January 11 2013 06:57PM
Time: 8:00 pm
Location: Abbotsford Entertainment Sports Centre
The Heat had a few months to enjoy the services of Sven Baertschi and TJ Brodie (and perhaps guys like Horak and Street as well). The beginning of the end of that starts tonight against the Chicago Wolves though.
None of the kids have been officially called up yet because the organization has to wait for the CBA to be ratified before making any roster moves, but Baertschi is already skating in Calgary with the parent club. Some teams, like OKC, are already sitting out their high-end prospects for fear of injury, so it's unclear what either side will look like this evening. There's no word on whether Brodie, Street and Horak will be healthy viewers or get a few more reps with Abbotsford before moving on to NHL training camp.
Chances are, Baertschi is the only absent healthy party tonoight. In response, the club recalled Adam Estoclet and Mitch Wahl from the Utah Grizzlies today. It's a move that has been a long time coming for Wahl, who has been tearing up the ECHL all year. His 37 points in 30 games leads his team and amongst the top-10 in the league to boot.
As for Chicago (Vancouver's affiliate), its possible they will be lacking Zack Kassian, Jordan Schroeder and Chris Tanev. Andrew Ebbett might get a look in the Canucks camp as well.
Kassian is the best bet to be sat given his perceived importance to the parent club. Tanev is also the Canucks version of TJ Brodie, so he might get a pass too.
Assuming Sven is the only guy on the sidelines for now, here's how things might end up:
- Kolanos - Walter - Horak
- Street - Byron - Sylvester
- Bancks - Reinhart - Aliu
- Estoclet - Wahl - Laing
- Brodie - Piskula
- Breen - McCarthy
- Callahan - Lamb
Tough to know where a guy like Wahl lands, but for now it's a safe guess he'll be at the bottom end of the rotation.
Again, we'll assume Kassian is the only healthy body in the pressbox.
- Ebbett - Sterling - Haydar
- Gordon - Schroeder - Pinizzotto
- Sweatt - Pinnizotto - Rodin
- Longpre - Miller- Desbiens
- Tanev - Connauton
- Matheson - Koslin
- Hunt - Andersson
The Wolves can't seem to find their way out of the Western Conference basement, currently sitting at 12th with 35 points. The Heat have sunk to 6th recently, but are only 4 points out of first.
Sum it Up
This could be the last or second last game for at least TJ Brodie, if not Horak and/or Street. The biggest loss to the team will likely be Brodie, not only because he plays the most of any player every night, but because the Abbotsford back end doesn't have many mobile puck movers in his absence (maybe Steve MCarthy?). Also - Steve McCarthy will likely get an invite to camp as well.
As such, the club should try to get as much value from the departing players as possible by getting as many points as possible before they leave.