MacDonald Signs with Panthers

Updated: February 18, 2016

The Clarenville Caribous recently learned that one of their key defenseman, Franklin MacDonald has left the organization to join the GMB Nottingham Panthers in the UK. The loss of MacDonald comes unexpectedly and unannounced.

Ivan Hapgood provided an update as to what had happened to MacDonald stating:

I want to update our fans on the Franklin Macdonald situation. When I signed him back in the fall I signed him with the understanding that if he was to find a game at the pro level or overseas I would release him immediately as long as it was before Jan 10th. His overseas agent was constantly looking for work for him, which I had no problem with and the first weekend after Christmas prior to Jan 10th deadline he was close to a deal so we both agreed he take the weekend off and give me the opportunity to bring in another import to get 2 games played, towards the required 6 needed, if Frankie was to find work elsewhere. Hence Parker Dieghan . So on Jan 10th I was left with a decision, keep Parker or bring back Frankie . So that a second person would be privy to the conversation, in the company of Dustin Russell I made a call to Frankie at which time I advised him that if he was to commit today and we resign him, he would not get a release after that date, he assured us that if we resigned him he was committed 100% for the remainder of the year, so then it was decision time, and as a group we decided to resign him. He played 3 games this past weekend, and not a word about anything, until today, which happens to be deadline day for overseas signings. It is now in the hands of the powers to be HNL, Hockey Canada, IIHF, to deal with, but as stated in our conversation with Franklin on Jan 10th, we will not grant a release at this time, as we have an obligation to our league, fans, sponsors, volunteers and our other players who have worked so hard to make it this far while overcoming many obstacles this year. The purpose of this is not to criticize Franklin or say this or that should have been done, just to inform our supporters and hockey fans in general how this unfolded. With Sweetland out and losing Roach with a separated shoulder in game 3, it certainly makes this pill much harder to swallow, its still in my throat since 8:30 AM today.

The loss of MacDonald is another major blow to the Clarenville Caribous who have learned they will be without defenseman Brandon Roache and Centerman Andrew Sweetland. This puts the Caribous in a huge hole as they head into weekend action to face the Corner Brook Royals in Game 6 of their semi-final series.

It is obvious that the Clarenville Caribous and Hapgood were caught off-guard by MacDonald’s sudden departure. What is more surprising is that MacDonald’s agent contacted Hockey Canada directly to secure an international release, bypassing Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador. It appears that Hockey Canada has granted the release without consultation with HNL. This decisions is now being appealed.

Keep checking the Newfoundland Hockey Talk Discussion Forum for more updates as this story continues to develop and here for the latest information.

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