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June 17, 2010

Thunder acquires All-Star left wing

STOCKTON - The Stockton Thunder, the ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League's Edmonton Oilers, acquired 2009 ECHL All-Star left wing Aaron Clarke from the Wheeling Nailers, completing the original Dec. 4, 2009 transaction that sent right wing Colin Power acquired to Wheeling for future considerations, Thunder coach Matt Thomas said Wednesday.??

Clarke is one of 18 players named to the Thunder 2009-10 season ending roster, which includes 17 ECHL-contracted players who appeared in a Thunder uniform this past season. Of the 18 players, eight can be issued Qualifying Offers, which must be submitted to the ECHL on July 1.??

"Aaron is an exciting, point-per-game caliber player that we couldn't pass up on the chance to acquire," Thomas said. "With players like Oren Eizenman getting a chance to move onto the American Hockey League, we're hoping that possibly, a player like Aaron can come in and use his skill and leadership to help replace those minutes and points."

??The 5-foot-9, 185-pound Clarke, 27, comes off a 2009-10 season where he shattered career highs in goals (25), points (57) and assists (32), and ranked  third on the Nailers in scoring and goals. Contributing on the penalty kill, his five shorthanded goals, a career-high as well, led the ECHL.??

Clarke also earned three separate trips to the AHL on professional tryout agreements (PTO) that season, combining for seven points (3g-4a) and six penalty minutes in 32 games with Binghamton, Providence and Albany.??In 159 career ECHL games with Wheeling, spanning three seasons (2007-10), he has scored 130 points (55g-75a) and totaled 106 penalty minutes.??

Previously, Clarke split four years (2003-07) of his college playing career between Niagara University and Robert Morris University (NCAA), suiting up in 95 games while scoring 27 goals, 63 points (27g-36a) and totaling 114 penalty minutes.??

Clarke joins the Thunder season-ending roster, which under ECHL guidelines can include up to 20 players. Season-ending rosters cannot include any players who did not sign an ECHL contract in 2009-10 (i.e. players who were under contract to teams in either the National Hockey League or the American Hockey League). ??

The Thunder season ending roster is as follows:??


  • LW J.F. Caudron
  • LW Aaron Clarke
  • C Chris D'Alvise
  • C Oren Eizenman
  • LW Igor Gongalsky
  • LW Jason Pitton
  • RW Brett Hemingway
  • RW Colin Hemingway
  • LW Garet Hunt
  • LW Matt Robinson
  • C Craig Valette


  • Anthony Aiello
  • Ryan Constant
  • Justin DaCosta
  • Trevor Hunt
  • Kenny MacAulay
  • Daryl Marcoux
  • Steve Vanoosten

Each team is entitled to reserve rights to a maximum of eight players from the list of 20 by extending a qualifying offer no later than July 1. Of the eight qualified players, no more than four can be veterans (260 regular season professional hockey games played as of the start of the 2010-11 season). Players on open qualifying offers cannot be traded. Teams are not required to extend a qualifying offer to players who sign a contract prior to July 1. ??The qualifying offer must remain open for acceptance until Aug. 1 at which time the qualifying offer becomes null and void and the team may sign the qualified player to any salary or may elect to take no further action. Teams that extend a valid qualifying offer to a non-veteran player shall retain the rights to that qualified player for one playing season. A team that extends a valid qualifying offer to a veteran player will retain the rights to that veteran until Aug. 1.??

After Aug. 1, if the veteran player is not signed to a contract by the team, the veteran shall be deemed a restricted free agent and shall be entitled to seek and secure offers of employment from other ECHL teams. Restricted free agents may not be traded. When a restricted free agent receives a contract offer from a team other than the team with the player's rights and the restricted free agent wishes to accept the contract offer, the restricted free agent and the offering member must, within 24 hours, notify the ECHL, the team with the player's rights and the Professional Hockey Players' Association.??

The member with the player's rights shall have seven days after the date it is notified to exercise its right to match the contract offer. If a restricted free agent is not signed to either an offer sheet or a contract by an ECHL team by Aug. 31, the player shall be deemed an unrestricted free agent.

??Qualifying Offers from each individual team are due to the ECHL league office on July 1, 2010.

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