uggs shoes uk Former Hitmen star Alex Plante suits up for South Korea at Olympics
Learning the national anthem was just one of many steps for Plante an imposing blueliner from Brandon, Man., a former junior stud for the Western Hockey League Calgary Hitmen and a first round selection of the Edmonton Oilers in the 2007 NHL Draft on his path to becoming a citizen of South Korea.
Now in his third campaign with Anyang Halla of the Asia Ice Hockey League, the 28 year old will represent the host country in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
couldn be any more thankful for the unique experience and opportunity, Plante said. has just given me a little fire, a kick start to really play competitive hockey again.
have that competitive edge back. the Saddledome, Plante is remembered as a surly shutdown specialist. He totalled 18 goals, 71 assists and 344 penalty minutes in 224 career contests for the Hitmen and was a key piece on their run to the WHL championship series in 2009. (That squad also featured San Jose Sharks netminder Martin Jones, Flames defenceman Michael Stone and two other 2018 Olympians Canada Brandon Kozun and Bostjan Golicic of Slovenia.)
In Edmonton, Plante is remembered as a guy who never lived up to his draft day billing the No. 15 overall pick in 2007. He totalled 10 appearances in the Oilers big league lineup between 2009 11, collecting two assists and dropping his mitts for one fight, but he was mostly stationed for four seasons with their minor league affiliate in Springfield and later Oklahoma City.
His next stop was with Dornbirner in Austria then L in Norway.
He was searching for another contract when an agent mentioned a job opening in South Korea. They were looking for a big body on defence, a right handed shot, a guy who hadn represented Canada in international competition.
Plante, who stands 6 foot 5 and tips the scales at 230 lb., checked all those boxes.
But wife (Fanny) was pregnant at the time, and I said, way. I was completely ignorant to the country of Korea, said Plante, explaining his better half is from Sweden and staying in Europe would have made it more convenient for her to travel home to deliver their second child. after a month or so, he kept asking me and other jobs just weren as appealing looking as this one. We actually contacted a guy that had been in Korea for eight years at the time him and his wife, they had a daughter and they had nothing but good things to say. So we were a little bit more intrigued.
at the time, they said there could be the opportunity to get a passport and play in the Olympics, but that wasn on the dotted line. It wasn come here and we give you a passport. It was more, come here and we see if we like you and maybe give you your passport. God for my wife for being like, let try it, even though she was pregnant. You know the song Gangnam Style? Everybody knows that song. Well we had our son (Noah) in Gangnam, Korea. I guess he a Gangnium. I don even know if that a real word. dad is now proud to represent South Korea, one of seven naturalized competitors on a national team that placed second in the IIHF World Hockey Championship Division 1A event last spring, earning promotion to the top tier.
Their go to goalie, Matt Dalton, hails from Clinton, Ont., and one night served as the backup for the Boston Bruins.
Like Plante, Bryan Young, of Ennismore, Ont., briefly patrolled the blueline in Edmonton.
South Korea preliminary round slate in Pyeongchang includes a Feb. 18 clash against Canada. Group A also includes the Czech Republic and Switzerland.
of our teammates, who also is a naturalized player, put it best it a job, and once you put that jersey on, it just like you get drafted to the Oilers that your team, Plante said. now, this is the country we playing for, and they done a fantastic job in making us feel welcome.
had enough time actually playing for Korea to have that feeling of, I a part of this. I a part of this team. They let me play for their nation. We lived here for three years. My family loves it. So there no weirdness. It not like I renouncing my Canadian citizenship or anything like that. They just presenting me with this great opportunity. And from my family point of view, my kids especially, this is their home right now. For their short lives, this is where they spend most of their time.
I will say, we played Canada in the Channel One Cup (in December in Russia), and they play the anthems. Standing on Korea blueline and listening to the Canadian anthem in the first time in it felt like forever I wouldn say it was a weird feeling, but it was definitely worth a chuckle for me. like he chuckle when he arrived home and heard his daughter, Ebba, singing the anthem of South Korea.
If you frequent the Saddledome, you recognize plenty of familiar names during the men hockey tournament at the 2018 Winter Olympics. These former Flames and Hitmen will be skating in Pyeongchang CONNECTIONS