Trevor Gillies inks deal with Heat

It seems Brian Burke’s directive — you know the one? It goes something, something, truculence? — has trickled down to the AHL.

The Abbotsford Heat announced today they have signed pugilist Trevor Gillies to an AHL contract. Gillies, you may recall, was part of the infamous brawl between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the New York Islanders. You may remember him as the guy shouting from off-ice at a downed Penguin. Yes, it’s that Trevor Gillies.

Depending on your definition of impressive, Gillies has some impressive numbers. In 676 games split between the NHL, AHL, and ECHL, Gillies has racked up 2,866 PIM. Before inking his deal with the Heat, Gillies spent three games with SM-Liigas HIFK (54 PIM), and five games with Orlando of the ECHL (21 PIM).

But I am sure Gillies is being brought in for his scoring prowess. In those 676 games, Gillies has contributed to the tune of 11 goals and 32 assists.

The one-time Anaheim Duck — Gillies was there during the Burke years — will be available to the Heat for the weekends games when they host the Hamilton Bulldogs.



Flames assign O’Brien, recall Breen

It hasn’t been the best season for Shane O’Brien, and now the seven-year NHL vet is heading back to the AHL where his professional career began.

O’Brien, drafted 250th overall in 2003 by the then Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, was dealt to the Flames in June by the Colorado Avalanche in a package with David Jones that brought Corey Sarich and Alex Tanguay back the other way.

At the beginning of his career, O’Brien spent three seasons with the Ducks’ affiliates — two with the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks and one year in Portland with the Pirates.

To fill O’Brien’s spot, the Flames have recalled 24-year-old Chris Breen from Abbotsford. Breen, who has spent the last three seasons with the Heat, will get a chance to suit up for just his sixth NHL game in the recall.

Breen signed with the Flames at the culmination of his junior career, where he spent five seasons between the Peterborough Petes, Erie Otters, and Saginaw Spirit.

In 20 games with the Heat this season, Breen has tallied three assists.

Wolves deal Locke to Abbotsford, get Cundari on loan

After spending last season split between Finland’s SM-Liiga and Germany’s DEL, Corey Locke is moving on to his fourth team in two seasons after a deal sent him from the Chicago Wolves to the Abbotsford Heat.┬áIn exchange, the Wolves were loaned Mark Cundari from the Calgary Flames.

Locke, a veteran of over 600 games in the AHL, had previously spent time in Binghamton, Hartford, Houston, and Hamilton. One of the more prolific career AHLers, Locke has been at nearly a point-per-game clip in the minor leagues. With 178 goals and 368 assists, the Heat are getting a prolific playmaker who can improve their already stellar offence.

EliteProspects describes Locke as a skilled offensive threat and a nice addition to any team’s PP, but knocks his skating ability, adding he’s weak on the dot.

Cundari, a 23-year-old defenceman from Toronto, signed with the St. Louis Blues as a free agent after finishing his junior career with the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires. With just over 200 games in the A, Cundari has established himself as a contributor on the PP, able to quarterback his team with the extra man. In 32 games this season, Cundari has tallied ten points (4-6).

The loan agreement allows Calgary to retain the rights to Cundari should they wish to bring him to the big club. However, it seems unlikely that Cundari will see the NHL this season and should spend the remainder of the year with the Wolves.

Bouma, Byron, and Sieloff sign with Flames

Lance Bouma and Paul Byron have re-signed with the Calgary Flames, and Cowtown has inked Patrick Sieloff to his first professional deal.

Bouma, 23, was a third round pick of the Flames in 2008, and has spent the last three seasons in the Flames organization. In 2012-13, Bouma had his season shortened due to injury and only suited up for three games. In his three appearances — “all” with Abbotsford — Bouma potted one goal.

In 95 career AHL games, the forward has potted 16 goals and registered 11 assists to go along with 108 PIM. In addition, Bouma registered a goal in five playoff games. A two-way forward, Bouma is most useful in a second or third line role, and will likely see time in both Calgary and Abbotsford next season.

Byron, a diminutive forward, was drafted by the Sabres in the sixth round of the 2007 draft and has spent almost his entire professional career in the AHL. In 201 regular season AHL games, Byron has posted 53 goals and 69 assists. The 24-year-old Ottawa, Ont., native has spent the last two seasons with the Heat, and will be back for a third on a one-year deal.

Sieloff, a defenceman who spent last season with the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires, was drafted by the Flames in the second round of the 2012 draft, and joins the team on an entry level deal. At only 19, Sieloff will have to make the Flames or he’ll be headed back to the OHL, but he could see time in Abbotsford — or wherever the Flames affiliation is by that time — when Sieloff hits his overage seasons.

Flames ink giant D Breen

The Calgary Flames announced today that they have re-signed defenceman Chris Breen to a one-year, two-way contract.

The mammoth defenceman — he stands at 6’7″ and weighs 223 lbs. — will be back with the Abbotsford Heat next season. Breen, who landed with the Heat after signing with the club as a free agent on an amateur tryout in 2010, has been a regular for the squad over the last three seasons. In those 211 games, the 24-year-old blue liner has put up nine goals and 18 assists.

While he doesn’t quite have the frame of Zdeno Chara, Breen is a giant on the blue line and can punish opponents with his size, and utilize his long reach to keep attackers at bay. Though he signed an NHL deal with the Flames just two months after inking his ATO with the Heat, Breen hasn’t been able to crack the big club’s lineup, and it’s unlikely he will anytime soon.

The financial terms of the deal have not been released.