With the need for young blood in Calgary to keep their glimmer of a playoff chance alive, Lance Bouma has been called up to the show from the Abbotsford Heat. Lance Bouma is from the Alberta area and is a favourite of Brent Sutter. He is a great two way player and has had a very modest season with the Heat, putting up 11 goals, 19 assists, and 49 penalty minutes in 49 games so far this season. The former Vancouver Giant will take the spot of the freshly retired Craig Conroy.
Conroy was placed on waivers by the Flames before the All Star break. After he cleared waivers he was asked to report to Abbotsford to join the Heat and was told there is not much of a role left for him with the big team. Conroy was also given the option to retire and take a desk job as the assistant AGM to Jay Feaster. Conroy took the road less traveled and retired. Too bad Conroy didn’t report; the Abbotsford Heat could have used a leader like Craig Conroy in the dressing room.
Meanwhile, the Heat have been on a ten game road trip that has them playing ten games in nine cites in just twenty days. So far on this road trip the Heat have a record of 3-4-0-1, with two divisional games left to play. If the Heat can manage to win against two of their divisional rivals to cap their road trip, they can gain some much needed ground in the North division race and finish the road trip above .500. First up they have the second place Hamilton Bulldogs and then they finish up against the seventh place Rochester Americans.
The Heat is one point ahead off the fourth place Toronto Marlies, but the Marlies do have a game in hand. For now the Heat will have to sit in fifth place, awaiting the results of the next Marlies game to see if they can take over sole possession of fourth place. The Abbotsford Heat will then come home this weekend to square off with the Toronto Marlies in a two game set that could give them even more ground in the tight race for the North division title.
After their brief home stint with the Toronto Marlies, the Heat will travel to Calgary to play two games at the Saddle Dome against the Oklahoma City Barons (the farm club for the Edmonton Oilers). This will all be a part of the festivities leading up to the Heritage Classic outdoor hockey game in Calgary at McMahon Stadium between the Calgary Flames and the Montreal Canadians.
At week’s end the Abbotsford Heat are 23-22-2-5 and currently sit in fifth place in the North Division with 59 points. Don’t forget to look for student nights at the AESC when the Heat is in town. For more insider information on the Abbotsford Heat, the AHL, and the NHL, follow me on twitter @JustinOrly.