Dany Heatley: From Superstar to Afterthought

Dany Heatley looks for another chance this offseason (AP)

Dany Heatley looks for another chance this offseason (AP)

Remember when Dany Heatley was considered the greatest power forwad in the game? I don’t blame you if you can’t. He’s been a shadow of himself since 2010-11, after an incredible stretch where he scored 299 goals and 625 points in 589 games, the decline has been steep

During that stretch, Healtey scored 50 goals and 100 points twice and he potted 39 goals and 82 points in 2009-10 in SJ. Then the decline happened, since netting 26 and 24 goals in subsequent seasons, he fell to 11 in a lockout shortened season.

What happened this past season was incredible, as he netted only 12 goals in 76 games for Minnesota. The best thing about July 1st for the Wild wasn’t signing Thomas Vanek for 3 years at 19.5M – it was losing Heatley’s 7.5M from their books.

Now here we are days into free agency and Heatley who is only 33 can’t find a home. Obviously after a season where he played on the 4th line and eventually got scratched, it shouldn’t come as shock.

In late March, the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch wrote:

A check with three league executives suggested he may get a one-year deal somewhere.

“I’m sure somebody will take a chance on him at $1 million,” said a league executive.

You’d have to think it will be a bottom-feeder and the Florida Panthers always need help.

How far the mighty have fallen. This is also the same man who responded to a personal tragedy by scoring 50 goals, twice! Heatley was involved in a drinking and driving accident that killed his friend and teammate Dan Snyder.

Heatley recovers after car wreck (uncredited photo)

Heatley recovers after car wreck (uncredited photo)

Does Heatley have one more rebound in him? Can he find his game? Who wants him? So many questions remain to be answered. You have to think there is a market for a former 50/100 guy on an NHL team. Maybe, he and his agent haven’t come to grips that he isn’t worth what they think anymore.

Here is what we know, there will be a team out there that will have missed out on some targeted players and find Heatley a fit at the right price. Teams like the Rangers have been mentioned, as have the Leafs and even the Senators. However, it’s possible his former buddy, Jason Spezza can get Stars’ management to give him a shot.

Whatever happens, the only person who can change perceptions is Dany Heatley. We feel he has one more comeback in him and the team that takes the chance won’t regret it.

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