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‘We’ll see’ about Heatley’s future in Minnesota, says GM

May 8, 2014, 12:50 PM 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

One of the NHL’s more onerous contracts is set to expire this summer when Dany Heatley‘s six-year, $45 million deal comes off the Wild’s books.

And to hear GM Chuck Fletcher explain it, the club isn’t exactly rushing to figure out a way to bring Heatley back.

“We’ll see at the end of the year,” Fletcher said, per the Minnesota Star-Tribune. “His contract is up, and we can just see what the fit is going to be and for us, the key thing is we have to look at our young players and where they’re all going to fit.”

Since Minnesota’s season is still going and Heatley is playing (albeit in a fourth-line role) it’s understandable why Fletcher’s trying to be as non-committal and optimistic as possible about a potential return. But let’s be real: barring a gigantic pay cut, Heatley — who’s never scored more than 26 goals for the Wild and was a healthy scratch at times this season —  is done in Minnesota.

Whispers around the league suggest some, if not all, of the cap space freed from his contract will go to Thomas Vanek, the pending UFA rumored to be Minnesota’s No. 1 target. The Wild also need to decide what to do with trade deadline acquisition Matt Moulson, and reach a new deal with key RFAs Nino Neiderreiter.

Finances, plus Fletcher’s desire to give more young forwards a shot — the Wild still have ’11 first-rounder Zack Phillips in the mix — will basically squeeze Heatley out, though Fletcher is leaving the door open ever so slightly.

“We’ll sit down at the end of the year and talk to Dany,” he said, “and take a look and see how we end up here.”

  1. djshnooks - May 8, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    I could see him at someone buffalo goes after to reach the cap floor for a year or two. Not saying id like it, but I could see it.

  2. govtminion - May 8, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    “We’ll sit down at the end of the year and talk to Dany,” he said, “and take a look and see how we end up here.”


    “OK Dany, thanks for coming… let’s see, you’re looking for five million a year over the next three years… I’m offering that I won’t beat you with a sack of quarters if you get the hell out of the building in the next three minutes. I think you should take our deal.”

  3. yetidad - May 8, 2014 at 1:09 PM

    My two cents: Cut ties with Heatley. Sign and pay the youngsters who are the only ones really producing this playoff season. Let Moulson go back to wherever.. and be very cautious about signing Vanek. I am not sold on Vanek as the goal scorer the Wild really need. Go Wild! Friday should be a fun game to watch.

  4. vbcaps - May 8, 2014 at 1:14 PM

    He’s done in minny

  5. slickvb82 - May 8, 2014 at 1:20 PM

    I’m surprised PHT couldn’t find something better to report, everyone knows he’s done in Minny. We have too much young talent that are going to need commitments plus offseason additions. Irrelevant conversation.

  6. lbeezyse - May 8, 2014 at 1:26 PM

    I agree that Heater will not be with the Wild next year. The Wild need to figure out what they will be doing with Back, Hards, and Kuemps. Vanek will be a great addition to the team, if he is to be had for a 4-5 yr deal around 6.5 each yr. With Folin in the mix now I think that lessens the need for a top d-man. A d corps of suter, brodin, spurg, folin, stoner, and prosser/blum/oloffson/dumba is pretty solid. With the youngsters stepping up on cheap contracts it gives fletch the luxury of buying a Vanek type. If cheaper I’d preffer O’Reilly from the Aves due to his solid 2-way game.

    • 19to77 - May 8, 2014 at 4:39 PM

      So would most teams. The unfortunate thing for everyone else is, so do we. We’re keeping him. If anything Statsny is the odd man out this summer. O’Reilly’s a core player, key on the PK and has great synergy with Duchene. Management will overpay to keep him if they have to.

    • lostpuppysyndrome - May 8, 2014 at 8:46 PM

      I had to do a bit of research on Folin to figure out who the heck you were talking about. Is he that good of a prospect? He’s definitely got the size and hopefully he uses it. We need that on the back end since Scandella doesn’t want to check guys or play the body. Seriously. The guy is 6’3″ but plays like he’s 5’6″.

  7. lordfletcher - May 8, 2014 at 1:36 PM

    Like Heater or not he’s been fantastic off the ice. That said, he won’t be back with the Wild in sweater but maybe with coaching staff after a few years if he’s interested

    • slickvb82 - May 8, 2014 at 2:06 PM

      He has been overall good for the team, just not from a financial stand point. I’ve enjoyed having him, but similar to Backs, his contract is just way to high.

  8. homegrowntalentmn - May 8, 2014 at 1:42 PM

    No way! He doesnt deserve anything over 1 mill.

  9. slysipops - May 8, 2014 at 2:56 PM

    he’s always been overrated ! do keep him though WILD ! maybe 2 mill per year for 10 years or so ?

    • govtminion - May 8, 2014 at 6:59 PM

      I’ll disagree on that… he wasn’t ALWAYS overrated. There really was a great player in that jersey years ago, in Atlanta and the first year or two in Ottawa. And then… for whatever reason, he just stopped playing well. And now he’s this shell of what he had been. It’s just bizarre- we see players reach their peak and enter a decline all the time, usually as they hit their mid-30s. And yet sometimes you get that player who shows amazing talent and just suddenly gives up- Scott Gomez is another good example, a guy who won a Calder, looked amazing in New Jersey, and then all of a sudden just tanks it.

      So yeah, I mean there’s not much to say for Heatley these days, but I’d defend what he USED to be, at least.

  10. haassauce21 - May 8, 2014 at 3:16 PM

    He’ll be gone after this season. Don’t see a fit with all these young guys coming up!

  11. purpleguy - May 8, 2014 at 3:40 PM

    Good guy (for a Badger), but his legs are gone.

    • clarke16 - May 8, 2014 at 3:58 PM

      Unfortunately Koivu has started to look the same way. It all starts when you can’t seem to move your legs at the same time you’re moving your hands anymore. Stride, stride, stride…collect pass…coast while stickhandling…

  12. sharksfan97 - May 8, 2014 at 3:53 PM

    Heatley was as fast as a bowling pin when he played with the Sharks. I can only image how slow he must be now. Here’s an idea, maybe the Sharks can get Thornton and Marleau to waive their NTCs and all three can join the Minnesota bowling and beer league. Stupid Sharks, resigning Thornton and Marleau for 3 more painstaking years. Yippie!!

  13. nicofthenorthstar - May 8, 2014 at 5:01 PM

    19to77: what article are you commenting on? Or are you one of the refs who worked the Avs – Wild series and just can’t seem to comprehend what’s happening right in front of you?

  14. phxyotes - May 8, 2014 at 5:35 PM

    Dude moves like a grandpa on the ice. Time for the Wild to cut ties with this old has-been.

  15. zraskovich - May 8, 2014 at 10:56 PM


  16. guitarisgood4u - May 9, 2014 at 1:12 AM

    Yeah, the F’n all star deserves a raise.

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