CHARLOTTE, NC—The Charlotte Checkers have agreed to terms with ex-Calgary Flames forward Daniel Tkaczuk and former ECHL All-Star Game MVP Frank Doyle, general manager and head coach Derek Wilkinson announced today. The two veterans add a nice mix of skill and experience to the Checkers’ lineup.
Tkaczuk, a former first-round NHL draft pick, comes to Charlotte after spending the last six seasons in the German Elite League, Finnish Elite League and Italian League.
The 6-foot-1, 190-pound winger from Toronto, Ontario also played four seasons in the American Hockey League, winning a Calder Cup Championship in 2000 with the Saint John Flames. He enjoyed a mid-season call-up to the Calgary Flames in 2000-01, scoring four goals and seven assists in 19 NHL games.
“Daniel came to us through a recommendation from New York Rangers pro scout Peter Stephan,” said Wilkinson. “He has top-end speed and great play-making abilities and will certainly be an offensive leader for us.”
Prior to joining the professional ranks, Tkaczuk spent four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League where he notched 334 points (145g, 189a) in 238 games and was named a Canadian Hockey League First Team All-Star. He also helped Canada to a silver medal at the 1999 World Junior Hockey Championship and led the team in scoring, while being named to the All-Tournament team.
Doyle, 29, also comes to the Checkers after spending last season in the German Elite League. The native of Guelph, Ontario posted a 17-20-9 record with a 3.07 goals against average and .903 save percentage in 47 games with the Cologne Sharks.
Prior to his stint in Europe, Doyle signed an NHL deal with New Jersey and played three seasons in the AHL for the Lowell Devils and Albany River Rats. In all three AHL seasons he led his team in games played, wins, goals against average and save percentage. In 2007-08, he won the Man of the Year award for outstanding contributions to community and charitable organizations.
Doyle played one ECHL season with the Idaho Steelheads in 2004-05, posting a 32-13-4 record with a 2.16 GAA and .916 save percentage. He took home Most Valuable Player honors at the 2005 ECHL All-Star Game and was named to the ECHL All-Rookie Team.
Prior to turning pro, Doyle played at the University of Maine with current Checkers forward Michel Leveille and won a Hockey East Championship in 2004.
“We are pleased to find Frank this late in the season,” added Wilkinson. “He is an excellent goalie and should add stability to a position that has been in flux since game one.”
In a separate transaction, goaltender Billy Sauer was recalled to the Lake Erie Monsters of the AHL.
The Checkers (4-3-1) are at home for 5 of the next 6 games. They will host the East Division-leading Elmira Jackals (7-2-1) tonight at 7p.m. at Time Warner Cable Arena. Ticket information can be obtained by calling 704-342-4-ICE or visiting www.gocheckers.com.