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Thunder Re-Sign Gauthier; Add NHL Experience to D

Monday, February 1st
Thunder Re-Sign Gauthier; Add NHL Experience to D

Wichita, KS (August 5th) - The Wichita Thunder, proud member of the ECHL and powered by Toyota, announced on Wednesday that they have agreed to terms with forward Danick Gauthier (GO-tee-ay) and defenseman Ray Macias (MAH-see-us) for the upcoming 2015-16 season.

“These are two key guys that we are bringing into the fold for next season,” commented Head Coach Kevin McClelland. “Danick is a fantastic offensive player who is dangerous with the puck on his stick. Ray is a solid addition to our defensive corps who has spent time in both the NHL and AHL.”

Gauthier, 23, returns for another season in Wichita after being assigned last October by the Tampa Bay Lightning. A native of Brossard, Quebec, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound forward had a career year with the Thunder, notching 68 points (29g, 39a) in 66 games and was selected to the ECHL All-Star Game. Gauthier was tied for second in the league in power play goals (12), and second in power play points (27). In 104 games in the ECHL, the fourth-year forward has 93 points (38g, 55a) with Wichita and Florida. He also has 17 points (8g, 9a) in 60 career games with the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League (AHL).

Prior to turning pro, Gauthier played 219 career games in the QMJHL, amassing 146 points (76g, 70a) with the Saint John Sea Dogs and Shawinigan Cataractes. His best season came during 2011-12 when he tallied 47 goals and 86 points in 66 games with the Sea Dogs.

Macias, 28, begins his ninth season as a pro and first in Wichita. A native of Long Beach, California, the 6-foot-1, 200-pound blue liner was a fourth round draft pick of the Colorado Avalanche (#124 overall) in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. During his rookie season, Macias played in 42 games with the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League (AHL) registering 13 points (4g, 9a). He made his NHL debut with the Avalanche on April 3rd, 2009. Overall, he appeared in seven total games with Colorado and 178 games in the AHL from 2008-2012 totaling 62 points (18g, 47a).

He spent two seasons overseas before signing with the Utah Grizzlies last January. Overall, Macias has appeared in 67 games in the ECHL, collecting 33 points (8g, 25) with Johnstown, Reading and Utah. Prior to turning pro, Macias played five season with the Kamloops Blazers of the WHL. He piled up 184 points (66g, 118a) in 280 career games and finished the 2006-07 season with the most points by a defenseman in the league (70).

Macias and Gauthier join Andrew Blazek, Ryan Ruikka, Kenton Miller, Anthony De Luca, Todd Hosmer and Timothy Boyle to the roster that has been announced for the upcoming season.

Season tickets are on sale now. Don't delay! Call the Wichita Thunder office and visit with a season ticket rep today to learn more. Stay up-to-date on all the news during the off-season by visiting www.wichitathunder.com.

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About the ECHL

Began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states, the ECHL has grown into a coast-to-coast league with 28 teams in 21 states and one Canadian province for its 28th season in 2015-16. There have been 569 players who have started their career in the ECHL have gone on to play in the National Hockey League, including 28 who made their NHL debuts in the 2014-15 season. The ECHL had affiliations with 29 of the 30 NHL teams in 2014-15, marking the 18th consecutive season that the league had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL. Further information on the ECHL is available on its website at ECHL.com.