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Checkers announce season ending roster

June 16, 2008 - ECHL (ECHL) - Charlotte Checkers News Release


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Charlotte Checkers head coach and general manager, Derek Wilkinson announced the season-ending roster from the completed 2007-08 campaign.

The Checkers season-ending roster includes 19 players. Season-ending rosters may include up to 20 players. Season-ending rosters cannot include any players who did not sign an ECHL contract in 2007-08 (i.e. players who were under contract to teams in either the National Hockey League or the American Hockey League).

The Checkers season-ending roster includes: Mike Ayers, Kirk DeWaele, Kenny Smith, Kenton Smith, Mark Smith, Jared Nightingale, Matt Waddell, Jeff Kyrzakos, Chris Capraro, Lee Falardeau, Trevor Frischmon, Ryan Murphy, Dallas Steward, Kaleb Betts, Mike Bayrack, Justin Maiser, Blake Bellefeuille, Shawn Vinz and Colin Sinclair who comes over in a completion of a trade with the Idaho Steelheads that included future considerations.

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 2008-09 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 August 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 August 1. After August 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 August 31, the player shall be deemed an unrestricted free agent.

ECHL:

Began in 1988-89 with five teams playing in four states, the Premier ‘AA' Hockey League has grown into a coast-to-coast league that will have 24 teams in 16 states and British Columbia playing 864 games from Oct. 17, 2008 to Apr. 4, 2009. Nineteen of the 24 teams have played at least five years in their current city.

The third-longest tenured professional hockey league behind only the National Hockey League and the American Hockey League, the ECHL averaged 4,174 per game last season, marking the fourth year in row and the 16th time in the last 18 years that the league has averaged over 4,000 fans. The league has drawn over four million fans each of the last five years and 11 times in the past 12 seasons.

The Checkers are gearing up for their 16th season of play as a member of the ECHL. In the team's 15-year history, the Checkers have made the playoffs 11 times including four consecutive playoff appearances to date. Season tickets are on sale now with full-season packages starting at just $396. For season ticket information, please call 704-342-4-ICE or visit www.gocheckers.com.


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