Heat centre Quintin Laing has been voted captain by his teammates. He'll wear the C for the third season in a row.

Heat centre Quintin Laing has been voted captain by his teammates. He'll wear the C for the third season in a row.

Heat notebook: Laing named Heat captain, Piskula and McCarthy assistants

For the third year in a row, Quintin Laing will serve as captain of the Abbotsford Heat.

In a move which surprised absolutely no one who follows the team, Quintin Laing was named captain of the Abbotsford Heat on Thursday afternoon.

The 33-year-old centre from Harris, Sask. will wear the C for the third straight season with the Heat.

The AHL club had gone captainless over the first three weeks of the regular season, as head coach Troy Ward wanted his players to gain a bit of familiarity with each other before selecting a leadership group. The players held a captaincy vote earlier in the week.

“It’s the most prestigious way to give it out – to be voted captain by your peers,” Ward said. “To me, it’s one of the highest honours you can give in sport. It’s better than winning.”

Laing joined the Heat early in the 2010-11 season, and was named captain just over a month later. He was voted captain in 2011-12 as well.

“It’s A to Z,” Ward said, reflecting on Laing’s leadership qualifications. “He’s a father, he’s married, he’s played in the NHL, you can just go on and on and on. He’s been through a lot of experiences in life, and he has a lot to lend on and off the ice. And he’s one of our hardest-working players.”

Defencemen Joe Piskula and Steve McCarthy were voted assistant captains. Piskula, a third-year member of the Heat, is known to be a vocal leader. McCarthy, a newcomer this fall, has quickly established himself as a respected presence in the locker room.

“He leads by example,” Ward said of McCarthy. “He has a very mature way about his preparation.”

Laing, Piskula and McCarthy are all considered “veterans” according to AHL development rules, due to the fact they’ve each played more than 320 professional games. The Heat have six vets and are only allowed to dress five, which means that one of their letter-wearers could be up in the press box on any given night.

Ward said they won’t transfer the C if/when Laing is scratched, nor will they share the A’s.

RENEWED RIVALRY

The Toronto Marlies visit the Abbotsford Sports and Entertainment Centre for a two-game set this week (Thursday and Friday, 7 p.m. both nights). It’s their first trip to Abbotsford since the second round of last season’s Calder Cup playoffs, where they eliminated the Heat four games to one.

The Marlies return many familiar faces, including 2009 first-round pick Nazem Kadri, promising puck-moving defenceman Jake Gardiner, and goalie Ben Scrivens, who was a particular Heat nemesis in that series.

Toronto has also added prolific AHL point-producer Keith Aucoin, who led the league in points per game (70 points in 43 games) with the Hershey Bears in 2011-12 before spending the second half of the campaign with the Washington Capitals.

Ward views the Marlies games as a barometer to assess the Heat’s progress and areas for growth.

“The first four games of the season were kind of exhibition – I didn’t look at them any other way, because we didn’t play anybody before that,” he analyzed. “We weren’t sure what we were going to have, and we just wanted to teach and grow. Then we had the little (three-game) road trip, which I thought was going to build some character.

“Now these next four, I just look at as benchmarks. We’re going to play a real good team in Toronto with a lot of depth and some NHL players there. And then we’re going to play Oklahoma City (Nov. 9-10), who obviously have a lot of NHL players. We’re going to find out where we stand.”

BYRON BATTLING BACK

Heat centre Paul Byron, who had been sidelined since training camp with an upper body injury, returned to practice on Tuesday and Wednesday. But Ward ruled him out for the weekend, saying “he’s a long way away yet.”

Heat forwards Greg Nemisz (lower body) and Lance Bouma (sprained right knee) are still out.

Just Posted

Langley’s Coral Hamade and Alberta’s Ella Gifford have signed with the UFV Cascades women’s golf program. (Submitted)
Langley’s Coral Hamade, Alberta’s Ella Gifford sign with UFV Cascades golf

First-ever Cascades Scholarship Golf Tournament set for Thursday at Chilliwack Golf Club

Mackenzie Byers of Abbotsford is the valedictorian for the School of Nursing at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops.
Abbotsford woman is valedictorian of TRU school of nursing

Mackenzie Byers is graduating from Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops

Harrison Hot Springs country singer Todd Richard poses for a photo with Mission firefighters. (Photo/Sarah Plawutski)
VIDEO: Harrison country artist Todd Richard plans for a busy, rockin’ summer

Richard and his band look to live shows as restrictions start to lift

Special weather statement issued for Fraser Valley as first summer heat arrives June 20, 2021, and set to persist all week. (Photo by James Day on Unsplash)
Second day of hot temperatures rippling across Fraser Valley

Communities from Abbotsford to Hope will see daytime high maximum temps of 32 degrees

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

The Sacred Hearts church on PIB land burned Monday morning. (Theresa May Jack/Facebook)
Two churches on First Nation land in South Okanagan burn to the ground

Sacred Hearts church on Penticton Indian Band land was reduced to rubble

Tl’etinqox-lead ceremony at the site of the former St. Joseph’s Mission in Williams Lake, B.C., June 18, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
‘We are all one people’: Honouring residential school victims and survivors

Love, support and curiousity: Canadians urged to learn about residential schools and their impact

Indigenous rights and climate activists gathered outside Liberty Mutual’s office in Vancouver to pressure the insurance giant to stop covering Trans Mountain. (Photo by Andrew Larigakis)
Activists work to ensure Trans Mountain won’t get insurance

Global campaign urging insurance providers to stay away from Canadian pipeline project

In the first election with public money replacing corporate or union donations, B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau and B.C. NDP leader John Horgan take part in election debate at the University of B.C., Oct. 13, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. MLAs ponder 2022 ‘sunset’ of subsidy for political parties

NDP, B.C. Fed call for increase, B.C. Liberals have no comment

Emergency crews shut down White Rock’s Five Corners district on Feb. 19, 2020 following an assault. (File photo)
Trial underway in February 2020 death of White Rock senior

Ross Banner charged with manslaughter following Five Corners altercation

Investigators use a bucket to help recover human remains at a home burned in the Camp fire, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, in Magalia, Calif. Many of the missing in the deadly Northern California wildfire are elderly residents in Magalia, a forested town of about 11,000 north of the destroyed town of Paradise. (AP Photo/John Locher)
‘Forever War’ with fire has California battling forests instead

Five of the state’s largest-ever blazes seared California last year, as authorities tackle prevention

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read