It was inevitable that the Barons would fill the final two vet spots on their team. The AHL allows for four non-goaltending veterans (based on # of games played) on each squad. The Barons had two – Dane Byers and Josh Green. Now, they’ve sealed up all four spots by signing Jonathan Cheechoo, and announced today, defenseman Brett Clark.
The one missing piece on the OKC AHL franchise was leadership. Josh Green is your captain, but they needed more. Brett Clark is your Bryan Helmer version 2.0 with a ton more NHL experience and simply better skills. That experience comes as recent as last season where he played as a Tampa Lightning defender.
He’s a good player. A solid AHL vet who likely could play a nice role in other cities where they have NHL teams. But the lockout pushed everyone down a notch, and like Cheechoo, Clark was unsigned in the off season. I fully believe that both of these players would have skated for Oklahoma City in October if there hadn’t been a lockout. The timing and speed of these signings indicates to me that they’ve been on the radar of GM Bill Scott since this summer.
The hope is that both of these players are ready to go. They really don’t have a choice. The Barons play a three game road swing, in three different towns, in just four nights. The PR disaster of it all (and it’s a business, I know) is that these new faces begin with a new team while on the road. AHL Live it is me hearties.
Also noted in the announcement of Clark was that Jordan Henry had been released from his PTO after 20 games.
The Oklahoma City Barons signed defenseman Brett Clark to an American Hockey League contract, General Manager Bill Scott announced today.
Clark, a 6-0, 185-pounder from Wapella, Saskatchewan skated last season with the Tampa Bay Lightning where he played in all 82 games, scoring 17 points (2-15-17). Drafted in the 6th round (154th overall) by the Montreal Canadiens, Clark has played 681 games in the NHL with Montreal, Atlanta, Colorado and Tampa Bay scoring 185 points (45-140-185).
He is no stranger to hockey in the professional ranks. In all, he has appeared in 1095 games as a pro, scoring 377 points (93-284-377). That includes 308 AHL games with the Fredericton Canadiens, Chicago Wolves and Hershey Bears and 106 games over two seasons with the Orlando Solar Bears of the old International Hockey League.
Prior to turning pro, he played a season in Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League with the Melville Millionaires, a season with the University of Maine and a season with the Canadian National Team.