Triple Gold in Beijing?
by Andrew Podnieks|05 FEB 2022
Marcus Kruger (left) and Joakim Nordstrom (right) have only Olympic gold missing to join the Triple Gold Club.
photo: Andre Ringuette / HHOF-IIHF Images
The Triple Gold Club is the very apotheosis of success in world hockey. Indeed, in the long history of the Stanley Cup (est. 1893), the Olympics (1920), and the World Championship (1930), only 29 players have won the Stanley Cup and gold in the IOC and IIHF events. That number could increase by two in Beijing…. but only if Tre Kronor comes away with the gold.

Marcus Kruger and Joakim Nordstrom are the players in question. In the case of Kruger, he won the Stanley Cup with Chicago in 2013 and again two years later, and gold at the 2017 Worlds in Paris and Cologne. 

Nordstrom won the Cup alongside Kruger in 2015 with the ‘Hawks and was also teammates on Tre Kronor with him in 2017. Kruger currently plays with Zurich in the Swiss league while Nordstrom is in the KHL with CSKA Moscow. 

These two were far from the only TGC candidates, but the list whittled down substantially when the NHL decided that their players won’t travel to the Olympics. Canada, for instance, could have had eight potential additions – Brad Marchand, Jake Muzzin, Ryan O’Reilly, David Savard, Brayden Schenn, Tyler Seguin, Jordan Staal, and Tyler Toffoli. However, Marchand and O’Reilly were the two most likely to have their names drawn had the NHL gone to China. 

ROC also had six possible candidates – Andrei Loktionov, Yevgeni Kuznetsov, Yevgeni Malkin, Dmitri Orlov, Alexander Ovechkin, and Andrei Vasilevski. Loktionov had the best chance of joining the TGC because he plays with Spartak Moscow in the KHL, but he wasn’t named to the team. Had the NHLers gone, you can be certain Ovechkin, Malkin, Kuznetsov, and Vasilevski would have been invited.

Vasilevski, the 27-year-old goalie for the Tampa Bay Lightning, would have been aiming for his own TGC history. Of those 29 members of the Club, not one is a goalie. Martin Brodeur (CAN) and Dominik Hasek (CZE) were the closest to TGC glory, but neither could win gold at the World Championship.

Beijing will also see only one active and current TGC member: Canada’s Eric Staal. He was the 23rd member of the TGC after Canada won gold on home ice at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. In fact, there are only five active TGC members, and all are Canadian: Jonathan Toews, Patrice Bergeron, Sidney Crosby, Corey Perry, and Staal.

So there you have it. If Sweden wins Olympic gold, the Triple Gold Club will expand by two names. If Tre Kronor fails to reach the top of the podium, hockey’s most exclusive club will remain at 29 names – at least until the World Championship in Helsinki in May.