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O F F I C I A L

F A N

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FACEOFF FACE COMING ON STRONG

Rookie pro Keith Seabrook has been a revelation on the Heat blueline this season. PAGE 3

TRANSITION GAME

Traded twice during the month of July, former Atlanta Thrasher Colin Stuart has adjusted well to life in the Calgary Flames organization. PAGE 4

A DAY IN THE LIFE Heat equipment manager Shawn “Stixy” Smith gives a behind-thescenes look at his gameday routine. PAGE 12-13

photo by John Morrow

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A2

ABBOTSFORD NEWS

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

FACE

ABBOTSFORD’S PRO HOCKEY TEAM

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ABBOTSFORD NEWS

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A3

FACE

ABBOTSFORD’S PRO HOCKEY TEAM

Seabrook shines on blueline HEAT ROOKIE DEFENCEMAN IMPRESSED PLAYFAIR WHEN THE PRICE OF POKER WENT UP DURING 2009 WHL PLAYOFFS

John Morrow photo GrantGRANGER ABBOTSFORD NEWS

Last spring, the Calgary Flames were ousted in the first round of the NHL playoffs by the Chicago Blackhawks. So then-assistant coach Jim Playfair began checking out the club’s junior team, the Calgary Hitmen, who were still involved in the Western Hockey League post-season wars. It didn’t take long for Playfair to zero in on Hitmen defenceman Keith Seabrook, who was in the midst of racking up four goals and 15 points in 18 WHL playoff games. “His ability to be a real good player as the com-

petition went up, as the price of poker went up [was impressive]. I thought he really rose to the occasion,” says Playfair, who as head coach of the Abbotsford Heat now relies on Seabrook. “There have been some games this year where he’s been far and away our best defenceman, with or without the puck. His shot on the power play is impressive. The thing I like about Seebs the most is his ability to be a calm player under pressure. I don’t think he has a panic button. But sometimes I don’t think he has his preparation at a high enough level to bring the good energy.” It hasn’t been a straight line to the professional

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ranks for the Delta native. As a young teen he decided to play for the Coquitlam Express of the B.C. Hockey League, forgoing the WHL route his older brother Brent had taken by joining the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the hopes of getting a U.S. college scholarship. “I talked to some guys who went to school, and I wasn’t as big as my brother or as highly touted as he was, so I thought it was a good backup plan to have,” says Seabrook. In his second BCHL season he was a key cog for the Burnaby Express as they won the 2006 RBC Cup, the national junior A championship. Then it was off to the University of Denver, where he had two goals and 13 points in 37 games. But being the money player he was, Seabrook missed the game action, especially after a 60-game regular season and 35 post-season battles with the Express. “I just realized it wasn’t as much hockey as I would have liked to play coming off that 95-game season in Burnaby,” says Seabrook. So he decided to join the Hitmen, scoring four goals and 17 points in his first season before notching 15 goals and 55 points last year. “It was a big transition year for me,” says Seabrook. “I underestimated the speed and the strength of that league, and coming in and getting injured in the middle of that season I felt like I was playing a catch-up game all year.” Just a couple of weeks after Burnaby’s triumph, Seabrook was selected in the second round of the NHL entry draft by the Washington Capitals. Although he’d gone to all the Caps camps, he seemed to be getting lost in the shuffle and he never did sign with them. Washington owned his rights until July 1, 2010, but since Seabrook had no more junior eligibility left, he had nowhere to play. Fortunately the Flames brass took a fancy to him and made a deal with Washington. “I have no idea what was happening [with Washington],” says Seabrook. “It was a shock to me after the season not to have a place to go, but luckily I had a real good season in Calgary and they were there watching me and that worked out perfect to get a trade to over here.” Playfair and Seabrook share some similarities. They are Continued on A9

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ABBOTSFORD NEWS

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

FACE

ABBOTSFORD’S PRO HOCKEY TEAM

Transition game AFTER A TURBULENT SUMMER, COLIN STUART HAS FOUND A HOME WITH HEAT DanKINVIG ABBOTSFORD NEWS

was a member of the United States’ entry in the 2009 World Hockey Championships, held in Switzerland. Thus, when the American juniors toppled Canada 6-5 in overtime on Jan. 5 to snap Canada’s streak of five consecutive gold medals, you couldn’t wipe the smile off Stuart’s face. “The morning after (the U.S.) won, when I got to the rink, the guys were pretty quiet,” Stuart related with a chuckle. “So I just asked quietly, ‘What did you guys think of that game last night?’ For the most part, they came back with, ‘Well, we won five in a row.’ But I was trying to stress that you need to live in the present, that you’re only as good as your last game. I definitely made sure they knew who won.” Stuart, 27, arrived in the Calgary Flames organization in July of 2009 after being caught up in a whirlwind of NHL transactions. Up until last summer, his entire

These days, it’s good to be Colin Stuart. The Abbotsford Heat winger has been playing his best hockey of the season in the month of January, excelling in all three phases of the game – five-on-five, power play and penalty kill. In addition, the American-born forward got some powerful ammunition for the dressing-room chirping wars when the United States knocked off Canada in the gold medal game at the recent World Junior Championship. Stuart, who grew up in Rochester, Minnesota, is one of just two Americans on the Heat roster, along with defenceman Josh Meyers, and he has a personal connection to the World Juniors – his younger brother Mark, now a Boston Bruins defenceman, captained the gold medal-winning American entry at the 2004 tournament. Stuart himself has represented his country in international competition – he

professional hockey career had been spent in the system of the Atlanta Thrashers, who had drafted him in the fifth round back in 2001. He’d spent the previous two seasons bouncing between the Thrashers and the AHL’s Chicago Wolves, winning a Calder Cup with the Wolves in 2008, and his NHL resumé featured eight goals and five assists in 51 games with Atlanta. On July 1, Stuart was shipped to the Toronto Maple Leafs along with defenceman Garnet Exelby for Pavel Kubina and Tim Stapleton. Three weeks later, the Leafs packaged him to the Flames in a deal that saw Wayne Primeau head to Toronto. “It was crazy,” Stuart said, reflecting on his swap-meet summer. “I’d been with the same organization my entire pro career, and you kind of get comfortable in the situation you’re in. “It’s like changing jobs in the real world. There’s people you’re used to seeing, people you’re used to dealing with.

There’s a familiarity, and to get traded is a whole different thing.” From all accounts, Stuart has handled the transition well. This season with the Heat, the speedy forward has excelled in any role that head coach Jim Playfair has slotted him in. Stuart began the season on the third line alongside Garth Murray, and was effective in tandem with the veteran checking centre. Lately, he’s has been spending the bulk of his time on the top unit centered by Jason Jaffray, and he’s proven an able wingman for the Heat’s leading scorer. Through mid-January, Stuart was second on the Heat in scoring with 10 goals and 12 assists in 40 games, and he was on pace to easily surpass his previous career-high AHL points total of 29, established back in 2006-07 with Chicago. “He’s impressing me every day,” Playfair said of Stuart. “He’s proven he’s got NHL speed and NHL smarts.”

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ABBOTSFORD NEWS

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A5

FACE

ABBOTSFORD’S PRO HOCKEY TEAM

After being traded twice over the summer, Colin Stuart has quickly acclimatized himself to the Calgary Flames organization. The former Atlanta Thrasher has made himself at home on the Abbotsford Heat’s top line with Jafon Jaffray (15). John Morrow photo

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He’s also got an NHL paycheque. Stuart is in the final year of a three-year contract he signed with the Atlanta Thrashers, who drafted him in the fifth round back in 2001. Stuart is the only player on the Heat roster on a one-way contract – most of his teammates are on two-way deals that pay more when a player is recalled to the NHL, but less at the AHL level. Without a doubt, Stuart would prefer to be earning his NHL paycheque playing NHL hockey, but he’s determined to make the most of his time in Abbotsford. “I definitely want to be in the NHL – it’s the pinnacle of my profession, and until I get back there I won’t be entirely happy,” he said. “But it’s part of the business, and you’ve got to make the most of any situation you’re in. “I’m doing my best to put my best foot forward on the ice, and also help some of the young kids out as well.”

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ABBOTSFORD NEWS

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

FACE T

ABBOTSFORD’S PRO HOCKEY TEAM

A learning experience

HE

H C N E B

HEAT FIGURING OUT LOCATION LOGISTICS: PLAYFAIR In each edition of FACEOFF magazine, Abbotsford Heat head coach Jim Playfair sits down with the Abbotsford News to give fans the inside scoop on the team. Playfair spoke with Grant Granger in early January, prior to his team’s two-game sweep at home against the Texas Stars.

Q What are the challenges of being two

Broughtt y to you by

time zones away from everybody else in the league?

A “The challenges are absolutely the fact Jim PLAYFAIR

we do miss practice days on travel days. As a development organization it’s something we’re trying to look at to get a better grip on. “Our responsibility in the first year of this organization is to make sure the travel isn’t an excuse, it’s an advantage. So we’re trying to establish that. We’re doing something now where we’re going to go on a road trip and instead of getting up at four o’clock in the morning and catching the bus at five and getting on a plane at 7:30 in Vancouver and flying to Toronto then bus to the hotel, we’re going to try flying a red-eye – leave at 11

o’clock at night and get to Toronto, have a practice and see how that hooks us up for the next day. We’re willing to experiment and discuss with our players to see how they feel about it. I think I’d be better prepared to answer this question a year from now, not to beg off the question, but if we just say here’s our schedule and our travel flights, we’re giving up. We have to experiment and see how they feel and get their feedback.”

prairie. I don’t even know where we got to. In front of the police station was an old trailer with a telephone booth. We all got in the telephone booth and phoned the police. Then we got a fuel truck to come out and fuel us up. The fuel truck and cops got us all back to town. It was one hotel room, 21 players in one hotel room. We got to bed about four o’clock in the morning. The next morning we got up and rode the Greyhound bus back to Calgary. “Now it’s a humourous deal, but if my mom and dad are back in the middle of British Columbia (he grew up in Fort St. James, B.C.) and they ever found out their son was stuck in the middle of the prairie at 40 below with a little thin jacket catching a ride with the police and a fuel truck, they wouldn’t be very impressed with that. Maybe those stories are better left untold. “I was with the Oilers one time and we got smoked with lightning while flying. One time we were landing in Pittsburgh in a big snow storm. We came down on the runway sideways. The whole one side’s looking out seeing the snowplows

Q In all your years in the IHL and AHL

you must have had some travel nightmares?

A “Oh my God, yes. Those are grandchil-

dren stories. My kids laugh all the time because they’re off playing hockey and they didn’t believe what could happen, and now they’re starting to go, ‘Wow! We were stuck at the border for three hours the other night.’ And I’m going ‘Good for you, how did that go?’ “I remember playing junior one time the bus broke down New Year’s Eve and it was 40 below. Myself and four players hitchhiked from out in the middle of the

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ABBOTSFORD NEWS

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A7

FACE

ABBOTSFORD’S PRO HOCKEY TEAM

Heat head coach Jim Playfair (centre) keeps a close eye on his troops during a recent home game against the Rochester Americans. photo by John Morrow

of the trainers were riding in the back with all the equipment over to the airport at 5:30 on Boxing Day morning. I thought, ‘I wouldn’t be doing this if I were in the NHL.’ That was the one time I told myself, ‘This is a long ways from flying in a private jet in Calgary.’ That was the one pity party I had for myself.”

Q Speaking of charters, are you going to be curious to check in with the Moose to see how they’re doing with their prop-plane charter?

A “The Moose have been in the league for 10 years and

out in front of us. I’d rather not have my mom read all this stuff, just more worry for her.”

Q After six years of living the NHL lifestyle (as Calgary Flames assistant coach and head coach), how is it coming back to the AHL with regular-scheduled flights and regular hotels?

A “I’m very committed to making

in the NHL. I made the choice to come back to re-establish myself as a head coach. In making that decision I accepted everything that goes with it. “I will tell you one funny story. On Boxing Day, we came to the rink and the trainers and I loaded up the cube van and went to the airport. There’s only two seats in the cube van so the coaches and one

sure that this whole organization doesn’t feel like they’re above anybody else. We have enough players that have played in the NHL that no one cares what your story is. What they want to know is, are you prepared everyday to maximize the team’s ability to win? “I had a couple of options to stay

they’ve created enough revenue stream to finance a new situation they think is better. I’m much more concerned that we’re allowing our owners to get their feet on the ground, to put all the building blocks in place for this franchise to be successful for a lot of years. I don’t have a bunch of interest in trying to spend extra money to get a charter. I don’t think as an organization we need to go there yet.”

Q One last question, what’s with the goatee? A “Well, you know, it was Christmas and I’ve had it on and off. Now I see some of the players wearing it. They must have waited for the coach to see if I would wear it. My wife likes it. Let’s leave it at that. I need some paint (to cover the grey hair). I’m getting old.”

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A8

ABBOTSFORD NEWS

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

FACE

ABBOTSFORD’S PRO HOCKEY TEAM

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ABBOTSFORD NEWS

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

FACE

ABBOTSFORD’S PRO HOCKEY TEAM

Fraternity of brothers

photo by John Morrow

From A3

both blueliners and both have highly-touted older brothers who also played defence. Larry Playfair – like Jim a first-round pick – played more than 600 NHL games, while Jim got into just 21. Playfair has also coached the Regehr boys, long-time Flame Robyn and younger sibling Richie, who is now playing in Germany after just six career NHL games. Google Keith Seabrook and almost matching the number of hits for him are headlines reading “Keith, Seabrook named to the Canadian Olympic team” – referring to Brent and his Chicago Blackhawks blueline partner Duncan Keith. “There’s always been high expectations. I’ve always held high expectations for myself, and

with all the success he’s had it definitely adds to the pressure a little bit,” says Keith. “But I’m confident in myself that if things keep going the way they’re going and keep working hard, that one day I’m going to get my shot.” As of Jan. 14, Seabrook had played 43 games for the Heat, collecting six goals and 14 points. “I think I’ve had a good season,” says Seabrook of his first pro campaign. “I don’t think I’ve hit my peak yet, but the second half of the year and playoffs is always usually my strength in the season.” If that happens it will mean Playfair can look forward to a rerun of what he watched last spring, and that’s a rerun he would certainly enjoy viewing.

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ABBOTSFORD NEWS

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

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ABBOTSFORD’S PRO HOCKEY TEAM

Coming attractions CHRIS CHELIOS LEADS THE CHICAGO WOLVES INTO ABBOTSFORD IN FEBRUARY

Chicago

Toronto

WOLVES

MARLIES

NHL AFFLIATE: Atlanta Thrashers IN ABBY: Feb. 4-5 RECORD (as of Jan. 14): 21-16-0-2, 44 points, fifth in West Division PLAYER TO WATCH: Chris Chelios, D

Chris Chelios fends off Heat forechecker Ryley Grantham during a game in Chicago.

Chelios, perhaps the greatest American player ever to lace up skates, turns 48 on Jan. 25, but he’s still going strong with the AHL’s Chicago Wolves. The 25-year NHL veteran owns a trio of Stanley Cup rings (Montreal in 1986, Detroit in 2002 and 2009) as well as three Norris trophies as the NHL’s top defenceman. The Detroit Red Wings elected not to re-sign Chelios following the 2008-09 campaign, so he signed a tryout contract with the Wolves. Chelios has been a steadying presence on Chicago’s blueline – his 18 points are tops among Wolves D-men, and his +20 rating is second-best on the team. B.C. CONTENT: Jason Krog, C, Fernie; Andrew Kozek, LW, Sicamous; Steve McCarthy, D, Trail

NHL AFFLIATE: Toronto Maple Leafs IN ABBY: Feb. 8-9 RECORD (as of Jan. 14): 15-17-5-2, 37 points, seventh in North Division PLAYER TO WATCH: Christian Hanson, RW Hanson’s father David starred in the 1977 cult classic film Slap Shot, and the Maple Leafs prospect did his old man proud with a Gordie Howe Hat Trick – goal, an assist, and a fight – in a 3-1 victory over the Heat on Oct. 20. Hanson signed a free-agent deal with the Maple Leafs last spring after wrapping up a four-year career with the NCAA’s University of Notre Dame. He’s currently second on the Marlies’ scoring list with 21 points (nine goals, 12 assists) in 22 games, and he’s one of only eight Toronto players on the positive side of the plusminus ledger with a +5 rating. He’s already gotten into six games with the Maple Leafs this season, posting one assist and four penalty minutes in that span. B.C. CONTENT: Greg Scott, C, Victoria

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ABBOTSFORD NEWS

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

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ABBOTSFORD NEWS

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

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ABBOTSFORD NEWS

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

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play

Dave SHELDON

play

by

ABBOTSFORD’S PRO HOCKEY TEAM

All-star centre Jaffray delivers the goods Jason Jaffray sees the ice well. Through his first 40-plus games this year as a valuable member of the Abbotsford Heat, the veteran forward has been relied upon in almost every situation and has delivered in full. It’s his vision off the ice that led Jaffray here to the Fraser Valley. After more than four seasons with the Manitoba Moose, the AHL affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks, he needed a change of scenery. “I would have kicked myself after my career was over if I hadn’t given myself a shot to become a regular NHL player,” Jaffray stated in a recent interview. “After five seasons with the Vancouver Canucks organization, I started to feel as though I had ‘career AHL player’

written on me. Vancouver is a great organization, but other organizations were out there that would give me a greater opportunity to get myself to the National Hockey League. I had to explore those options.” Jaffray’s exploration led him right to the Calgary Flames, and subsequently to the Abbotsford Heat. After a strong Flames training camp, Jaffray was the last player sent to the Flames affiliate here in the Fraser Valley . . . and he was sent with a message. Work hard, lead by example and be ready. “We discussed very early with Jason on how to make it to the NHL,” Heat head coach Jim Playfair said. “When Jason identified that not only did he have to work hard in the offen-

sive zone, but all over the ice, that is when you saw a change in Jason. He changed from a good player to a player who can change what is happening out there.” Change the game indeed. In his first game back against his old mates in Manitoba on Oct. 13, Jaffray delivered a shorthanded breakaway goal that sealed the deal in a 4-2 Heat win, the first victory as a franchise, home or away. Since then, the pride of Olds, Alta. has set the standard for performance with the Heat. Jaffray leads the team in goals, assists, points, plus/ minus, shorthanded goals and power play goals. In addition, Jaffray was named the Heat player of the month for November and was selected for the

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ABBOTSFORD NEWS

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

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ABBOTSFORD’S PRO HOCKEY TEAM

AHL All-Star Game, representing Team Canada on Jan. 19 in Portland, Maine. In early January, Jaffray spent part of a week up in Calgary with the parent club, playing in a pair of games before being returned to Abbotsford for a weekend series with the Texas Stars. While you may have seen other players grumble or mope about the re-assignment, the true professional put his head down and helped lead his team to back-to-back wins over the West Division leaders. Jaffray set up the game-winner and scored the insurance marker in the second game, as the Heat swept a home series against the same opponent for just the second time this season. It is when you need leadership the most, that you get true leadership. Jaffray delivers the goods in all categories.

Jason Jaffray has been the model of consistency for the Abbotsford Heat this season. John Van Putten photo

Dave Sheldon is the director of communications and broadcast for the Abbotsford Heat. He writes a monthly column for FACEOFF magazine.

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A16

ABBOTSFORD NEWS

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

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ABBOTSFORD’S PRO HOCKEY TEAM

MEET

Get to know your team at Abbotsford Chrysler

NUMBER

6

WE’RE IN THE FRASER VALLEY AUTO MALL

BRAD TOMPSON

TO BE WILD GREY HAIR SIX FOOTER WORKING ON IT GETTIN’ER DONE

JOHN LETKEMAN

WILD THING

Nickname: Born: Age: Height: Weight: Known for:

Nickname: Born: AGE: Height: Weight: Known for:

PAINFULLY WHO’S ASKING? TALL DRINK OF WATER HOW MUCH DOES A MULE WEIGH? SMARTER THAN HE LOOKS

KNUCKLES

Brad COLE Q If you were showing someone around your hometown of Miniota,

Manitoba, what’s the first local landmark you’d take them to see?

DICK BROCK LEON GRUN

Nickname: Born: AGE: Height: Weight: Known for:

IN A GALAXY FAR, FAR AWAY DOESN’T MATTER TALLER THAN THE KID ALL IN THE MIDDLE CHRISTMAS BAKING

LUCKY

ILLEGAL ALIEN CARBON DATING CAN NOT IDENTIFY JOLLY GREEN GIANT WHAT’S A HEN WEIGH? UP TO THE SECOND WEATHER REPORTS

THE KID

YESTERDAY PEACH FUZZ LEGAL AT DISNEYLAND SOAKING WET? SHOWING UP

OLD POISON

Nickname: Born: AGE: Height: Weight: Known for:

WHEN FROZEN DUNG WERE USED FOR PUCKS PREHISTORIC GETTING SHORTER BEFORE OR AFTER PRUNE SALAD EVERYONE KNOWS ED

Nickname: Born: Age: Height: Weight: Known for:

HATCHED FLINTSTONE ERA AFRAID OF WITHIN NASCAR SPECS LAST LAP

ROB FERGUSON

TYLER TOMPSON

ED REDFORD

Nickname: Born: AGE: Height: Weight: Known for:

BUBBA

LARRY SPROULE

Nickname: Born: AGE: Height: Weight: Known for:

KANE FEATHERSTONE

A “Definitely the Miniota C-Store. It’s the first stop when you come into

Nickname: Born: Age: Height: Weight: Known for:

Nickname: Born: Age: Height: Weight: Known for:

BIG BIRD

ENTERTAINER

IN A HURRY 90210 21” IN 1982 DON’T LIKE TO WAIT BETTER LATE THAN NEVER

THE ROOKIE

AS FERGIE OLD ENOUGH TO KNOW BETTER NOT QUITE NAPOLEON 12 STONES 2 PEBBLES HOOKING ANYTHING

town, and it helps that my parents own it. It’s a one-stop shop – you’ve got food, ice cream, gas, your liquor store, your insurance place. Everything’s there, all in one place. I always say there are 250 people (in Miniota), but I think there’s less than that.”

Q Besides hockey, which sports trophy would you most like to win? A “Growing up in a small town, you played every sport, because everybody needed to play to make a team. We played volleyball, soccer, baseball, everything. So I couldn’t really narrow it down to one sport. Now, I like to play golf in the off-season.”

Q So maybe the Green Jacket, from the Masters? A “Yeah, maybe. I actually run a golf tournament back home that probably seven or eight of these (Heat) guys come out for, and we have a good time. It’s a fund-raiser for the town. Everything kind of runs under one umbrella, so this money goes to minor hockey and other sports in town. And the Children’s Wish Foundation, some of the money goes to that. There’s usually a project in town that some of the money goes to, too. This will be our fourth year coming up, and it’s sold out every year.”

Q At times this season, you’ve been a real distinctive-looking guy on

the ice, sporting a big fu manchu moustache. What was the deal with that?

A “It started last year. We play this game, Moustache Boy, and I lost, so I had to let it grow for a month. I played well in that month, so I kept it for the remainder of the year. Then this year I started with it, and I think I’m going to go back to it for the rest of the season.”

Q What kind of reviews have your teammates given the moustache? A “Probably the biggest fan is Matt Pelech, but everyone seems to like it. They tell me I’m a more handsome man with a moustache. I don’t know if they’re just trying to keep me away from the girls, or what.”

Q What’s your perfect day in the off-season? A “I’d probably get up in the morning and work out, and maybe have coffee with my mom or dad at the store. Then I’d probably stop by my sister’s house and play with her kids for a while. I also bought some property back home, so last summer we were building a garage for it. I bought the house four years ago for $2,500 in Miniota. Me and my buddy lived in there for the summer and fixed it up, and I’ve rented it out every summer since then.”

Q 2,500 bucks for a house? A “I got pretty fortunate with that one. Real estate was cheap out there, but now, we’re finding that a lot of people are coming from the city and retiring. Matt Pelech came out to visit from Toronto, and he couldn’t believe that I had an actual standing house for $2,500.”


ABBOTSFORD NEWS

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

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FACE

ABBOTSFORD’S PRO HOCKEY TEAM

MEET NUMBER

28 GORD BALDWIN

THE HOTTEST REALITY GAME THIS WINTER

who wins t h e b l i n g?

Q If you were showing someone around your hometown of Winnipeg, what's the first local landmark you'd show them?

A "Probably Assiniboine Park, or Grand Beach, which is about an hour north of Winnipeg. It's actually really nice. Nobody expects there to be beaches and nice weather (in Manitoba), but there's actually nice sand and a huge lake. It's really popular."

Q You've been teammates with Heat goalie Matt Keetley for quite a

number of years, dating back to your WHL days with the Medicine Hat Tigers. What's your best Keetley story?

A "I've got too many. I remember the first time I ever skated with him in Medicine Hat. I didn't make the team that year – I was 16 and he would have been 17. We were staying out on the ice after everyone else had left, and I honestly took about 50 breakaways on him. He's exactly the same now as he was then – we'd chirp each other and bicker back and forth on every shot, and I didn't even know him at all. Now we do the exact same thing. It's a friendship we've built over the years. We've gone through everything together."

Q As a young guy, whose posters did you have on your wall? A "I was a little too young for the Jets era, but I remember going to a

y o u b e t h e j u r y.

couple of games there. I saw Gretzky and Brett Hull play. I liked Hull when I was younger, Steve Yzerman, Joe Thornton. Of course, I'm a defenceman!"

Q Which song on your iPod would you be a little embarrassed about if your teammates found out?

A "I've got a lot of those slow love songs – Lean on Me, that sort of thing. And I've got some pretty lovey country songs, like Bryan White's 'Wishing on Someone Else's Star.' I liked it when I was younger, but I don't know why it's on there now."

Q What's the worst job you've ever had? A "I washed semis for a summer. It was the hardest job I ever did. It was a power wash wand, but it was about five times as strong as that. I'd go out to the yard, find a semi and pull it into the bay and spray the whole thing down. Then each trucker would inspect his truck after, and if there was a speck of dust on it, he'd come in and give it to me. The first couple of months I'd take it, but the last summer I chirped back a little bit."

Q If you weren't in hockey, what line of work would you be pursuing? A "I've thought of a few things. I've always thought it would be cool to be a teacher. But the best job I've ever had was working at a softball complex. It was me and seven of my buddies, and all we did was rake chalk lines all summer. It was the most fun I've ever had – just being with the guys."

Q What's the best memory in your hockey career? A "The best memory would have to be winning the WHL championship in double overtime (in 2007 against the Vancouver Giants)."

go to abbynews.com to vote


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ABBOTSFORD NEWS

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

FACE

ABBOTSFORD’S PRO HOCKEY TEAM

stats

Our goal is to

assist your scoring chances

AHL STANDINGS, AS OF JAN. 15 WESTERN CONFERENCE

by reaching more buyers in our community.

North Division Hamilton Bulldogs Manitoba Moose Rochester Americans Abbotsford Heat Lake Erie Monsters Grand Rapids Griffins Toronto Marlies

W

L

OTL

SL

Pts

26 23 23 20 19 20 15

10 15 15 17 19 19 17

3 4 2 3 0 0 5

3 1 0 3 4 1 2

58 51 48 46 42 41 37

W

L

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SL

Pts

22 22 22 22 19 20 17

13 13 18 16 16 15 18

2 1 2 0 6 1 3

4 5 2 2 1 3 2

50 50 48 46 45 44 39

W

L

OTL

SL

Pts

25 24 24 21 21 19 19 12

11 13 16 15 17 15 20 21

1 1 3 1 1 5 2 8

4 2 0 4 3 2 0 2

55 51 51 47 46 45 40 34

W

L

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SL

Pts

29 21 20 18 16 17 15

9 15 17 18 17 21 19

0 2 1 2 3 2 3

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41 33 30 43 38 37 39 28 40 40 40 41 44 39 34 35 34 31 28 37

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30 27 28 33 36 29 21 25 21 21 22 26 24 22 14 19 21 26 20 16

47 46 42 42 42 41 39 39 38 38 38 38 37 36 35 35 35 35 34 33

West Division

THURSDAY

‘WOW’ IN THE WATER Karen Assels will be competing in the pool at the Special Olympics Summer Games this week. A32

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nnons? Who is the typical rsial ca Abbotsfordian? ntrove co Is it the aging conservausetive who works on a dairy ers to farm all week and attends r farm church on Sunday? fo Or is it someone younger, reason perhaps a couple with no religious affiliation, who moved to B.C.’s fifth-largest city because they get more bang for their home-buying buck than Metro Vancouver? There is no simple answer, mainly due to the fact Abbotsford’s 137,000-strong population is as diverse as they come. One thing is certain: Abbotsford and the makeup of its residents has changed dramatically, and the trend shows no sign of slowing. With a population that has more than doubled since 1981, 86 per cent of Abbotsford’s current residents are below 65 years of age. At 36.6, Abbotsford residents have the lowest average age of cities in the Lower Mainland and Valley, making Abbotsford one of the youngest cities in B.C. Continued on A4

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HE D t AY

If a pig loses is it disg its runtled voice, ?

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ABBOTSFORD NEWS

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

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ABBOTSFORD’S PRO HOCKEY TEAM

stats

Canada's Winter Tire Experts!

AHL TOP GOALIES AS OF JAN. 15 Braden Holtby, Hershey Cedrick Desjardins, Hamilton Jonathan Bernier, Manchester Michal Neuvirth, Hershey Chad Johnson, Hartford Cory Schneider, Manitoba Justin Peters, Albany Wade Dublielewicz, Houston Nathan Lawson, Bridgeport Mike McKenna, Lowell Scott Munroe, Bridgeport Tyler Weiman, Lake Erie Curtis Sanford, Hamilton Anton Khudobin, Houston Matt Keetley, Abbotsford Alexander Salak, Rochester Alex Stalock, Worcester Matt Climie, Texas Dany Sabourin, Provindence Mike Murphy, Albany

AVG

W

L

SOL

1.63 1.68 1.98 1.99 2.02 2.17 2.17 2.24 2.26 2.33 2.34 2.35 2.35 2.39 2.41 2.44 2.44 2.48 2.52 2.54

11 17 17 10 13 19 13 8 8 14 11 14 9 9 8 17 21 10 16 8

2 6 9 5 7 9 10 8 7 8 8 12 7 13 5 5 9 12 13 7

1 1 4 0 2 1 2 0 2 0 1 3 2 1 1 0 1 3 0 0

GP

G

A

Pts

31 30 25 32 32 24 32 17 21 32 27 19 29 21 31 25 22 11 21 8 4 31 28 16 7 22 5 9

15 10 9 9 9 6 7 8 5 6 5 0 3 5 2 0 5 1 0 1 2 1 2 0 0 0 0 0

18 12 12 9 9 12 10 7 10 8 9 13 9 6 8 7 1 5 6 4 2 3 1 3 1 1 0 0

33 22 21 18 18 18 17 15 15 14 14 13 12 11 10 7 6 6 6 5 4 4 3 3 1 1 0 0

AVG

W

L

SOL

2.41 2.57 3.70

8 10 2

5 13 2

1 2 0

ABBOTSFORD HEAT SCORING STATS AS OF JAN. 15 Jason Jaffray Colin Stuart Jamie Lundmark Kris Chucko Mikael Backlund David Van der Gulik Garth Murray Riley Armstrong Carsen Germyn Keith Seabrook Brett Sutter Gord Baldwin John Negrin Cam Cunning Matt Pelech Brad Cole J.D. Watt John Armstrong Hugo Carpentier Josh Meyers Peter Vandermeer Ryley Grantham Keith Aulie Brett Palin Staffan Kronwall Leland Irving David Shantz Matt Keetley

GOALIE STATS Matt Keetley Leland Irving David Shantz

CALL TODAY FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT. Mission Junction Shopping Centre 32545 London Ave. • 604-826-5851

32513 South Fraser Way, Abbotsford - 604-870-4132

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

FACE

ABBOTSFORD’S PRO HOCKEY TEAM

Whaddaya know?

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Now, it’s time to test your knowledge. Answer the questions below for a chance to win tickets to see the Heat play.

1 Heat blueliner Keith Seabrook’s older brother Brent was recently named to Canada’s Olympic hockey team. Which NHL club does Brent play for?

2 Colin Stuart was acquired by the Calgary Flames in a trade with Retail Sales Wholesale Custom Cutting Wrapping OWNER/OPERATOR

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the Toronto Maple Leafs in July of 2009. Who went to Toronto in the deal?

3 The Chicago Wolves visit the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre on Feb. 4-5. Which NHL club are the Wolves affiliated with?

4 Which Heat forward was selected for the 2010 AHL All-Star Game? 5 Heat blueliner Brad Cole hails from a tiny town in Manitoba. What’s

• Farmer Sausage • Pork Loin Chops • Beef Jerky • Baron of Beef

the name of his hometown?

6 Gord Baldwin played his WHL hockey alongside which current Heat goaltender? www.conair.ca

7 Heat equipment manager Shawn Smith has a nickname. What is it?

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ABBOTSFORD NEWS

A21

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

FACE YOUR ANSWERS...

ABBOTSFORD’S PRO HOCKEY TEAM

A shopping experience like never before.

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2 ______________________________________________ YOUR ______________________________________________ CHANCE ______________________________________________ TO WIN 3 ______________________________________________ TICKETS

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FACE OFF TRIVIA CONTEST RULES: Conducted by The Abbotsford News and is open to all residents of Canada except the employees, agents, contractors and their immediate families of The Abbotsford News and the Mission Record. The winner must answer a time-limited skill testing question. The winners name and photograph may be used in any advertising or publicity without compensation. The judge’s decision is final, no correspondence will be entered into. No purchase necessary.

Monday - Friday 8am - 5pm 5 604.859.1879 101 - 33415 Maclure Road Abbotsford UST E

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Answer all seven questions correctly and drop off this page at The Abbotsford News. If all answers are correct, your name will be entered into a draw box. Contest will be drawn on Feb. 22.

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NAME: ________________________________________ ________________________________________________ ADDRESS: _____________________________________ ________________________________________________ PHONE: _______________________________________ Drop off this page to The Abbotsford News at 34375 Gladys Avenue, Abbotsford. Contest expires February 22, 2010 @ 5 pm.

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Going to a Heat game? Come in for your pre-game meal and we’ll treat you to one of our homemade desserts to share!

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A22

ABBOTSFORD NEWS

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

FACE PARKING & SHUTTLE

ABBOTSFORD’S PRO HOCKEY TEAM

FOR ABBOTSFORD HEAT HOME GAMES

PAID EVENT PARKING STREET PARKING as designated and posted

LEGEND Highway 1

P SALTON

Auto Service Court

P KING RD

KI N

ABB. ENT. & SPORTS CENTRE

AESC PREMIUM PARKING

P

UNIVERSITY OF THE FRASER VALLEY 33844 King Road

AUTO SERVICE COURT 33733 King Road

University of the Fraser Valley

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CENTRAL HEIGHTS CHURCH 1661 McCallum Road On event nights paid parking in the lots above is in effect. Please be aware it is cash only, US funds are taken at par.

MCKENZIE RD

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COSTS RANGE BETWEEN

$5.00 - $10.00

FREE SHUTTLE SERVICE PRIOR TO EVENT:

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IN THIS AREA

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Shuttle pick-ups start 15 min. prior to doors opening to the public for the event Shuttles will stop running 30 min. after the event starts

AFTER THE EVENT: Shuttles depart immediately after the event ends. The last shuttle departs as soon as Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre has cleared.

FOR SHUTTLE SERVICE AVAILABILITY

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I N F O R M AT I O N

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ABBOTSFORD NEWS

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

FACE

ABBOTSFORD’S PRO HOCKEY TEAM

FEBRUARY SCHEDULE

09/10

MONDAY FEBRUARY 1 at Houston Aeros

5:05 PM

T TUESDAY FEBRUARY 9 TToronto Marlies

7:30 PM

THURSDAY FEBRUARY 4 Chicago Wolves

7:30 PM

FFRIDAY FEBRUARY 12 a at Rochester Americans

4:05 PM

FRIDAY FEBRUARY 5 Chicago Wolves

7:30 PM

S SATURDAY FEBRUARY 13 a at Hamilton Bulldogs

4:00 PM

MONDAY FEBRUARY 8 Toronto Marlies

7:30 PM

M MONDAY FEBRUARY 15 a at Toronto Marlies

DATES COLOURED RED ARE HOME GAMES.

GET YOUR

1.877.452.HEAT abbotsfordheat.com

11:00 AM

SATURDAY FEBRUARY 20 S Houston Aeros

4:00 PM

SUNDAY FEBRUARY 21 at Providence Bruins

1:05 PM

WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 24 4:00 PM at Bridgeport Sound Tigers FRIDAY FEBRUARY 26 at Worchester Sharks

4:05 PM

SATURDAY FEBRUARY 27 at Worchester Sharks

4:05 PM

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> On-ice training with video analysis > Drop-in pond hockey for kids > 3-on-3 hockey league > TRX core & strength training

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A23


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A12

ABBOTSFORD NEWS

ABBOTSFORD NEWS

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

FACE

ABBOTSFORD’S PRO HOCKEY TEAM

BEHIND THE SCENES WITH

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A13

FACE

ABBOTSFORD’S PRO HOCKEY TEAM

Stixy

He’s one of the most valuable players in the Abbotsford Heat organization, but few fans knew his name – until now. Heat equipment manager Shawn Smith, who also goes by the nickname “Stixy,” agreed to give FACEOFF readers, through the lens of photographer John Van Putten, a backstage pass prior to a Jan. 12 home date against the Manitoba Moose.

Smith got his start in the equipment game with the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves in 1997, and he later worked for teams in Amarillo, Texas and Rapid City, South Dakota in the minor pro Central Hockey League. The Heat gig represents his first AHL assignment. “Any player who was considered high maintenance in the league I’ve just come from is considered low maintenance here,” Stixy said with a chuckle.

R A T S L AL S P U E LIN

Smith’s game-day preparation begins with paperwork – among other things, he charts the rate that the Heat players break their sticks. As of Jan. 5, the Heat were on pace to go through 1,025 twigs over the course of the season. Smith’s other pre-game tasks include sharpening skates, repairing pants, and laundering jerseys.

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Smith’s job has its stressful moments – making sure equipment arrives at its proper road destination via airplane is no picnic – but it’s the camaraderie of being part of a team that makes it worthwhile. “I was a typical Canadian kid who wanted to play hockey,” explained Smith, who grew up in Fort Erie, Ont. “When you learn that you can’t be a professional player anymore, you look at other avenues to stay in the game. This seems to be the best fit for me.”

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Abbotsford Heat Face Off - Issue 6