Surrey native Laurent Brossoit

Surrey native Laurent Brossoit

Heat the latest stop in shared hockey journey for Wotherspoon, Brossoit

Tyler Wotherspoon and Laurent Brossoit's hockey careers, to this point, have been scripted like a buddy movie.

Tyler Wotherspoon and Laurent Brossoit’s hockey careers, to this point, have been scripted like a buddy movie.

Not even Mel Gibson and Danny Glover in their Lethal Weapon heyday were as closely linked as these two.

Born 13 days apart in March of 1993 in Surrey, Wotherspoon and Brossoit first got acquainted as second-year atom teammates in the Cloverdale Minor Hockey Association. Turned out, their houses were just five minutes apart, and they quickly became good friends.

Junior hockey pried them apart for a couple years, but they ended up facing each other in the Western Hockey League finals twice – Brossoit’s Edmonton Oil Kings winning in 2012, and Wotherspoon’s Portland Winterhawks gaining a measure of revenge in 2013.

In the meantime, they were both drafted by the Calgary Flames in 2011 – defenceman Wotherspoon in the second round, goalie Brossoit in the sixth – and they were nearly teammates on Canada’s World Junior squad last season (Wotherspoon made it, while Brossoit was a late cut).

On Thursday, they shared the same sheet of ice once again at Abbotsford Heat training camp, and both believe they’re better for having the other around as they embark on the first season of their pro careers.

“It’s rare,” Wotherspoon said, reflecting on the hockey-based kinship between the two.

“It’s special for us to go through this awesome career together. It’s sometimes hard for guys when you don’t know anyone, and you’re kind of feeling your way around.

“But when you go into these situations with a guy you grew up with and one of your best friends, it makes everything a lot more comfortable, and it’s made this process a lot more fun for both of us. We’ve loved every part of it.”

“We’re fortunate to have that,” echoed Brossoit, who posted absurdly stingy numbers with the Oil Kings last season – a 2.25 goals against average and .917 save percentage, to go with a 33-8-6 record.

“It’s been cool, and we’ve been enjoying it. And we’re going to keep enjoying it.”

While Wotherspoon, given his extended stay at Flames training camp and the general lack of veteran depth on the Abbotsford blueline, is considered a lock to stick with the Heat, the goaltending situation is a little more cloudy.

Brossoit is one of two goalies in Abbotsford at the moment, along with Joni Ortio, which would be the end of the story if not for the fact that there are still three keepers in Calgary’s camp – Karri Ramo, Joey MacDonald and Reto Berra. The Flames have made it clear they won’t be keeping all three, so one of them will likely land in Abby prior to the start of the NHL regular season.

Heat head coach Troy Ward said he’s not certain at this point how the organization plans to handle its goaltending depth – the third goalie has yet to arrive in Abby, after all – but it’s not hard to envision either Ortio or Brossoit being shipped northward for a stint with the ECHL’s Alaska Aces.

For now, Wotherspoon and Brossoit are both planning to live at home in Surrey with their families, making them the rare pro hockey players who will get to eat their moms’ home cooking on a regular basis.

“I haven’t had that in four years,” Brossoit enthused. “It’s probably a 25-minute drive (to Abbotsford), maybe 30 minutes. We’ll be carpooling . . . It’s awesome.”

CUTS COMING SUNDAY

The Heat added three more forwards to their training camp mix on Thursday, as Max Reinhart, Michael Ferland and Corban Knight were sent down by the Calgary Flames.

Reinhart and Ferland both had stints with the Heat last season, while Knight is a rookie pro out of the University of North Dakota.

Their reassignments bring the Heat’s camp roster to 31 players – 19 forwards, 10 defencemen and two goalies – with more cuts still to come from Calgary.

Ward will hold two more days of practice before thinning out the herd with cuts on Sunday.

“We’re in a typical minor-league state,” the Heat bench boss said. “I could cut players tomorrow if I wanted to, but I just think in fairness to the whole tryout thing . . . I just made the determination that I’d keep everybody around until Sunday and make our cuts then, and then start fresh.”

ARSENE STILL SIDELINED

Abbotsford native Dean Arsene, in Heat camp on a professional tryout contract, hasn’t practiced this week after sustaining head injuries during Sunday’s exhibition game vs. the Utica Comets.

Arsene went straight to the dressing room after absorbing a hit from Utica forward Darren Archibald late in the second period. He received stitches to close a gash on his face, and Ward confirmed Thursday that he also sustained a concussion.

“He’s got to go through a week’s protocol,” he explained.

Just Posted

The intersection of Blueridge Drive and Blue Jay Street is one of three intersections in Abbotsford approved for traffic lights this year. (Google Street View)
Traffic signals approved at 3 Abbotsford intersections

Projects part of $1.45M in road upgrades around community

An apartment building and townhouse project has been proposed at 2236 McCallum Rd. in Abbotsford. The development was given third reading by city council on June 14. (City of Abbotsford)
Apartment-and-townhouse project planned on McCallum Road in Abbotsford

Development across from old hospital site consists of 174 suites and 10 townhouses

Adam Hobbs went missing from a Langley work site on Monday, June 14 and may have gone to Vancouver. (Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Family, RCMP seek Abbotsford man missing from Langley job site

Adam Hobbs lives in Abbotsford and is a minor hockey referee

Police were on scene Monday afternoon (June 14) in the area of George Ferguson Way and Ware Street. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)
Police called out after reports of possible home invasion in Abbotsford

Incident on Monday afternoon at George Ferugson Way and Ware Street

Migrating sockeye in the Fraser River August 7, 2007. (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
First Nations, commercial, and recreational harvesters join forces to save Fraser River fish

‘We have to work together to rebuild these stocks while there is still time,’ says delegate

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
VIDEO: Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

St. Joseph's Mission site is located about six kilometres from Williams Lake First Nation. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake First Nation to search residential school site for unmarked graves

St. Joseph’s Mission Indian Residential School operated from 1886 to 1981

Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lotto Max jackpot goes unclaimed again

42 of the 64 Maxmillion prizes of $1 million were won, the majority were sold in Ontario

FILE - This July 6, 2017 file photo shows prescription drugs in a glass flask at the state crime lab in Taylorsville, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
Contaminants in generic drugs may cause long-term harm to DNA: B.C. researcher

Scientist says findings suggest high volume overseas facilities require strict regulation

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., on April 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Labour shortages, closed borders major obstacles to B.C. restaurant, tourism restarts

Industry expert says it won’t start to recover until international travellers can visit

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

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