By Mike Cadarette
There’s excitement, then there’s what Mike Testwuide was feeling on Monday evening. While having dinner at a friend’s house, he got a call that no hockey player often expects. Paul Holmgren, the GM of the Flyers, was on the other end and let the 26-year-old forward know he was headed to the Flames organization.
“At first it’s kind of a surprise and shock that you get traded,” Testwuide explained Wednesday after practice, “but I knew I was getting traded to a great organization with top end coaches and my development is really going to benefit here, so I was really excited right when I heard the news.”
The Heat are already well acquainted with the Testwuide family. Mike’s older brother, J.P., spent 26 games with the Heat at the end of last season, including the playoffs. So, it’s no surprise that J.P. was the first person Mike called for a quick scouting report on his new team.
“It was about 30 seconds after I got off the phone, I didn’t call anyone – my parents or anything – I called J.P. and told him. I think he was more excited than I was,” Testwuide chuckled. “He was jumping through the roof and he’s like, ‘you know what? You’re going to be a better player just by going there and working with those coaches. You’re going to be amazed by how much they care and how much they’re going to work with you. You’re going to love the facilities and the organization.’ Just hearing that from him is awesome.”
Testwuide isn’t the only one elated with this transaction. Head coach Troy Ward likes the prospect of having a bigger, grittier player to utilize in the lineup. At 6’3” and 210 pounds, the Vail, Colorado native is exactly the type of player needed to add that sandpaper-like element to the Heat.