Clark, a native of Kelvington, Sask., passed away Saturday at the age of 56 following a courageous battle with cancer.
“Donn Clark was very well respected as a player in the WHL before later becoming the General Manager of the Prince Albert Raiders,” commented WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. “Donn was a very passionate individual who worked hard to ensure small-market teams remained viable in the WHL.”
Friday night, the Raiders inducted Clark to the Club’s Wall of Honour in the Builder Category, in recognition of over a decade of Hockey Operations service.
Prior to joining the Raiders in a Hockey Operations capacity, Clark played 31 games with the team during the 1982-83 season. In all, he skated in 100 WHL games spread over the course of three seasons and three squads – the Saskatoon Blades, Nanaimo Islanders and Raiders.
Following his playing career, Clark moved in to coaching. He got his WHL start in 1991-92, serving two seasons as an assistant coach with the Tacoma Rockets.
In 1993-94, Clark took his first WHL head coaching position as he returned to the Raiders for two seasons. The 1994-95 season saw Clark guide the Raiders to a regular season record of 44-26-2 and a second place finish in the WHL’s East Division, before advancing to Game 7 of the WHL’s Eastern Conference Championship, ultimately falling in the deciding contest to the Brandon Wheat Kings.
From there, Clark moved on to serve as the bench boss for the Saskatoon Blades from 1995-96 through 1997-98.
Clark didn’t stray from the Raiders for long, returning to the Club for a second stint as Head Coach beginning in 2000-01. Eventually moving upstairs, Clark served as the Director of Hockey Operations and General Manager of the Raiders from 2001 through 2008. He was the architect for a Raiders team that made postseason appearances in three of those five seasons, including another run to the WHL’s Eastern Conference Championship during the 2005 WHL Playoffs.
In addition to his contributions in the area of Hockey Operations, Clark helped establish the Raider Presidents Club, and was dedicated to ensuring Raiders alumni remained closely connected following their playing days.
The WHL wishes to extend its deepest sympathies to the entire Clark family.