January 11 2013 03:09PM
With the chaos of the World Juniors and the NHL lockout finally behind us, we're about to see a return to normalcy. Thus, this is the last weekend without NHL hockey until probably late June. With that, let's see what the Flames kids are up to.
AHL & ECHL
The Abbotsford Heat (17-10-3-4) hit the ice once again at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre when they host the Chicago Wolves (15-12-3-2). The Wolves are the Vancouver Canucks' farm team and the AESC is going to be sold out for Friday and Saturday. Saturday's game will be on Sportsnet beginning at 8pm MT.
Sportsnet's Roger Millions discussed possible timelines for training camp and AHL call-ups.
From chatting #Flames grappling with bringing in players from Abby on Sat and not sunday. Still deciding. Abby hosts Chi Fri and Sat— Roger Millions (@RogMillions) January 10, 2013
if they bring in from Abby sat. they will have to make sure Heat roster is set to play backend of doubleheader vs wolves.— Roger Millions (@RogMillions) January 10, 2013
if NHLPA ratifies, is it inconceivable teams could do Physicals Sat. Nite and skate on Sunday??— Roger Millions (@RogMillions) January 10, 2013
So, depending on (a) when the NHLPA ratifies, (b) when the NHL gives teams the all-clear, (c) entry medicals, (d) how Friday's game against Chicago goes, then the Heat could be losing guys like Baertschi and Brodie for Saturday's game.
Meanwhile, the ECHL's Utah Grizzlies will host the Las Vegas Wrangles on Friday and Saturday. Depending on what happens in Abbotsford, there's a chance Bryan Cameron or Mitch Wahl could get called-up to the AHL.
Michael Ferland was traded on Thursday's trade deadline and will be suiting up for the Saskatoon Blades, his fourth team this year. He's previously played for Abbotsford, Utah and Brandon. Moving around this much hasn't given him a chance to get a lot of momentum, but he will be playing for the Memorial Cup.
Ferland begins his tenure with the Blades with a pair of games against Flames prospects. On Friday the Blades host Turner Elson and the Red Deer Rebels. On Saturday they host Laurent Brossoit and the Edmonton Oil Kings. The Oil Kings will have a busy weekend, as they also play Friday at home against Lethbridge and Sunday in Medicine Hat. The Rebels also play on Saturday in Prince Albert against the Raiders.
Coda Gordon's Swift Current Broncos host Prince Albert on Friday and the Calgary Hitmen on Saturday. The Portland Winterhawks and Tyler Wotherspoon host the Spokane Chiefs on Friday and visit the Everett Silvertips on Saturday. Brett Kulak's Vancouver Giants play one game this weekend, at home on Saturday against the Kelowna Rockets.
Over in the QMJHL, Ryan Culkin's Quebec Remparts play last year's Memorial Cup champions from Shawinigan on Friday and then host Val-d'Or on Saturday. And Patrick Sieloff and the Windsor Spitfires visit the Belleville Bulls on Saturday and the Oshawa Generals on Sunday.
Big returns highlight the NCAA action this weekend.
Mark Jankowski returns from a hip injury and faces his first game action in over a month. He'll be joined at Providence College by goalie Jon Gillies, who's bringing his gold medal from the World Juniors with him. The Friars face Massachusetts in a home and home series on Friday and Saturday.
Meanwhile, Johnny Gaudreau – fresh off an all-star team, gold-medal-winning performance at the World Juniors – returns to Boston College as they play a home and home series with New Hampshre. Bill Arnold has been good as of late, but for the Eagles to go deep again, it'll have to be the Gaudreau show.
Elsewhere, Wisconsin (home of captain John Ramage) visits Minnesota State for a pair of games, while Nick Larson's Notre Dame Fighting Irish plays a pair of games against Matt Deblouw's Michigan State Spartans.
Avangard Omsk and Karri Ramo are off until Tuesday as the KHL is off for the weekend due to All-Star festivities.
Over in SM-Liiga, HIFK Helsinki (Joni Ortio and Markus Granlund) plays Lukko on Saturday night in their lone game. Granlund will hopefully carry over his momentum from a strong World Juniors.