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Heatley aims to put rough seasons behind him

Sep 24, 2013, 9:54 AM EDT

Dany Heatley #15 of the Minnesota Wild takes a shot as he warms up prior to facing the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center on February 2, 2012 in Denver, Colorado.
(February 1, 2012 - Source: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

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.

  1. lostpuppysyndrome - Sep 24, 2013 at 10:10 AM

    A lineup of Heatley-Coyle-Niederreiter could be a solid 2nd or 3rd line, depending on how everyone else (besides Parise-Koivu-Pominville) shakes out. Coyle on the boards feeding Heatley’s cannon, and Niederreiter picking up the garbage goals. I like the sound of that.

  2. greej1938l - Sep 24, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    I dont see Nedo making 2nd line…Not to start anyways

    • krishavy3 - Sep 24, 2013 at 11:28 AM

      Sounds like the best possibility for El Nino is on the the third line with Brodziak and Cooke. The second line would be Heatley-Coyle-Zucker.

      Really hoping Heater has a good year. Even with his recent slump, the guy can score clutch goals when the team needs someone to. That was apparent numerous times last year and the year before. Moreover, it looks as if he’s lost some weight, and according to Mike Yeo, has “gained a step” in his skating. It’d be better to see like, three or four steps, but I’ll take it.

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Sep 24, 2013 at 2:35 PM

        Zucker’s only going to make it if he’s consistent. Lots of folks seem to forget he disappeared shortly after he burst on to the scene. No doubt he’s an amazing talent but A) he’s going to have to play well on a regular basis and B) his style of play may not jive well with Coyle and Heater.

  3. dipspit55 - Sep 24, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    50in07

  4. crazemastercraze - Sep 24, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    Rough season? How about rough career!

    • ethanmacleod1685 - Sep 24, 2013 at 12:20 PM

      Are you serious

  5. ethanmacleod1685 - Sep 24, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    I remember when this guy was a perrinial sniper in this league, watching him play in SJ, you could just tell that he didnt adjust well to new post lockout style of play. The league just got a lot faster and bigger, and he couldn’t keep up.

    • foxwilleau - Sep 24, 2013 at 12:49 PM

      uh, what?

      Dany Heatley pre-lockout 0.95 points per game
      Dany Heatley post-lockout, including his weak 2012 and 2013 campaigns: 0.97 points per game

      how is that “not keeping up?”

      dude’s on the decline, but the “post lockout style of play” hasn’t got much to do with it, his best seasons (103 and 105 points) have been post lockout.

  6. foxwilleau - Sep 24, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    uh, poorly written article much?

    i’d agree that he’s been on decline since his ottawa days, but how has that decline “picked up” with 64 and 53 point seasons?

    05-06: 82GP (OTT) 50+53=103
    06-07: 82GP (OTT) 50+55=105
    07-08: 71GP (OTT) 41+41=82
    08-09: 82GP (OTT) 39+33=72
    09-10: 82GP (SJS) 39+43=82
    10-11: 80GP (SJS) 26+38=64
    11-12: 82GP (MIN) 24+29=53
    12-13: 36GP (MIN) 11+10=21

    Even his first season in San Jose was fine (technically an improvement in production). in 2011-12 his production dropped from 1.00 points/game to 0.8, and that is “picking up?” especially when it falls to 0.65 the next season? 2012-13 he was at 0.58, which, while continuing to decline, isn’t that far off from his previous year.

    Not defending Heatley either, I don’t care about him, I’m a Blues fan. I stumbled into this article, just seems weirdly written.

    • drhockeysm7 - Sep 24, 2013 at 2:38 PM

      “Picked up,” as in, accelerated downwards…

      I’m excited to hear a lot of good things coming out of Wild training camp, in general. At 32 years old Dany still has some tread on the tires. Will he ever get back to a point a game form, probably not, but hearing that he has gained a step and is motivated to show the league what he is capable of again, I’ll take that.

      GO WILD!!!

      • foxwilleau - Sep 24, 2013 at 4:11 PM

        i suppose you may be right (i certainly hope so, as it would make much more sense semantically).

        However, the use of “but” still leaves me confused:

        “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 picked up in recent years with him recording 64 and 53 points in 2010-11 and 2011-12 respectively. ” I guess instead of “but that decline has picked up” it should be “and that decline has exacerbated” or “and that decline has gotten worse.” “but” means we’re contrasting, not comparing (or adding to) as I hope the author intended.

        strange, as i would have never considered “picked up” to be a negative term. especially in the sporting world, any time someone’s play “picks up” it’s normally a good thing! if you wouldn’t have brought that suggestion, i’d have never even considered it, haha. :D

  7. jason9696 - Sep 25, 2013 at 9:47 AM

    The guy’s a punk for not wanting to go to one of the best hockey markets in Edmonton.

    He should’ve gone to jail for killing his friend several years ago. If it wasn’t for his friends parents. He probably would have.

    • shaundre93 - Sep 25, 2013 at 12:02 PM

      Sour grapes? And Schneider was also hammered when he got in that car… equal fault in my opinion.

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