A year ago, veteran minor league coach Troy G. Ward inherited the position of head coach of the Abbotsford Heat from departing bench boss Jim Playfair. An assistant for one year with the Heat under Playfair, Ward gained a bit of familiarity with the club and its players and set right to work developing a winning strategy.
The strategy was largely successful. Despite losing a laundry list of players to the Calgary Flames due to a lot of injuries on the National Hockey League roster, Ward and his crew put together a strong 42-26-3-5 record and returned to the Calder Cup playoffs, eventually being dispatched by the Toronto Marlies in the second round.
On the eve of the 2012-13 American Hockey League season, his second as head coach and third overall with the Abbotsford Heat, Ward discusses the team’s successes, the organization’s development philosophy and his goals for the coming hockey year.