GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) — Mark Arcobello had a choice between shuttling to and from the minor leagues in North America and taking his talents to Europe.
Arcobello, who went to Europe a year for some stability before the NHL decided not to participate in the Olympics, said he is glad he took the path less traveled because it helped him make the U.S. national team.
“This opportunity kind of solidifies that I made the right decision,” said Arcobello, who spent time with the Edmonton Oilers, Nashville Predators, Pittsburgh Penguins, Arizona Coyotes and Toronto Maple Leafs organizations. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and if I’d still be going up and down between the minors and NHL right now, I’d be probably regretting it and wishing that I had left.”
Arcobello is one of the poster boys for this unpredictable, wide-open Olympic men’s hockey tournament that begins Wednesday with the U.S. against Slovenia and Russia playing Slovakia. Even though current NHL players aren’t taking part, 94 of the 300 Olympians have played at least one NHL game and every country has at least one former player.