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Newly married Wotherspoon focused on impressing in training camp

by GEORGE JOHNSON @GJohnsonFlames /

There were no confetti showers and nary a ceremonial tin can tied to a rear bumper or bridesmaid dabbing at moistened tear ducts to be seen.

Wednesday, though, the Flames and Tyler Wotherspoon tied the knot for another year.

His real 'Til-Death-Do-Us-Part nuptials were already taken care of, exchanged back in early July.

"It's been a wild summer, getting everything organized, getting everything ready," admits the newly wed, newly-re-signed defenceman, after agreeing to a two-way deal worth $650,000.

 "You think you've got everything together and the last week before the wedding you've still got to crunch a couple more things.

"But the stress of planning is gone - the day was a special one to remember and we're excited to start our journey together"

As his journey in the Flames' organization continues.

Wotherspoon and bride Mishaela were married in the Portland suburb of Happy Valley, then honeymooned in Jamaica for a week.

"It was the first time for both of us in the Caribbean. We loved it."

After that, naturally, it was straight back to training, getting himself as prepared as possible for training camp, which opens next week.

"We had a fun time but hockey's my job, it's what I've been doing my whole life.

"It's always there in thought and mind."

Over four pro seasons, the second-round (57th overall) selection in the 2011 NHL draft has logged 30 NHL games, along with 218 at the AHL level, in Abbotsford, Adirondack and now Stockton.

"There were a lot of ups and downs emotionally. There's always that part of your mind, wondering whether it's going to get done or not. But I always had (a positive mindset) that they wanted me. They'd qualified me so I was thinking there'd be something done in or around September.

"I'm just glad it's over with and I can focus on the season."

Now, at 24, with a good amount of pro seasoning to back him up, Wotherspoon - that under-the-radar, stay-at-home, low-maintenance defenceman - hopes to wedge his way onto an increasingly crowded blueline more permanently at the Scotiabank Saddledome this winter.

"For me, it's always the same with Tyler," critiques assistant GM Craig Conroy. "He's a steady, shutdown defenceman. And that's great. But you want him to take charge more, be more aggressive. Whether that's finishing checks, clearing guys out. He's got a good stick, great in the neutral zone, hard to beat 1-on-1. But if there's a chance to jump up in the play, you need to do it. Safe is great but you don't want to play too safe, where you look like everyone else.

"You need to get out of your comfort zone, grab a jersey and take a job."

That's the mandate as camp beckons.

"I feel like this year," Wotherspoon says, "can be my shot. I just hope I get an opportunity to show what I can do.

"You can get anxious, especially since I've gotten a taste of (the NHL) every pro year.

"When I've been up there, I felt as if I've done a good job. It would great, now, to get more than a taste and show them I deserve to be there long-term.

"As a player, I think my game is best suited to the NHL. You're always anxious and nervous about camp getting started. You want it to get going and get to October."

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