Dany Heatley has asked off two teams and dodged a third, so the natural concern after the Wild executed Sunday's late-night Martin Havlat-for-Heatley swap was how the veteran sniper was coping with an unexpected trade that will take him from the San Jose sunshine to the Minnesota winter. On Monday, Heatley perhaps calmed the nerves. He sounded like a man motivated to resurrect his career and reputation, like a man hungry to score goals at a star's pace again and, maybe most important, like a man excited to be in Minnesota. "I'm happy to be a Minnesota Wild," Heatley said. "I'm excited to play with those guys, in that room, to play in that city, in front of those fans. It's a great place to play hockey. I'm happy to be there." The 30-year-old added: "Last year wasn't a great year for me personally. I want to get to that [top] level again in Minny. ... As a goal scorer and a player, you want to be that guy." Heatley scored 26 goals and 64 points last season for the Sharks. That's not a down year for most, especially when you consider those numbers would have led the Wild. But this is Dany Heatley -- a two-time 50-goal scorer, a point-a-game player, someone who possesses one of hockey's most toxic shots. General Manager Chuck Fletcher is confident Heatley will fill the net. "His track record speaks for itself," Fletcher said. "He's a proven goal scorer." And the Wild is starved for goals. In his end-of-the-season analysis, Fletcher believed the Wild had too many pass-first players. So on Sunday, he asked one of them -- Havlat -- to waive his no-move clause. "Our lack of goal scoring is well-documented. Our inability or our unwillingness to shoot the puck is well-documented," Fletcher said. "We wanted to change the mindset of our forward group." Last season the Wild ranked 30th in shots on goal and 26th in goals. Since entering the NHL, Heatley's 2,126 shots rank 10th and his 325 goals rank third. So Heatley's a "shooter," as is one of his best friends from the same Sharks team, Devin Setoguchi, whom Fletcher acquired June 24.
A sniper's fresh start
Minneapolis Star Tribune | Jul 6