Stanley Cup of Chowder, a Boston Bruins communityGood Afternoon Wilderness! Today, I am going to talk briefly about Dany Heatley, and his lack of production. Heatley has played in Minnesota for almost three seasons, and his production has gone down dramatically, every year that he has played in Minnesota.
The former Badger arrived in Minnesota on July 3, 2011, via a trade from the San Jose Sharks. Heatley has scored (47g-53a-100pts) in 186 games for the Wild. That averages out to .530 points per game, during his time in Minnesota.
The decline has continued this season. Heatly has scored (12g-16a-26pts) in 68 games. In the last five games, he has (0g-1a—1pts). Heatley's stats are numbers you would expect to see for a third or fourth line forward in the NHL. That being said, he's being paid like a top-line NHL talent. That makes Heatly one of the most expensive fourth line forwards in the NHL.
In Heatley's defense, he was playing more like a top-line NHL forward, before he was traded to Minnesota. Albeit, he was starting to show signs of slowing down in his last season with the with the San Jose Sharks (2010-11), when he scored (26g-38a-64pts) in 80 games.
Apparently, Heatley isn't happy that he's playing fourth line minutes. Looking at his stats, I am not sure where he expects to play? There are too many younger players on the Wild that are playing better than he is right now. Understand his frustration, but I am not sure who he thinks he should play over. These are also decisions that I will gladly let Mike Yeo make. Just for the record, I think Yeo has done a good job managing personnel this season. I know this is an unpopular opinion with some.
Chad Graff, Pioneer Press- Heatley isn't happy that he has been relegated to 8-10 minutes of ice time since the deadline additions of forwards Matt Moulson and Cody McCormick. That's OK, Yeo said; a player like Heatley shouldn't be happy on the fourth line.
"We had a talk when it first happened, and he's been handling it really well," Yeo said. "I don't want him to be, 'Oh everything is great.' I want him to be demanding more ice time. But the No. 1 way to do that is through your play."
Heatley is also one of my favorite college hockey players of all-time. I enjoyed watching Heatley play with the Wisconsin Badgers from 1999-01. During the 1999-00 season, the former Badger was on one of the most prolific lines in college hockey. The Big Red line of left wing David Hukalo (15g-24a—39pts), center Steve Reinprecht (26g-40a—66pts) and right wing Dany Heatley (28g-28a—56pts) lite up the college hockey world.
Just or comparison sake, the Boston College forward line of leftwing Johnny Gaudreau (32g-37a—69pts), center Bill Arnold (12g-36a—48pts, and rightwing Kevin Hayes (24g-32a—56pts) is the best line in college hockey this season.
Obviously, Heatley’s career is a body of work and he's had some great years playing in the NHL. However, let’s be honest, he's a shell of his former self, and his better days have passed him by. Heatley’s foot speed is non-existent and he’s not putting up the points like he used to. This is what happens to a player that's in the twilight of his hockey career. It's called getting old, it happens to all of us.
If Heatley hadn't been hurt last season, he would have been an amnesty buyout during the summer. The season can't end fast enough for Heatley. The guy needs a new start in a place not called Minnesota. That being said, he’s not going to be sign another deal for 7 Million a year and play first line minutes for anyone in the NHL.