Blackhawks to start the 2005-06 season, Cam Barker found himself heading back to the WHL’s Medicine Hat Tigers.
And while Barker admit he was keen to stay with the big club, he’s certainly not complaining about the way things have turned out. So far for Barker, the Tigers continue to hover near the top of the WHL standings and he’s managed to fit in a successful stint with Team Canada, earning his second WJC gold medal in two years.
“It was interesting when Cam came in here,” Tigers head coach and general manager Willi Desjardins told Hockey’s Future. “At 16, he was one of our top two defensemen at that time, and that’s pretty unusual. He has been a pretty special player for us since he’s been here. He’s always been a good player.
“He’s pretty mature and understands what it takes to play the game,” Desjardins continued. “He knows what he has to do and he’s prepared to do it. I guess the best thing about Cam is he doesn’t put himself above the team, he doesn’t think he’s a superstar, he just thinks of himself as one of the guys and when the other guys go hard, he goes hard. He’s got a great attitude that way and he sets a real good example for everyone else on the team.”
On January 14 in Kelowna, Barker suffered an ankle injury. The 6’3, 200-pound Winnipeg native is likely gone from the Tigers lineup for six weeks.
“We had him checked out on the Monday afterward and it’s not what we wanted to hear,” Desjardins told the Medicine Hat News. “I