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Ex-Blackhawk Barker heads back to KHL

Cam Barker

Free agent defensemen Cam Barker takes part in an informal hockey practice with the Vancouver Canucks at the University of British Columbia, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, in Vancouver, British Columbia. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darryl Dyck)


The nomadic Cam Barker is back on the move again -- on Monday, KHL club HC Slovan Bratislava announced it had inked the former No. 3 overall pick to a contract.

Barker, 28, had been playing North America earlier this year, first in training camp with the Blackhawks, then with their AHL affiliate in Rockford. The veteran defenseman was released by the IceHogs in early October.

Taken behind Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin at the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, Barker looked like he was on his way to a productive NHL career when, in 2008-09, he scored a career-high 40 points in 68 games for Chicago, and nine more in 17 playoff appearances.

But that proved to be the high point.

Barker was then 1) traded to Minnesota, 2) bought out by the Wild, 3) signed by Edmonton, 4) not tendered a qualifying offer by the Oilers, 5) on a PTO with AHL Texas, 6) signed by Vancouver, 7) inked by KHL Barys Astana before 8) getting invited to Chicago’s camp this fall.

Quite the journey.