Sep 24, 2013, 9:54 AM EDT
Dany Heatley has been on a slow downward path since his back-to-back 50-goal campaigns with the Ottawa Senators, but that decline has increased in recent years with him recording 64 and 53 points in 2010-11 and 2011-12 respectively. He then scored just 11 goals and 21 points in 36 games last season.
His 2013 campaign was ultimately cut short due to a shoulder injury that led to surgery. If it wasn’t for that injury, the Wild might have bought out the final campaign of his six-year, $45 million contract.
It’s moot now though, he’s here and looking to do “a lot more than I had the last two years,” according to NHL.com.
Wild coach Mike Yeo is excited about the possibility of having Heatley back and healthy.
“Talking to him, I know that he’s extremely motivated,” Yeo said. “I know that he’s going to come in looking to prove himself.”
Heatley is 32 years old, so it’s not as if a comeback is impossible. In fact, a great season from Heatley could convince a team to sign him to another, albeit significantly less lucrative, long-term deal despite his previous disappointments.
More importantly for the Wild, a solid campaign from Heatley would go a long way towards providing the Wild with the offensive depth needed to take another step forward after ending their playoff drought last season.
- Blackhawks’ Sharp: ‘We knew we had to get two points’ 3
- Video: Brian Engblom takes a puck to the head 8
- Flames jump back into third in Pacific, beat Preds 5
- Letang concussed, Penguins will dress five defensemen 17
- NHL on NBCSN: Sharks desperate for wins, Penguins seek definitive end to slump 7
- Video: Bolts lose Garrison, Paquette in loss to Wings 4
- Bruins ruin Lundqvist’s return 28
- Video: Letang hospitalized after Doan hit (Update) 48
- Bruins chalk Rask’s absence up to dehydration (Update) 4
- Happy returns: Datsyuk plays for Detroit 2