Thunderbirds trade McClendon to Mentor, receive Herron

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.- The Carolina Thunderbirds, proud members of the Federal Prospects Hockey League, have traded long-time goalie Frankie McClendon to the Mentor Ice Breakers in exchange for forward Chad Herron. 

“This is an emotional trade for us,” said general manager Jimmy Milliken, “we wanted to put Frankie in a position to succeed by helping him get more playing time, and that’s something we just couldn’t do here in Carolina. He told me and coach he wanted to go somewhere he could play more and we made it happen.”

McClendon has made four starts this season for the Thunderbirds, posting a 1.25 GAA and a .926 save percentage.

“I just want to thank the Carolina organization for a great three years here. From the coaching staff all the way down to the rink employees, thank you, and I can’t say enough about what they’ve meant to me. I’ve really enjoyed my time with the people and these great fans. I’m going to miss the warmer weather but I’m excited for this new opportunity,” said McClendon.

“We’re going to miss Frankie around the building for sure,” continued Milliken, “He’s always been a positive presence and respectful to everyone.”

Outside of a five-game stint with St. Clair Shores, McClendon has played under head coach Andre Niec for five straight seasons, dating back to when the two were part of the Berlin River Drivers.

“Frankie has been with me a long time, and I wish him the best of luck in his new chapter. He will always be remembered as a Thunderbird and he will always be a part of the championship team here,” said Niec.

“He wanted to be traded and coach and I talked for a while and really tried to pick somewhere where he could get starts and have a chance to play,” said Milliken.

The Thunderbirds will face Mentor this weekend, ending the season series with the Ice Breakers. Friday and Saturday, the Thunderbirds will be at home for Hurricanes Night and Cancer Awareness Night. On Sunday, the series shifts to Mentor where the Thunderbirds will play the Ice Breakers for the final time this season.