Ducks Sign LW Heatley to One-Year Contract
Heatley, 33 (1/21/81), has recorded 372-419=791 points with a +41 rating in 863 career NHL games with Atlanta, Ottawa, San Jose and Minnesota. A two-time 50-goal scorer, Heatley has been named to the NHL All-Star Game four times, named a First Team All-Star in 2007, a Second Team All-Star in 2006 and winner of the Calder Memorial Trophy as the league’s top rookie in 2002.
"Over the years, he’s been a guy I’ve always liked," said Executive Vice President and General Manager Bob Murray. "He’s intriguing because he’s a pure goal scorer, and he’s actually much better away from the puck than people think he is. He struggled the last couple years for different reasons. A great opportunity presented itself. It was a good match."
Since his NHL debut in 2001-02, Heatley ranks second among NHL players in power-play goals (143), tied for fourth in game-winning goals (64) and fifth in goals (372).
Selected by Atlanta in the first round (second overall) in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, Heatley has also collected 16-47=63 points with 63 PIM in 77 career Stanley Cup Playoff games. He set postseason career highs in goals (7), assists (15) and points (22) in 2007 when he helped lead Ottawa to the Stanley Cup Final, won by Anaheim in five games. The 6-4, 220-pound winger returns to the Pacific Division where he compiled 65-81=146 points with a +22 rating and 110 PIM in 162 games with San Jose from 2009-11. In his two seasons with the Sharks, Heatley ranked second on the club in goals and assists, and third in scoring.
"He looks good," said Murray. "He’s leaned himself out a bit. Foot speed will always be something, but his intelligence for the game makes up for that little bit of foot speed. In the offensive zone, he knows where to get open to score goals. He’s not afraid to go to the hard areas."
Born in Freiburg, Germany and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Heatley won gold with Team Canada at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. Heatley has also won gold with Canada at the 2003 and 2004 World Championships and the 2004 World Cup of Hockey. In total, he has played in two Olympics, six World Championships, one World Cup and two World Junior Championships.
Heatley shared his thoughts on becoming a member of the Anaheim Ducks.
On when Anaheim came into the mix
"My agent and Bob Murray were talking off and on for a week. I didn’t know how serious it was early on, but it got serious the last few days. I’m happy it got done. I have lots left in the tank. I was in a tough spot in Minnesota, and I feel like I have a lot to prove and a lot to give. I want to prove a lot of people wrong. I’m very happy Anaheim has given me that chance."
On his physical fitness
"I feel good. I feel leaner. I know the knock on me is that I’m not quick enough anymore. I disagree with that. I can still play this game. I’m still quick enough, fast enough, and I can score goals. As far as Minnesota, they had a lot of great young players. As an older player, sometimes you get pushed to the side a little bit to let the younger guys develop. At the same time, I feel like I was a good guy to the young kids. I mentored them a little bit. I enjoyed my time there. I just want another chance to show I can still play."
On his impressions of the Ducks
"The West is a very, very tough conference, especially on the coast. All three teams on the coast in California are great teams. I’m excited to be a part of Anaheim. There are so many teams in the West that have a chance to win. Anaheim is obviously one of those teams. I’m looking forward to trying to help them achieve that."
On the chance of playing with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry
"My job is to get in shape and be ready to play with those two guys. I know those guys, and I’ve played with both of them, particularly Getzy. I love playing with the guy. He’s one of the best players in the league, as is Corey Perry. We’ll see what Bruce [Boudreau] wants to do. But my job is to be ready to go and be ready to get a chance with those two guys."
On reflecting on the 2007 Cup Final vs. Anaheim
"It’s a lot of years past. Teams change every year. Rosters change. There is no doubt I’ll never forget that series, but at the same time it’s water under the bridge. We’re in a new year and we have a new chance to do something great here."
On playing with Getzlaf in the past
"I played with Getzy in the World Championships and the Olympics. Knowing him, watching him and playing with him, he’s one of the best in the league. I love an opportunity to play with him again."