Saturday, July 30, 2011

Former Langley Lords Forward Ryan Walter to be Named Abbotsford Heat President:

Photo courtesy of Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images

Former Langley Lords forward Ryan Walter is reportedly the new president of the AHL's Abbotsford Heat.

Here's the article from Cam Tucker of the Abbotsford Times:

The wait is over. Just 14 days after former Abbotsford Heat president and CEO Tom Mauthe officially resigned his position, the team will announce his replacement at a press conference Tuesday morning.

There are reports that Ryan Walter will be named the team's new president, however the Heat are not officially releasing any more information until the press conference.

Walter seems to be the obvious choice for president, especially given the family connection.

The Calgary Flames recently signed his son, Ben, to a two-way contract and it's likely he will begin the season with the Heat.

The announcement comes at a critical time for the AHL franchise and farm club of the Calgary Flames, as it enters its third season of operation.

While the numbers aren't official yet, the Heat and the City of Abbotsford are expected to announce a projected $1.2 million shortfall from last season, which the city and local taxpayers will have to subsidize.

The main reason why the team is expected to fall short of the $5.7 million in guaranteed revenue for the local ownership is overall fan attendance.

The Heat have finished each of their first two seasons in the bottom third in overall average attendance, although after combining with the city towards the end of last season to market the team more effectively, the number of fans began to increase.

As for Mauthe, who originally came to the Heat from Orca Bay, he has agreed to stay on to help the new president through the adjustment period.

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