When the Wild traded for Cam Barker, fans were excited. It was quickly learned that excitement was completely misplaced. The former third overall pick defenseman fell out of favor with fans and management, and was dispatched via buyout. That summer, the Edmonton Oilers did what far too many teams have done, and gave Barker his third crack at the pinata.
Free agency came and went this summer, and not a single offer was sent Barker's way. Then the lockout fired up, and teams clamped down on signing concrete footed, emotionless, offensive defensemen who can barely play well enough to make a high school team in Minnesota. It was the one sign of sanity from an ownership group that spent like drunken teenagers on a Mexican cruise this summer.
Today, 100 Degree Hockey reports that the Texas Stars, the AHL affiliate of the Dallas Stars, have invited Barker to camp as a tryout. Let that wash over you for a second. A tryout. The guy has to earn his spot for the first time in his career, and he has to do it in a development league.
The schadenfreude here is off the charts.
On a basic human level, we hope nothing but the best for Cam Barker. He's made enough money to support himself and his family for a century, and played the game well enough to get three chances in the NHL, which is exactly three more than much more deserving players have received.
The only remaining question is... how will the LA Lakers react to this news. How they can make it without number 24 on the roster while he plays in a pro development league has yet to be seen.