Flames boost coaching ranks

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:22 PM ET

The Calgary Flames have shored up their coaching jobs throughout the organization by adding Troy Ward to the staff of the AHL's Abbotsford Heat.

Ward, who has been behind benches since finishing his university career at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 1984, will join head coach Jim Playfair and assistant Steve O’Rourke in guiding the club's top affiliate.

He spent the last three seasons with the AHL's Houston Aeros, the last two as assistant coach/assistant GM.

During his career, Ward spent three years as an assistant coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins (1997-2000) and was named ECHL coach of the year in 2000-01 with Trenton.

Ward is also the founder and owner of Hockey and Sons, a hockey camp in which parents and children participate on-ice together, in Minnesota.

As well, the club has reportedly signed 2009 seventh-round draft choice Gaelan Patterson to an entry level contract.

Patterson, who'll turn 20 in August, collected a WHL career best 26 goals and 33 assists for the Saskatoon Blades last season. He also played three playoff games for the Heat, and collected one goal.

"A dream come true. I still have to make the team. Being signed doesn't exactly (guarantee) that. But hopefully ... I'd love to play in Abbotsford," he told the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix.

Patterson could play for the Blades -- his hometown team -- next year as an over-ager, but will likely be part of a major youth movement for the Heat.

The Flames will host a development camp for their prospects July 25-31 at the Saddledome.


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