Former Abbotsford Heat forward Ryan Howse had his contract terminated by the Calgary Flames last week.
Howse, a prolific goal-scorer with the WHL’s Chilliwack Bruins during his junior days, was a third-round draft choice by the Flames in 2009. But the Prince George native never really found traction at the AHL level after turning pro in 2011.
Howse began his rookie year with a month-long stint on the sideline to address fitness and nutrition issues, and he responded well to the discipline, returning to post nine points (six goals, three assists) in 39 games largely in a bottom-six role.
Last season, with the Heat boasting unprecedented depth in the forward corps during the NHL lockout, he began the campaign with the ECHL’s Utah Grizzlies and only ended up getting into 20 games with Abbotsford, mustering just one assist in 20 games.
Howse did not report for rookie camp earlier this month, indicating to the Flames that he’d lost his passion for hockey. He cleared unconditional waivers on Sept. 11, and the team terminated his contract.
“He had gone through Craig Conroy (Flames special assistant to the general manager) actually and had indicated that he wasn’t sure that he wanted to play,” Calgary GM Jay Feaster stated in a press release. “Craig talked to him and tried to convince him that his heart should be in it.
“As he said, ‘Are you sure you want me to go to Jay? Because if I tell Jay this is what you’re thinking, then it’s kind of in the stream and kind of out of your control.’ And he said, ‘Yeah, I don’t want to play. My heart’s not in it.'”