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Wahl recovered, ready to play

by Dhiren Mahiban / Calgary Flames

Abbotsford, BC - Mitch Wahl is looking to get back into action.

After missing 11 games with broken bones around his eye along with a broken cheekbone, which was surgically repaired, and a concussion - it appears there's good news on the way for Abbotsford Heat rookie.

He could return to the line-up very soon.

The Seal Beach, CA.,  native was sidelined on Nov. 27 as Manitoba Moose forward Aaron Volpatti caught Wahl with his head down.

"To be honest I don't remember much, I just remember cutting across the middle and that's about all I remembered for the rest of the night," said Wahl of the play. "I've seen it on YouTube, its' not really a worthy replay, you can't really see it that well, but Jim (Playfiair) showed me the overhead view - he said he was going to send it to the league.

"(Volpatti) obviously wasn't suspended - I didn't think it was overly dirty - just kind of a weird play how when I cut to the middle he was coming off the bench. It was just an awkward move I guess."

Wahl, who has a goal and four helpers in 15 games this season, practiced with his teammates for the first time on Monday wearing a half-visor/half-cage to protect his face and could be in the line up when the Heat play host to the Texas Stars.

"It feels good, I'm still trying to get my feet back under me and get back into game shape," he said. "My head's feeling a little better and hopefully I'll be in the line up for Thursday."


With 11 days off between games for the Heat it gave Playfair plenty of time to evaluate things surrounding his team and one of the areas he gave considerable thought to over the Christmas holidays was his team's captaincy.

The team currently has three alternate captains in Cam Cunning, Matt Keith and Matt Pelech. According to Playfair a captain will soon be named.

"Its' something I thought about over the break a lot - I have an idea in mind of how I want to structure it out," he said. "I have a person in mind I want to consider. Hopefully by the New Year we'll have something in place."

The next captain will be the third in franchise history - Brett Palin was named captain to start the 2009-10 season, but after a concussion sidelined him for a majority of the season Garth Murray was named the team's second captain.


After what initially seemed like a suspicious absence from the Heat line-up on Nov. 27, which the team referred to as a "personal matter" it has come to light that Abbotsford defenceman Chris Breen flew home to Ontario in late November to welcome his daughter into the world.

Scarlett was born Nov. 28.

""It's pretty incredible," said Breen, 21. "It's kind of one of those things that is tough to explain, just holding her it's just like a dream like you can't really imagine you produced something like that."

After spending just a couple days with his newborn Breen re-joined the Heat in Hamilton, but got some quality time with his daughter over the Christmas break.

"I didn't want to put her down. I don't think I left more than 10 feet away from her the whole time and other than changing a couple of diapers, which takes some getting use to. It was incredible, it was an awesome Christmas.

"It makes you realize again hockey is just a game. There's a lot more to life than hockey and even though this is what I love, my baby girl comes No. 1 now I'd say."


"He's renting my house so I have to stay on good terms with him." -- Playfair on new Flames GM Jay Feaster


Gaelan Patterson - Concussion
Carter Bancks - Concussion
Kris Chucko - Concussion
John Negrin - Knee


The Abbotsford Heat drop the puck on a 10-game home stand beginning Thursday when they play host to the Texas Stars (AHL affiliate of the Dallas Stars).

The Manitoba Moose (AHL affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks) pay a visit to the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre Monday and Tuesday.

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