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UFA of the Day: Dany Heatley

Jun 11, 2014, 10:48 AM EDT

Edmonton Oilers v Minnesota Wild Getty Images

Check PHT each weekday for the first four weeks of June for a new pending unrestricted free agent of the day. Today’s UFA of the Day is…

Dany Heatley

A two-time 50-goal scorer. Six times he’s eclipsed the 30-goal mark. He won Olympic gold for Canada in 2010. And he’s tied with Marian Gaborik for the highest expiring cap hit of all pending UFAs, at $7.5 million. This guy’s going to get paid, right?

Wrong. Heatley had just 12 goals in 76 games this season for the Wild and hasn’t been a dangerous scorer for a few years now. Where he ends up next season remains to be seen, but the 33-year-old winger seems destined to move on from Minnesota.

“We’ll see at the end of the year,” Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher said last month, per the StarTribune. “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. … So we’ll sit down at the end of the year and talk to Dany and take a look and see how we end up here.”

Is there reclamation potential in Heatley? If he doesn’t sign an extension in Minnesota, that’s what his agent will have to sell on the open market this summer. Maybe the argument could be that the Wild’s system wasn’t a good fit. Or that he didn’t have any chemistry with the Wild’s play-makers.

It’ll be a tough sell. The common wisdom is that Heatley has lost a step (or more than a step) and can’t keep up with today’s younger, faster players.

  1. bhinrichs9 - Jun 11, 2014 at 10:52 AM

    It is hard to be as fast as the rest of these players when you don’t move your feet, he skates like he has concrete in his skates. Still has fantastic hands and is decent standing in front of the net on a powerplay.

  2. pjblake2redwings - Jun 11, 2014 at 11:06 AM

    He will get a 2-3 yr deal for about 4-5 million if hes lucky

    • therealjr - Jun 11, 2014 at 11:21 AM

      He’ll be lucky. KHL lucky.

      • mshantz22 - Jun 11, 2014 at 11:35 AM

        I agree. I would be shocked if he stayed in North America. They’ll pay him more in the KHL than they would in the NHL.

      • illogic87 - Jun 11, 2014 at 4:13 PM

        Umm, no. A lot of teams would take him in the NHL for cheap for their 4th line.

      • lordfletcher - Jun 11, 2014 at 11:05 PM

        um no.

        to everything you said

  3. haassauce21 - Jun 11, 2014 at 11:12 AM

    He won’t get a lot of money if he stays with the Wild. We have young players that will fill the roll

    • getadealdonealready - Jun 11, 2014 at 2:38 PM

      I can’t imagine any scenario where he ends up back with the wild.

      • lordfletcher - Jun 12, 2014 at 8:57 PM

        only as an assistant coach. He will not play for the Wild again.

  4. purpleguy - Jun 11, 2014 at 11:28 AM

    I seriously wonder if a team will even sign him. His legs are gone, and his hands don’t even seem to be what they used to be. He was sure loved in the Wild locker room though.

    • getadealdonealready - Jun 11, 2014 at 2:39 PM

      I agree 1000%, what I will say to his credit, he handled this season like a champ, never complained about role, or even when he was scratched. He was a good team guy, and played well in stretches especially when Mikko and ZP were injured. I wasn’t a fan, but thought the hate on him from some MN fans went a little too far.

  5. shaundre93 - Jun 11, 2014 at 11:37 AM

    I could see Heater getiing a PTO with Florida… I could also see Holmgren throwing him 4 per with term haha. I have absolutely no clue what this guys value is to other teams

  6. dwadholm - Jun 11, 2014 at 11:38 AM

    #50in07 – F’in ALL STAR – No Contract Trade Request – Heater!

    2-3 million for 2 years from any bottom 6 teams in the league. Oilers? Panthers? Sabers?

  7. DED - Jun 11, 2014 at 12:13 PM

    He used to be a fantastic player. Any chance that shoulder injury is still bugging him? He averaged only 1.45 shots/game this year. 2012-13 it was 2.3 and 2011-12 it was 2.9.

    I read that he has money issues because of his former agent so Europe or KHL might be his destination if no NHL teams wants to gamble on him.

  8. tross16 - Jun 11, 2014 at 12:22 PM

    He’s already made his nut my guess is he has enough pride that he will accept a pay cut to stay in the NHL. I think a good place for him would be in Edmonton where he could become a mentor and a leader for the kids they have there

    • 19inarow - Jun 11, 2014 at 2:31 PM

      Heatley is a good example of what Edmonton’s players should NOT follow. They need the leadership of a Toews or a Tavares.

      • illogic87 - Jun 11, 2014 at 4:15 PM

        How do you know that Heatley isnt a leader? Do you have access to the Minnesota Wild locker room? Or are you just speaking out of your butthole?

      • clarke16 - Jun 11, 2014 at 7:03 PM

        Put your money on Butthole.

        The first sign of a declining player is they stop moving their feet the moment they touch the puck. Watch Koivu… Same thing has started with him… None of us are immune from father time…

        That being said–Heater has handled himself with the utmost in class/integrity. He refused to be a distraction, in fact–quite the opposite. I admire him and wish him well wherever his next stop takes him but one thing is clear–the Wild are at a different stage with their roster. An aging Heatley doesn’t fit. Zero chance he returns.

  9. gbart22 - Jun 11, 2014 at 12:30 PM

    As long as teams don’t sign him thinking he is what he once was like they do with so many other aging star players. They sign a name and fans want what that name meant in their prime. He’s not that anymore but he could be a good bottom six forward maybe even crack the top six if he goes on a hot streak but he’s better than most 3rd and fourth liners so he should find a team.

  10. crazemastercraze - Jun 11, 2014 at 1:34 PM

    Flyers sign him,8 years at $8.9mil annually with a no trade clause.

    • claysbar - Jun 11, 2014 at 1:45 PM

      And a stake in the team…

  11. guitarisgood4u - Jun 11, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    The Heater signing in Europe or the KHL would provide some great material for @DanyAllstar15

  12. govtminion - Jun 11, 2014 at 2:45 PM

    Best case for a team is to bring him in for the leadership he seems to have had a knack for in the Wild locker room, pay him maybe 3 mil a year tops, maybe add on bonus clauses. If he wants to get paid, let him earn it on the stat sheets for once.

    I sure don’t know what happened to him though. Seems like just a couple of years ago he was one of the most dangerous players in the NHL, and now he’s a near-DiPietro-esque punchline. At least DiPietro had the injuries to explain his collapse…

  13. 4everwingsfan - Jun 11, 2014 at 4:09 PM

    I have a feeling for some reason that the Wings sign him. Holland likes a good project veteran. But it’s just a feeling, could be that taco I ate today too.

  14. illogic87 - Jun 11, 2014 at 4:16 PM

    Heatleys NHL career is far from being over. He would be a great veteran prescence and 4th line winger for a lot of rebuilding teams.

  15. jaythehelmetguy - Jun 12, 2014 at 1:02 AM

    Is it weird that I see him signing with the Blues and then being sent straight down to Chicago (their AHL affiliate)?

  16. beergold - Jun 12, 2014 at 12:57 PM

    Looks like a sure bet to end up in Toronto – 7 year contract at 6.5 mill a year. (I hear he’s a 2 handicap golfer so why not”)

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