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Rest, tips from coaches helped Heatley rebound in playoffs

May 2, 2014, 10:02 AM EDT

Dany Heatley Getty Images

Dany Heatley has struggled since arriving in Minnesota from San Jose.

He has often been put on the fourth line or scratched this season and both of those things happened to him in the playoffs. Wild coach made Heatley a healthy scratch in Games 1 and 2 and found himself on the fourth line when he returned to action in Game 3.

That didn’t stop Heatley in Game 7 against Colorado as he had a goal and, for a night, looked a little like the guy who was a threat to score any time he was on the ice he used to be.

As Jim Souhan of the Star-Tribune writes, Heatley credits that bit of rest and advice from assistant coaches Darby Hendrickson and Andrew Brunette for his bounce back.

“You kind of knew that if you get scratched and the team goes on a good run it’s going to be tough to get back in. I kind of took it as a positive, to get some rest. You’ve got to give Darby and Bruno a lot of credit. They really helped me, skating, working on different stuff that you don’t get to do if you’re in the lineup.”

Heatley is an unrestricted free agent after this season and while he’s not going to see the same kind of payday he had on this contract (Six years, $45 million), he’s playing for a new contract elsewhere. Taking advantage of his minutes the way he did in Game 7 would go a long way to helping himself.

  1. dwadholm - May 2, 2014 at 10:36 AM

    Respect for Heatly. Perhaps this is the end. I suppose he might get Matt Cullen kind of money in the future… It’s too bad, because he still has flashes of brilliance!

    • clarke16 - May 2, 2014 at 4:30 PM

      Actually–this article alludes to Heater having been scratched throughout the season. Wrong. His first scratch in his career was in the Avs series…

  2. jb8588 - May 2, 2014 at 11:00 AM

    If he isn’t going to be outrageous with contract demands in the offseason, I would love to see the Lightning take a flier on him especially if Malone is bought out. With Drouin coming on board next season, they can ease him into the lineup if Heats was on board and scoring.

    • purpleguy - May 2, 2014 at 11:28 AM

      He can’t really skate any more, but would be good on the PP.

  3. TBaySlim - May 2, 2014 at 1:37 PM

    not much of a skater, has been getting better on the defensive end back checking an such still not great but the guy just finds a way to score in front of the net, reminds me alot of mark parrish at this point in heaters career, still has a good shot and wish the wild would find a way to keep him for a decrease in money

  4. phxyotes - May 2, 2014 at 5:57 PM

    I wonder if he still gets drunk and kills teammates in his Ferrari.

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