Heat Reveal Guaranteed Home Dates

Stockton, Calif. – The Stockton Heat, proudly owned by the NHL’s Calgary Flames, announce five additional guaranteed home dates to occur at Stockton Arena including November 7, January 2, January 23, February 20 and March 12, all Saturday game dates.

Hot Pink Ribbon & Wordmark (Vertical)November 7 will be a part of the Heat’s new breast cancer awareness event, Hot Pink 1, with the first 500 women 18-years-old and over receiving a pink Heat cap while the ice will be painted pink and the team sporting pink jerseys.

On January 2, the promotion that kicked off right here in Stockton before sweeping the nation returns as fans will have the opportunity to paint the ice at the conclusion of the game.

The next big event will occur on January 23 when fans are asked to bring bears to the game for the Heat’s first ever Teddy Bear Toss.  Once the Heat score their first goal of the game, fans toss the stuffed animals onto the ice which will be collected, donated, and then distributed to local children.

Finally, the February 20 date sees the first 500 fans 13-years-old and over receiving a Heat equipment bag while the March 12 date sees the first 1,000 fans 13-years-old and over take home a Heat jersey.  All promotions and giveaway items are subject to change.

This announcement comes on the heels of last week’s announced home opening date on Saturday, October 10.  In addition to a new era of hockey beginning, the first 2,000 fans in the Arena will receive a Heat magnetic schedule.

Just $380 is all it takes to ensure you don’t miss a minute of the action with Full Season Tickets.  Can’t make the full season commitment? There are multiple mini-plan packages available to fit into any schedule and they start at just $60 for six Heat home games.

Learn more by calling 209.373.1500 and speak with one of our Account Executives or visit StocktonHeat.com for more information.

Flames Sign Derek Grant to a One-Year, Two-Way Contract

Stockton, Calif. – The Calgary Flames announced today that they have signed forward Derek Grant to a one-year, two-way contract.

Grant, a native of Abbotsford, BC, was originally drafted in the fourth round (119th overall) in the 2008 NHL Draft by Ottawa. In 2014-15, Grant played 73 games for the Binghamton Senators of the AHL where he notched 21 goals and added 17 assists for 38 points. The 25-year-old has played 25 career NHL games for Ottawa and has two assists and four penalty minutes.


BORN: Abbotsford, BC          DATE: April 20, 1990
HEIGHT: 6’3”                         WEIGHT: 206 lbs.
DRAFTED: OTT – 4th round, 119th overall, in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft
ACQUIRED: Signed as a free agent on July 1, 2015.

Regular Season Playoffs
Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM +/- GP G A Pts PIM
2007-08 Langley Chiefs BCHL 57 24 39 63 44 12 5 5 10 15
2008-09 Langley Chiefs BCHL 35 25 35 60 22 4 1 2 3 2
2009-10 Michigan State CCHA 38 12 18 30 10
2010-11 Michigan State CCHA 38 8 25 33 44
2010-11 Binghamton Senators AHL 14 1 5 6 0 1 7 1 1 2 2
2011-12 Binghamton Senators AHL 60 8 15 23 26 -7
2012-13 Binghamton Senators AHL 63 19 9 28 37 11 3 0 0 0 6
2012-13 Ottawa Senators NHL 5 0 0 0 0 -1
2013-14 Binghamton Senators AHL 46 12 10 22 30 9 4 0 1 1 2
2013-14 Ottawa Senators NHL 20 0 2 2 4 -3
2014-15 Binghamton Senators AHL 73 21 17 38 45 -9
TOTALS NHL 25 0 2 2 4 -4
AHL 256 61 56 117 138 5 14 1 2 3 10
    CCHA 76 20 43 63 54
    BCHL 92 49 74 123 66 16 6 7 13 17

Just $380 is all it takes to ensure you don’t miss a minute of the action with Full Season Tickets.  Can’t make the full season commitment? There are multiple mini-plan packages available to fit into any schedule and they start at just $60 for six Heat home games.

Learn more by calling 209.373.1500 and speak with one of our Account Executives or visit StocktonHeat.com for more information.

Flames Name Pittis Heat Assistant

Stockton, Calif. – The Calgary Flames announced today that they have named Flames Skills Coach Domenic Pittis as an Assistant Coach with the Stockton Heat.

Pittis had previously served as the Flames Skills and Development Coach since the 2013-14 season.  The longtime NHL forward will begin his first season as an Assistant Coach with the Stockton Heat during the team’s inaugural season.

The Calgary, Alberta native played 86 games in the NHL  with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Buffalo Sabres, Edmonton Oilers and Nashville Predators and is also a 309 game American Hockey League alum.  He ended his career playing in Switzerland winning two league championships and a Spengler Cup representing Team Canada.

Pittis joins Head Coach Ryan Huska’s coaching staff which includes fellow NHL alum and Heat Assistant Coach Todd Gill, Goaltending Coach Scott Gouthro, and Travel Manager and Video Analyst Adam Berger.

The Heat open the home portion of the schedule on Saturday, October 10.  Don’t miss the home opener, or a minute of the AHL action and get your season tickets or mini-plans now by calling 209-373-1500.



Calgary Extends Qualifying Offers to Twelve Players

Calgary, AB – The Calgary Flames announced today that the following twelve players have received qualifying offers from the club:

Lance Bouma
Dougie Hamilton
Drew Shore
David Wolf
Josh Jooris
Micheal Ferland
Bryce Van Brabant
Ken Agostino
Paul Byron
Max Reinhart
Bill Arnold
Turner Elson

The following players did not receive qualifying offers:

Sena Acolatse
Ben Hanowski
John Ramage

Heat Home Opener October 10

Stockton, Calif. – The Stockton Heat, proudly owned by the NHL’s Calgary Flames, are set to open the home portion of the inaugural American Hockey League schedule on October 10 at Stockton Arena.

October 10 will mark the very first AHL game played at Stockton Arena after playing the past 10 seasons in the ECHL. The remainder of the schedule will be announced by the American Hockey League at a later date this summer.

A special ticket package is available now giving fans a ticket for the Home Opener along with tickets for five other regular season home games.

Packages range from $60 per seat to $105 per seat based on seating location and can be purchased over the phone by calling 209.373.1500.  Full season tickets and mini-plans are also available; learn more by speaking with one of our Account Executives on other available plans that fit into any schedule.

Five AHL Keys to Calgary’s Future

With an astonishing figure of 88% of NHL players having played in the AHL, it’s critical for teams to draft well, sign promising players, and give them a way to develop while playing players similar in skill, size, and mostly experience.

Sure in the AHL you have your veterans who have years of NHL or even AHL experience who can show the younger players what it takes to win at both levels of play, but the league is primarily for younger players working towards their dream.

Take the two teams vying for the biggest prize in hockey, the Stanley Cup.  The Chicago Blackhawks have seen 75% of their playoff roster having played in the AHL including Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Patrick Sharp and Corey Crawford to name a few.

As for the Tampa Bay Lightning, 83% of their playoff roster has spent time in the AHL with four of those players winning a Calder Cup in 2011-12 with Tampa’s then AHL affiliate, the Norfolk Americans.  All three members of this year’s best playoff line, “The Triplets”, Ondrej Palat, Nikita Kucherov and Tyler Johnson, have all played in the AHL prior to reaching the sports pinnacle this season.

This obviously illustrates that the American Hockey League plays a major part in the developing of great players and teams that contend for Cups have deep roots in the “Triple-A” league.

So how does this information impact our NHL affiliate, the Calgary Flames?

The fact that champions are built in the AHL is a good thing if you are a Stockton Heat fan, and a Flames fan, because it means that we will be seeing quite a few players who will hope to contend for a Stanley Cup and bring our entire organization our coveted goal.

So let’s take a look at the top five players who have played for our AHL franchise who are keys to building a championship in Southern Alberta.

5. Lance Bouma

Bouma is one of those players you love to have playing for your team as he’s a guy who can play multiple roles for your squad.

Certainly Bouma is a guy you can count on defensively, and as he’s matured and developed you can see how the former Vancouver Giants (WHL) captain have become better and better in both ends of the ice each season.

Having been selected in the third round, 78th overall by Calgary in 2008, Bouma has played a total of 95 games for the Abbotsford Heat scoring 16 goals and adding 11 assists in his time in the AHL, but the most impressive thing about the 25-year-old from Provost, Alberta is that he’s one game shy of 200 in his short NHL career and has 22 goals and 31 assists for 53 points.

The best part about Bouma is that he is coming off of a career year, having matched his previous season high of 78 games in the NHL and established NHL highs with 16 goals and 18 assists for 34 points.

Unfortunately the 6’0”, 194 lb. forward broke his finger blocking a shot late in the year that made him miss the vast majority of the playoffs, suiting up in Game 4 and Game 5 in the second round series against Anaheim.

While Bouma is a restricted free agent currently, he’s been a great building block who’s shown improvement every season he’s played.  You may not see Bouma as a top-6 guy in Calgary but his contributions as a depth forward should earn him a new contract.

Micheal Ferland

If you have 13 minutes, you should watch the video below.  Micheal Ferland is a one-man wrecking crew.  He’s the judge, jury and executioner when it comes to physical play.

Not only that but the Brandon, Manitoba native stands at just six feet but weighs 209 lbs.  When he has you in his sights, he’s going to hit you with every last pound he has!

Ferland has spent time with the Abbotsford Heat and Adirondack Flames, suiting up in 64 career AHL games and scoring 13 goals and adding 20 assists in his abridged three seasons of pro hockey.

His NHL career is far shorter, just 26 games played for the Flames (plus nine more this past postseason) with the winger registering just five points in regular season play.

Ferland can provide depth scoring, but it’s what he does off the puck that makes him a key building block and a near shoe in to be resigned this offseason (he’s currently an RFA).  He had a monstrous showing against the Vancouver Canucks completing 40 hits in 6 games with five of those games seeing the rookie credited with seven or more hits.

While his playing time tapered in the Anaheim series, it’s no doubt that Ferland is going to be a building block for our organization in the near future!

Mikael Backlund

The former first round draft selection of the Flames in 2007 has been around for a bit now, having debuted for the Flames back in 2008-09 after his Kelowna Rockets won a WHL Championship (with Stockton Heat coach Ryan Huska).

He’s spent just 55 games with the Abbotsford Heat across two seasons scoring 15 goals and putting up 32 points while playing two games shy of 300 for the Calgary Flames, scoring 51 goals and registering 77 assists for 128 points.

Backlund certainly has been an important player for the Flames for the past few seasons and is once again up for a new contract as a restricted free agent.

After a couple subpar seasons in the NHL, Backlund dedicated his offseason to training ahead of his 2013-14 campaign, in which he established career highs with 18 goals and 21 assists in 76 games in his breakout season.  Backlund came to camp after putting in a lot of work again, however an abdominal injury caused the pivot to require surgery after just 11 games played.

Backlund would miss 29 games due to the injury which slowed his production to just 27 points, 12 points fewer than his total the previous season in 24 fewer games.  At 26 years old Backlund has been an important part of the team and definitely a key to the team moving in the direction of contending for championships.


We’ve talked about so many building blocks in this piece that are in need of new contracts so let’s talk about someone who doesn’t!

Defenseman T.J. Brodie signed a five-year extension back in October 2014 making him a cornerstone for the Calgary blueline for years to come.

Originally a fourth round selection in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, Brodie began his pro career with the Abbotsford Heat, playing 115 games for the team while registering 7 goals, 50 assists and posting a plus-12 rating.

His 57 points makes him the top scoring defenseman in Abbotsford’s history and most in an AHL career during the Flames tenure as owner of the AHL franchise since a certain someone we’ll be talking about in a moment (spoiler alert).

They say that it takes young defenseman 300 NHL games to tell what kind of player they will be but for Brodie it’s been well under his 266 games for Flames fans and staff to know that he was someone that will be a part of the “C of Red” for a long time.

In his 266 career games for the Flames the blueliner has registered 19 goals and 81 assists for 100 career points while also going plus-6 thus far in his career.

The Chatham, Ontario native is coming off of his best pro output of 11 goals and 30 assists while missing just one game for the Flames.  He suited up in every game during the postseason scoring a goal and adding four helpers.

He was obviously a piece that means a lot to the organization and someone who developed underneath the noses of Calgary’s brass.


It’s a no brainer for who is the most important player to come from the Flames AHL franchise and that’s Mark Giordano.  If you don’t know Giordano let us fill you in.

He debuted for the Flames as a 22-year-old back in 2005-06, a year after the first lockout, for a Flames team that was just two-years removed from a Stanley Cup appearance.

After splitting parts of two seasons with the Flames and the then Flames AHL affiliate in Omaha, Nebraska, Giordano and the Flames were at an impasse for a new contract, and it wasn’t money that was keeping Giordano from signing, but rather he wasn’t guaranteed to be playing full time in Calgary.

Over the course of two seasons with the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights, Giordano suited up in 78 games, scoring 16 goals and adding 44 assists for 60 points.  In addition to his experience with Omaha, the Toronto, Ontario native previously played the 2004-05 season with the Lowell Lock Monsters (the Flames affiliate from 2003-05) scoring 6 goals and adding 10 assists in 66 games played.

Giordano decided to sign a contract in Russia for his 2007-08 campaign, where he played 50 games and registered 12 points for Dynamo Moskva. His stint overseas didn’t last long as Giordano and the Flames patched up a three-year deal back in July 2008.  He’d sign a five-year extension in 2010 making him a Calgary Flame for at least one more season.  However that could change if Flames General Manager Brad Treliving has anything to say about it!

What changed for the defenseman, who went undrafted, from his contractual dispute to today?  Most likely the fact that the 31-year-old is one of the premier defenseman in the NHL today and took the reins from Calgary’s prodigal son, Jarome Iginla, as team captain in 2013-14 after Iginla’s departure.

His last three seasons have been cut short due to injury and work stoppage but he has 110 points in 172 games, meaning that as a defenseman, he’s averaging .64 points per game which is an incredible pace.

This past year has been tough for the Calgary captain as a bicep tendon tear in late February ended his season.  There were talks of him coming back should the Flames had made it further as the leader of the team was skating during a portion of the postseason and was getting ready to be cleared for full practices, but according to doctors during the second round series against Anaheim, he was still a ways away from being cleared to play.

If you look at some of the awesome advanced stats that are available on NHL.com now, you can see Giordano was third among defenseman who played more than 50 games in points per every 60 minutes, averaging 1.88 behind St. Louis’ Kevin Shattenkirk and Washington’s Mike Green.

After playing 510 games for the Calgary Flames and putting up 245 points and posting  plus-38 rating, it’s easy to see why Treliving wants to get him under contract this summer as opposed to next.  It was important to show him that his team is heading in the right direction and with players like those on this list and even some who are looking to make an impact in the upcoming seasons, that Calgary is the only destination for one of the league’s best defenseman.




Contracts and Terms to know in the AHL

With the change from ECHL to the AHL there are a lot of new rules and special cases that come into play when it comes to who gets to play for the Stockton Heat.

Take two players who some fans have seen signed this offseason, defenseman Jakub Nakladal who inked his contract on May 20, 2015 and forward Louick Marcotte who signed his contract on June 8, 2015.  Now you’re asking yourself why Marcotte was the first player signed to the Stockton Heat when clearly Nakladal’s contract came weeks prior to.

Well I’ll explain that at the end of this blog but first let’s get you some key contract terms and what YOU can expect to see as a new owner of an AHL team in your backyard.

Terms and Rules to know:

Amateur Tryout (ATO): Typically reserved for the end of the season, these tryouts allow amateur players to experience the AHL without losing their amateur status.  Typically, players who sign these tryout agreements are straight from Junior Hockey programs or collegiate athletes who are looking to turn pro the following season.

AHL Roster Size: AHL rosters have no limits on a number of players; however teams can only suit up 18 skaters and two goalies per game.  Of those 18 skaters, no more than six classified as veteran or veteran exempt may suit up (see veteran and veteran exempt).  There is no injured reserve in the AHL.

CHL-NHL Agreement: There is an agreement in place between the Canadian Hockey League (Governing body of the Ontario Hockey League, Western Hockey League and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League) specifying when a player is eligible to play on an AHL roster.  Players drafted and playing for CHL teams are ineligible to play in the AHL or ECHL until they are 20 years old (by December 31st of that year) or have completed four years in major juniors.  It gets even more complicated if a player is European.  If a Euro player was drafted in the CHL draft before they’re drafted by an NHL club, the rule above applies to them.  However if they’re drafted as a member of a European squad and choose to play for a CHL squad after they are drafted by an NHL team, they can report to the NHL team’s AHL or ECHL teams before the age limit kicks in.  Let’s get a simple and most common example in.  Drafted in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft in the second round, 54th overall by the Calgary Flames is Hunter Smith, who just won a Memorial Cup with the Oshawa Generals.  Born on September 11, 1995, Smith will be turning 20 prior to the December 31st cutoff making him eligible to play in either the AHL or stick with his junior team in the OHL.  Typically it’s up to the parent club (in this case Calgary) along with the player and player’s agent to determine which route is best for the development of the player.  They could opt to send Smith back to juniors; however the CHL has a rule stating that teams only are allowed three overage players (20-year-olds).

Emergency Recall Basis: Players who are waiver eligible can be called up from a minor league team to the NHL to play up to 10 NHL games while on emergency recall.  Players that qualify do not have to be waived to be sent back to the minor leagues.

Entry Level Contract: these contracts are two-way contracts signed in the NHL.  Players who sign these deals must be younger than 25 years-old on September 15 and must be signing their first NHL contract.  These players who sign these deals are eligible to be sent back and forth between the NHL and AHL without having to clear waivers.

European Elite Leagues: The following leagues qualify as leagues that contribute to ones veteran or veteran exempt status.  National League A (Switzerland), Czech Extraliga (Czech Republic), Slovak Extraliga (Slovakia), Kontinental Hockey League (Russia), Swedish Hockey League/Swedish Elite League (Sweden), SM-liiga (Finland) and Deutsche Eishockey Liga (Germany). (See Veteran and Veteran Exempt).

NHL Roster Size: NHL Rosters are limited to 23 active players, however, NHL teams can hold 50 player contracts per season which covers many of the players who play for the team’s AHL affiliate.  Players who are signed to AHL contracts or two-way AHL-ECHL contracts cannot be called up unless they sign a standard player contract in the NHL.

One-Way: a one-way contract means a player is signed to an NHL team and collects an NHL salary even if the player is sent down to the AHL.  This player must also clear the waiver wire (See Waivers)

Professional Tryout (PTO): Players in lower leagues can be loaned to a higher league team and sign PTO contracts.  Teams may sign players to multiple 25-game PTO Agreements at any time during the season.  Once a player completes their 25th game for a team, the player shall have the right to sign a regular AHL contract or a PTO with any other AHL team.  For example, in 2013-14 Stockton Thunder forward Andrew Clark signed a PTO with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.  He played 35 games for the team, amassing 7 goals and 12 assists for 19 points.  After he played in his 25th game, he was then eligible to sign an AHL contract or a PTO offer with any other team, meaning if Bridgeport wanted to protect his rights and be sure they keep him, they could have signed him to an AHL contract.  When Clark completed Game #25 and still was not offered a contract, he could’ve signed an AHL contract with, say, the Hershey Bears, or sign a PTO with, say, the Providence Bruins.

Restricted Free Agents (RFA): Players that are designated as Restricted Free Agents see their exclusive rights belong to one team.  These players are able to negotiate with other NHL teams however if said player agrees to a contract, he signs what is called an offer sheet.  The player’s current team is notified and has seven days to determine if they wish to match with an identical contract to the new team’s offer sheet including length, salary and bonuses.  If a team declines to match, they may be eligible for compensation from the new team via draft picks.  To submit an offer sheet, a team must have the proper draft picks outlined and those picks must not belong to other NHL clubs (picks given to current team are based on salary).  Clubs owing one draft selection must make that pick available to the now former team in the next draft.  Clubs owing two draft selections in different rounds must also make their picks available in the next draft.  Clubs owing three draft selections in different rounds must make their picks available in the next draft.  Clubs owing two draft selections in the same round must have them available in the next three drafts.  Clubs owing three draft selections in the same round must have them available in the next four drafts and so on.  When a club owes two or more draft selections in the same round, the players prior club gets to choose which years in which such selections will be taken.

Rookies: Players who enter the season with fewer than 25 games of professional experience in North America (NHL or AHL) or fewer than 100 games of experience in a European Elite League qualify as an AHL rookie. For example, despite playing in 441 games for the Stockton Thunder, should Garet Hunt be offered a deal with the Stockton Heat, he’d be classified still as a rookie due to only playing 10 games in the AHL, however according to the Pro Hockey Players Association (PHPA), there are stipulations that prevent Hunt being eligible to win the “Rookie of the Year” award.

Two-Way: a two-way contract is a player who’s signed and eligible to play in a higher league and lower league.  These contracts can be two-way NHL-AHL contracts or two-way AHL-ECHL contracts.  The parent club (the higher league team) can opt to send a player to the lower league team.  Salaries for these players are different in each league.  For example, Louick Marcotte signed a two-way AHL-ECHL contract.  When he plays in the AHL for the Heat, he’ll earn a higher salary then if he plays for the Adirondack Thunder in the ECHL.  However he is eligible to play for both teams without having to clear any kind of waiver.

Unrestricted Free Agents (UFA): Players that are designated as Unrestricted Free Agents (UFA’s) have either never signed a standard player contract or a player who’s standard player contract has expired or has been bought out by a team.  These players are not subject to any exclusive negotiating rights and are free to sign with any team.

Veteran: AHL game rosters can only suit up to six combined veterans or veteran exempt players in each game played.  A veteran is someone who has played 321 or more professional games in the AHL, NHL, or elite European Leagues.  The number of games is calculated before the new season begins and that status cannot change until the next season.  Goalies are exempt from this rule. There is no rule for how many combined veterans or veteran exempt players a team can carry.

Veteran Exempt: AHL game rosters can only suit up to six combined veterans or veteran exempt players.  A Veteran Exempt player has played in 261-320 games in the AHL, NHL or elite European Leagues (See European Elite Leagues).  The number of games is calculated before the new season begins and that status cannot change until the next season.  Goalies are exempt from this rule. There is no rule for how many combined veterans or veteran exempt players a team can carry.

Waivers: A labor procedure in which an NHL team makes a player’s contract and rights available to all other NHL teams before being assigned to a minor league affiliate.  This process starts at noon Eastern Standard time and ends 24 hours later.  If only one team claims the player, his contract will be transferred to the claiming team.  If more than one team makes a claim, the player will be transferred to the team having the lowest percentage of possible points in the league standings at the time of the request.  If a player clears waivers (meaning no team claims him) he can be sent down to the minors.  He can be called back to the parent club at any time and only has to go through waivers again if he’s played 10 games since being called up or been on the parent club’s roster for 30 days or more.  Not all players must be placed on waivers as there are exemptions in place for players based on when they signed their first NHL contracts (see the table below).  It also doesn’t include players who are called up on Emergency Basis (see Emergency Recall Basis).

Age Goalie Years Goalie Games Skater Years Skater Games
18 6 80 5 160
19 5 80 4 160
20 4 80 3 160
21 4 60 3 80
22 4 60 3 70
23 3 60 3 60
24 2 60 2 60
25+ 1 1 1 1


So why was Marcotte the first Heat Player?

So now back to our question at hand.  Why was Marcotte the Heat’s first signed player despite Nakladal signing weeks prior?

Simple, Nakladal is signed to a two-way entry level contract with the Calgary Flames. At age 27, he’s older than most players who sign their first NHL contract but knowing what we know from the above terms we can look into the future a bit.

For Nakladal, he signed his first contract after years of playing professionally in Europe.  He cJakub Nakladalan play for both the Stockton Heat and the Calgary Flames next season and is not subject to waivers based on the fact he signed his first contract at age 27 and there is no games limit.  However after his year contract is up, Nakladal will be an Unrestricted Free Agent and is free to sign with any NHL club unless the Flames were to offer him a contract extension.

Marcotte on the other hand isn’t signed to one of themarcotte 50 contracts that the Calgary Flames can offer, but rather is signed to the Stockton Heat.  He is eligible to play for the Heat and Thunder only.  Should the Flames want to play Marcotte next season, he’d have to sign an entry level contract with the team.

That is why the Heat only have one player on the roster for next season.  Certainly a good chance we see Nakladal in Stockton at some point but he’s not a Heat player, but a Flames player, much like most of our roster will be comprised of next season.

Some of this is really confusing (even for me) and some things still remain difficult to explain (the NHL waiver rules are pretty vast) so there is certainly going to be some growing that all of us as hockey fans in Stockton will have to do over the next few  years.

Having top end talent is exciting but the differences between the AHL and ECHL go beyond just what occurs on the ice.

Get to know the (Canadian) Hockey Media!

For many of you, this might be your first introduction to how Canadian hockey media operates.  Just as our attention in the USA focuses primarily on football with NFL players among the most recognizable and popular figures in the country.  They can’t do anything without being noticed.  Now think of how you learn about trades and free Sunday NFL Countdown - September 16, 2012agent signings.  If you said it was from the team, you know you’re lying because Adam Schefter and the NFL media have tweeted it hours, or even days, prior to the move.

Well this is how things work in Canada and many of you saw articles announcing Marcotte’s signing.  Even his junior team in Gatineau announced a congratulatory message.  Oh, and Marcotte himself…he did too.

However there are rules in place that prohibit teams from announcing until ever “I” is dotted and ever “t” is crossed.  While the player may have signed the contract, there is still an approval process with the team and the AHL that must occur before any player announcement is made.

This part is actually no different than what we’re used to in the ECHL as the league must approve every contract and trade prior to me, as the Media Relations guy, making it public knowledge.

However now we are a part of the Calgary Flames umbrella, one of the most popular teams in the league due to their location north of us in Canada.  Media will look for any story to report and you may see more news broken away from the team.

This isn’t because we don’t want to break our own news, or because we don’t want to let our fans know what’s going on.  In fact, nothing makes me happier than announcing a player move and breaking news to our fans, as well as that player’s fans, that someone will be wearing our colors and represent our team on and off the ice.

However sometimes it just doesn’t work that way, and in the day we live in, it’s hard to keep things off of Twitter, Facebook mtl media scrumand certainly away from the media.  If you ever forget about how hockey is treated in Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto (boy oh boy Toronto), Ottawa and of course Montreal (did I say boy oh boy Toronto…I meant boy oh boy Montreal) just remember these analogies:


Hockey is to Canada what Tim Tebow is to the USA.

Hockey is to Canada what football is to the USA.

Hockey is to Canada what futbol is to the world.

Hockey is to Canada what Kanye West and Kim Kardashian is to the USA.

Marcotte becomes First Heat Signee

Louick Marcotte becomes the first player signed to the Stockton Heat after inking a two-way, AHL-ECHL contract

Stockton, Calif. – The Stockton Heat, proudly owned by the NHL’s Calgary Flames, announce the first signing in team history as Louick Marcotte (Lew-ick Mar-cot), a forward out of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL)

Marcotte, 21, is coming off of a terrific season that saw him lead his Gatineau Olympiques team in goals with 36 and points with 76 during the regular season. Gatineau would beat Blainville-Boisbriand in the first round of the QMJHL playoffs but would fall in the quarterfinals to the eventual league champion, Rimouski Oceanic.

The 6-foot-1, 194 lb. right wing previously captured a QMJHL Championship while with Val-d’Or Foreurs in 2013-14. Marcotte was one of five QMJHL players to register 100 or more points during the regular season (42 goals and 58 assists in 67 games played).

En route to the QMJHL Championship and a berth to the 2014 Memorial Cup with Val-d’Or, Marcotte was third in the league with 37 points in 24 postseason games played.

Marcotte becomes the first player signed to the Stockton Heat, the new AHL affiliate of the Calgary Flames.

–The Heat Rises Fall 2015–

Prospects to Participate in Tourney

The Calgary Flames announced that they will participate in the 2015 Young Stars Classic in Penticton, BC, beginning Friday, September 11, 2015. This will be the fifth time the Flames have participated.

The round-robin tournament will feature prospects from the Flames, Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers and Winnipeg Jets from September 11-14th.

Young Stars Classic Tournament Schedule (all times listed are Pacific)

*Game dates, times and opponents subject to change.


The Calgary Flames will announce their roster closer to the start of the tournament. Of the 27 skaters and three goalies that attended the tournament last season, 10 skaters and one goalie ended the 2014-15 regular season in the AHL with the Adirondack Flames.

Those players include Brett Kulak, Ryan Culkin, John Ramage, Garnet Hathaway, Turner Elson, Kenny Agostino, Emile Poirier, Pat Sieloff, Bill Arnold, Bryce Van Brabant and goalie Joni Ortio.