By Lindsay Kramer
On June 5, Calgary named former Dayton Bombers coach Jim Playfair head coach of the Abbotsford Heat, its new affiliate that will join the American Hockey League in 2009-10.
Playfair came to town for a get-to-know-you day, met the front office and local media, shook hands and smiled a lot. He could have easily scooted out the next day and gone back to Calgary, where he had been a Flames assistant coach, to rejoin his family and continue his summer vacation.
But the next day the Heat had a little open house going on, where fans could come in, check out the new building and choose their seats. So Playfair decided to hang around for part of that promotion to let prospective ticket-buyers know he stands behind the product in which they are investing.
“It was a neat process to see the excitement in the community,” Playfair said. “From day one, we’re in this together. That’s all part of the challenge. By doing this right the first time, you can set up the future of the franchise for years to come. When it’s brand new, that’s what makes it neat.”