Forward Kevin Clark, one of the most popular players on the St. John's IceCaps, is leaving the team to play in with the Krefeld Penguins in Germany's elite league.
On Monday, the IceCaps and parent Winnipeg Jets announced the 25-year-old Clark was being released from his standard player contract. Clark was in the last year of a two-year American Hockey League deal.
When reached Monday afternoon, Clark said playing overseas was an option for him for some time and he had deliberated long and hard before making his decision.
He insisted his decision had nothing to with his relationship with IceCaps' head coach Keith McCambridge — "It's fine and always has been" — or with the fact St. John's playoff aspirations are slipping away. After a 7-3 loss to the Connecticut Whale Sunday, a game in which Clark scored his sixth goal of the season, the IceCaps remain in 13th place in the AHL's Eastern Conference, from which only eight teams will advance to the playoffs.
"That (the playoff picture) or our record had nothing to do with this," said Clark.
In 108 games with St. John's, the small (five-foot-eight, 180-pound) but always energetic Clark had 18 goals and 39 points. He had eight points this season.
More in Tuesday's Telegram.
This is a corrected version.