Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Giants finally sign up ace Canadian Clarke

By Stuart McKinley

Doug Christiansen has moved to plug the gap left by the departure of Derek LeBlanc by signing Aaron Clarke, a player that he’d been chasing all summer.

LeBlanc activated the two-week’s notice clause in his contract in order to return to Canada for personal reasons, leaving Christiansen to search for a replacement.

Former ECHL All-Star Clarke will now join the Giants’ Elite League title challenge, after Christiansen made a personal telephone call to the player.

“Aaron was a player I had targetted during the summer and I was very close to signing him, but he had other offers at the time,” said Christiansen.

“When it looked like Derek LeBlanc would be leaving I called some agents and found out that Aaron was still available.

“I then called him myself and his reaction was pretty much ‘where do I sign?’ which was great to hear.

“He’s a player that will have an impact in our team.”

With George Awada continuing in what is planned to be a temporary role with the Giants, the team will still have a full compliment of import players for Friday night’s Elite League clash with the Dundee Stars.

Christiansen will then have a decision to make when Clarke arrives — which he hopes will be next week after visa approval.

Elite League rules only allow 11 imports to play in each game and Clarke’s arrival will take the Giants to 13, although captain Jeremy Rebek remains on the injured list.

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