The good news for Tyler Wotherspoon is he’s back in the National Hockey League (NHL).
But that doesn’t mean the Cloverdale native is seeing any action as his Calgary Flames battle for a playoff position.
Wotherspoon, 22, joined the Flames last Friday after he was called up from the Adirondack Flames of the American Hockey League (AHL). He has practiced with Calgary for the past week, and while he has been a healthy scratch for the three games the NHL team has played in the past week, he’s still happy with the situation.
“It’s just part of the business,” Wotherspoon told the Calgary Sun. “Obviously, it’s tough travelling that much but you’ve got to stick with it and not let it bother you at all.”
A second-round pick by the Flames in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Wotherspoon is in his second season as a professional. The six-foot-two, 210-pound defenceman has played in 61 games for Adirondack this season, scoring twice and adding 22 assists for 24 points.
He played in 14 NHL games last season after he was a late-season call-up from the AHL, given some playing time at the highest level after the Flames had fallen out of the playoff race.
This season, he’s in Calgary in case of injury during the final week of the regular season, and possibly the playoffs next week.
“It’s a good feeling to be called up at this time of year, especially with the playoff push right now and this environment. It’s nice to get this experience,” he said.
“It’s a different environment with all that’s happening in the standings and how big these games are. It’s totally different from last year, there was less pressure I would say. This year, there’s a lot riding on the line and it’s exciting.”
Another Surrey native continues to make the most of his late-season addition to an NHL roster.
Ottawa Senators goaltender Andrew Hammond was named the First Star of the Week by the NHL Monday. It was the second time Hammond was the First Star of the Week, and third time he was among the Three Stars announced weekly.
The former Surrey Eagle, called up to the NHL by the Senators from their AHL farm team in Binghamton in late January, went 3-0-1 (win-loss-overtime loss) last week with a 1.63 goals-against average and a .940 save percentage.
Also named the NHL’s First Star for March, Hammond has posted a 17-1-2 record with a 1.86 goals-against average, .939 save percentage and two shutouts since his season debut Feb. 16.
Hammond was recently named as the Ottawa Senators nominee for the Bill Masterton Award, which is presented annually to a player “who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.”
Local chapters of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association (PHWA) choose nominees for each of the 30 NHL teams, and the San Jose chapter selected Scott Hannan as the nominee for the San Jose Sharks.
Hannan, a graduate of Tamanawis Secondary in Surrey, played his 1,000th game in the NHL this past season.
Drafted by the Sharks 23rd overall from the Kelowna Rockets in the 1997 Entry Draft, Hannan played seven seasons in San Jose before signing with the Colorado Avalanche as a free agent in 2007.
After four seasons in Denver, he had short stints with the Washington Capitals, Calgary Flames and Nashville Predators before he was traded back to the Sharks late in the 2012-13 season.
A stay-at-home defenceman, Hannan has scored 38 goals and 625 points in 1,055 career games.