The Abbotsford Heat will host the Grand Rapids Griffins on Saturday, April 25th at 7pm in Abbotsford as both teams begin their quest for the Calder Cup.
After spending some time in Calgary with the Flames, a few familiar faces will return to the successful Heat to help them achieve their AHL goal.
As we all remember, Sven Baertschi was sent to Abbotsford earlier in the season, where he has since then become a powerful part of the AHL team. Ben Hanowski, Markus Granlund, Chad Billins, and Chris Breen are the most recent Flames transplants who have all returned to Abby to help the Heat in their run for the cup. As well, Ben Street, Blair Jones, Corban Knight, Max Reinhart, and Derek Smith are also in Abbotsford after spending some time with Calgary.
Most notable was Joni Ortio, who was called up when Karri Ramo was hurt in early 2014. Ortio sat on the bench as backup for Reto Berra during Ramo’s absence. Ortio got his chance to play net for the Flames February 27, 2014 against the LA Kings. After playing 8 more games with Calgary, Ortio was sent back down to Abbotsford to play top spot in net for the Heat, where he remains, hoping to defend the net during the Calder Cup.
There have been recent signings for the Calgary Flames that will also make their appearance in this year’s Calder Cup run with the Abbotsford Heat. Ryan Culkin, Keegan Kanzig, and Coda Gordon have been assigned to Abbotsford most recently, although they have yet to make an appearance with the team. Brett Kulak, Morgan Klimchuk, and Emile Poirier have also been assigned to the Heat and have already made quite the impact in the AHL.
An amalgamation of new faces, returning members, and first appearances could fill the roster during the AHL Abbotsford Heat’s playoffs this season. We will have to wait a few more days to see what the final roster will look like.
You can read all about the lead-up to the playoffs on the Abbotsford website.