Clackson, Duddy re-sign with Gladiators

DULUTH -- The Gwinnett Gladiators added to their roster with the re-signing of forward Chris Clackson and defenseman Sean Duddy on Tuesday.

Clackson spent half of last year in the AHL with Houston, including the last three months of the season, after starting with Gwinnett.

Duddy was brought in during the final weeks of the 2011-12 season after he finished his senior season at Ohio State University.

That brings the Gladiators' roster to five officially signed players with training camp about a month away and the threat of another NHL lockout looming.

"I took most of the summer and weighed my options," Clackson said. "With the NHL lockout, it's a confusing summer -- for a lot of guys. It's the NHL, but it affects everybody.

"I talked to a few (AHL) teams about camps, but for the time being, everything is up in the air. Not a lot of teams are doing a whole lot right now."

The Pittsburgh native had 23 points in 31 games with Gwinnett last season, just his second year in the pro ranks. Clackson was signed by the Gladiators and began the year here, but was called up to Houston for a second time on Feb. 1 and stayed with the Aeros through their first-round playoff loss to Oklahoma City. The 25-year-old had a goal, an assist and 34 penalty minutes in 28 games with Houston.

"When I first left for Houston, they told me to pack a bag for the weekend," Clackson said. "So I had clothes for three or four days. At first I was up for two weeks, so I made a couple trips to the laundromat."

He came back to Gwinnett during the AHL all-star break and played one game for the Gladiators before getting called back to Houston.

"They told me it would be more permanent," Clackson said. "I was living in a hotel for quite a while, but it was good. Just like in Gwinnett, the people in Houston treated me well and I had a good rapport with the coaching staff. I got to play enough to show what I could do."

He got a regular shift, switching between the third and fourth lines for the Aeros. The team's system stressed aggressive play, which suits Clackson.

"In Gwinnett, I was able to be a little more offensive, to score more goals and have more freedom," he said. "Up at the next level, they needed me to play a more physical game and be defensively responsible."

Clackson also split time between the AHL and ECHL as a rookie in 2010-11. He had 24 points in 46 ECHL games (Cincinnati and Greenville), while also playing in 17 games with the Rochester Americans.

The 6-foot, 205-pound forward made his pro debut with AHL Adirondack in the spring of 2010 after completing his college career at Western Michigan. Clackson put up 36 points in 129 collegiate games with the Broncos.

Clackson has been training in Chicago this summer with his brother, Matt, who played for the AHL Wolves last season and just signed with the Washington Capitals. Clackson is planning to stay in Chicago until closer to when camps begin -- be that AHL or ECHL.

"A lot of things are still up in the air," he said. "The only thing that's for sure is if the AHL doesn't work out, I'll be in Gwinnett for the first day of camp in October. Obviously I want to play at the highest level possible. If that's Gwinnett to start the season, I'm good with that. I had a really good time in there last season."

Duddy returns to the Gladiators for his first full professional season. He earned four points (one goal, three assists) in seven games following his final season at OSU. He also skated in all four Kelly Cup playoff games with Gwinnett last year and picked up one assist.

Last year as a Buckeye, Duddy had 14 points (one goal, 13 assists) in 35 games. The 23-year-old blueliner finished with 24 points (two goals, 22 assists) in 124 career games.

A native of Ann Arbor, Mich., Duddy was a two-time team captain at Ohio State. He was the 2009 Coaches Award winner, a three-time Ohio State scholar-athlete and two-time academic All-Big Ten selection and Big Ten distinguished scholar.

Prior to attending Ohio State, Duddy skated one season with Wichita Falls Wildcats of the North American Hockey League in 2007-08 and was named the Wildcats' defensive player of the year.