Cam Barker

Former No. 3 overall pick Barker now trying out for AHL Texas


Cam Barker — the guy taken after Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin at the 2004 draft — was at Texas Stars training camp this past weekend, trying to secure a spot on the AHL club.

How the mighty have fallen.

It wasn’t always this way for the 26-year-old rearguard. The former WHL Medicine Hat standout scored 40 points in 68 games for Chicago during the 2008-09 campaign and parlayed that into a three-year, $9.25 million deal.

But after Chicago traded Barker to Minnesota for Kim Johnsson and Nick Leddy, things started to go south.

Injuries and erratic play limited him to just 71 games over two seasons with Minnesota and he was placed on waivers 15 months after being acquired. That didn’t stop Edmonton from rolling the dice, though, as the Oilers gave Barker a one-year, $2.25 million deal in July 2011.

Things with the Oilers went much like they did with the Wild. Described by the Edmonton Journal as injury-riddled and error-prone, Barker only appeared in 23 games and wasn’t given a qualifying offer this past June.

Now, he’s trying to work his way back via a professional tryout offer from Dallas’ minor league affiliate.

While these might seem like tough times for ol’ Cam, don’t shed too many tears. According to the Chicago Tribune, he recently sold his three-bedroom condo for $1.085 million, so he’s probably a ways away from existing solely on ramen noodles.

Ducks name Kesler alternate captain

Ryan Kesler
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For the second time in his career, Ryan Kesler is wearing an “A.”

On Thursday, the Anaheim Ducks announced that Kesler would serve as one of the club’s alternate captains this season, taking over for Francois Beauchemin, who signed in Colorado this summer.

With the move, Kesler joins Anaheim’s existing leadership group of captain Ryan Getzlaf, and alternate Corey Perry.

“It’s an honor,” Kesler said, per the Ducks. “It’s special. I’m going to wear it with pride and lead by example.”

As mentioned earlier, Kesler has some experience as an alternate — he wore an “A” in Vancouver from 2008-13, but had it removed prior to the start of the ’13-14 campaign.

It’s not surprising Anaheim went in this direction. GM Bob Murray made a huge investment in Kesler this summer by inking the 31-year-old to a six-year, $41.25M extension.

Diaz could leave Rangers for Europe

Raphael Diaz, Mike Sislo
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Could Raphael Diaz be on his way back to Switzerland?

We’ll know in a month.

Diaz, who lost out on the Rangers’ final blueline spot in training camp, has reported to the club’s AHL affiliate in Hartford but doesn’t seem pleased with his current situation, per the Post:

The 29-year-old Diaz, who cleared waivers last Saturday after the Blueshirts opted to keep rookie Dylan McIlrath as the club’s seventh on the blue line, is interested in the European option if he is not in the NHL.

The Blueshirts have told Diaz they will revisit the situation at the end of October, but have not promised to release him or assign him to a European team at that point.

If Diaz, a Swiss native who represented Switzerland in the 2014 Olympics, does play in Europe during the season, he would have to go through waivers in order to return to the NHL.

Diaz’s agent, Ritch Winter, told the Post that Diaz signed a one-year, $700,000 deal with the Rangers “to play with the Rangers.”

And it’s understandable if Diaz — a journeyman offensive defenseman — isn’t happy with this situation.

While some believe McIlrath earned his roster spot on merit, some think it’s because of his contract status. McIlrath, who’s only 23 and a former first-round pick, would’ve needed to clear waivers to go back to Hartford, and it’s believed he would’ve been claimed by another club.