Quint-essential leader: Laing voted Heat captain

Wednesday's captaincy vote was a prime example of new Abbotsford Heat head coach Troy Ward's unique approach.

Quintin Laing will once again be wearing the ‘C’ when the Heat host their home opener on Friday.

Wednesday’s captaincy vote was a prime example of new Abbotsford Heat head coach Troy Ward’s unique approach.

In crafting the AHL club’s leadership group, Ward sought input from every member of the Heat’s hockey personnel. Players, coaches, trainers and equipment managers each had a vote, though the final decision rested with the coaching staff.

Ultimately, veteran forward Quintin Laing was the consensus choice as captain, reprising a role he assumed midway through last season. Defenceman Joe Piskula and forward Guillaume Desbiens will serve as assistant captains.

Laing, embarking on his 12th season as a pro, said he’d never come across such an in-depth process to choose a captain.

“It definitely means a little bit more being picked by the whole team,” the 32-year-old native of Harris, Sask. said after practice Thursday. “It’s kind of indicative of what Troy’s been preaching – we’re one big family, from the trainers to the players to the assistant coaches to the head coach.”

Ward, for his part, saw value in engaging as many unique perspectives as possible.

“I feel that I have a certain set of eyes on players, but then at the same time, I’ve got trainers and equipment guys who see the players in a different light than I do,” he said. “I wanted to get their thoughts on leadership in a holistic point of view – meaning in life and in hockey, from the buses to the airports to the hotels, everything that we do.”

Ward said Laing’s personal maturity distinguishes him as a leader.

“He’s married, he’s got kids, and I think he’s been through a lot of things other people haven’t been through in life yet or are just starting to go through,” he said. “It adds a lot to the value of our team.

“The things he does on a daily basis leads you to be successful.”

Laing pointed out the Heat’s formal leadership group will have plenty of help this season, with veterans like Clay Wilson, Jordan Henry, Ben Walter and Stefan Meyer in the room.

As for the assistant captains, Laing said Desbiens’s decision to drop the gloves in defence of teammate Paul Byron last Friday against the Lake Erie Monsters endeared him to his new teammates.

“He plays the way a player should play – he’s tough, he works hard, and he’s got skill,” Laing said.

Piskula, in his second season with Abbotsford, is a vocal leader in the locker room.

“Off the ice, he’s the best guy to talk to and have around,” Laing said. “He takes charge that way.”


• The Heat host their home opener on Friday, when the Rockford IceHogs come to town for a 7 p.m. puck-drop at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre. According to Ward, Leland Irving is slated to get his third straight start between the pipes for the Heat.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Jodie Fedun said her brother Jarrett Whitford hasn’t been heard from since early September, and his bank card was last used in Hope. (Submitted/Facebook photo)
Police spot missing Alberta man on video, in Hope

Family have not heard from Jarrett Whitford, 31, since early September

The Vancouver Canucks and Abbotsford’s Jake Virtanen have agreed to a two-year deal with an average annual salary of $2.55 million. (@Canucks Twitter photo)
Abbotsford’s Jake Virtanen, Vancouver Canucks agree to two-year deal

Two sides avoid arbitration, Virtanen will receive average annual salary of $2.55 million

Abbotsford courthouse
Man sentenced to 7 years for sexual abuse of 2 young girls in Abbotsford

Sisters assaulted while mom was asleep or away from the home

Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
MISSING: Mission RCMP request assistance in search for Joseph Pierce

Pierce last seen in Abbotsford on Oct. 6, may be headed to Alberta

Someone needs a manicure? The She Devil pursues Jvck Wilde in a cinematic music video about struggling with mental illness. (Submitted photo)
Chilliwack hip-hop artist Jvck Wilde produces She Devil music video

Dark, chilling and very cinematic, Wilde produces a gripping video on a tight budget

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

The Anonymous YVR is an Instagram page that reviews restaurants and other establishments around B.C. based on how well they adhere to COVID-19 rules. (Instagram)
Anonymous Instagram page reviews COVID-19 safety measures at B.C. businesses

There are a number of public health orders various types of establishments must follow to slow virus’s spread

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Jordan Naterer, an electrical engineer from Vancouver, was last seen Saturday Oct. 10. (Facebook photo)
Search efforts to resume for missing Manning Park hiker; Trudeau speaks on case

PM says he’ll do what he can to ‘nudge’ efforts to find Jordan Naterer, yet has little leverage locally

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

Smartphone showing various applications to social media services and Google. (Pixabay photo)
National media calling for level playing field with Google, Facebook

In Canada, Google and Facebook control 80 per cent of all online advertising revenues

Most Read