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Ducks Hope Heatley Fills Revolving Door at Left Wing

Saturday, 08.30.2014 / 1:26 PM / News
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Ducks Hope Heatley Fills Revolving Door at Left Wing
Dany Heatley wants to show the Anaheim Ducks he\'s still a top NHL scorer. The Ducks hope Heatley can fill a hole on their top line alongside superstars Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry.
By Curtis Zupke | NHL.com

The audition to find a left wing to play with captain Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry lasted all last season for the Anaheim Ducks.

Dustin Penner rebooted his career there before he was traded. There was also Patrick Maroon, Matt Beleskey, Kyle Palmieri, Jakob Silfverberg and Devante Smith-Pelly. Coach Bruce Boudreau estimated he tried at least 10 players there.

Anaheim certainly would like Dany Heatley to end the tryout.

The Ducks signed the veteran left wing to a low-risk, one-year, $1 million contract July 9 in the hopes that Heatley can channel the sniper capability that has defined most of his 12-year career.

"Every time we've played him, he's been a dangerous player," Boudreau said. "I think we can try him with Getzlaf and Perry. We tried Dustin Penner there … I think this can work better."

Boudreau noted Heatley's numbers have been down since his 39-goal season with the San Jose Sharks in 2009-10. He had 12 goals with a minus-18 rating in 76 games with the Minnesota Wild last season, and it wasn't surprising Heatley lasted beyond the first wave of free agents signed.

But Anaheim general manager Bob Murray saw a potential fit, particularly on the Ducks' disappointing power play. The only downside is if Heatley underperforms and is seen as taking a spot that could otherwise be filled by the stable of young forwards at the Ducks' disposal such as Smith-Pelly or Emerson Etem.

"I'm hoping Bob didn't go out and get Dany Heatley just to get someone," Boudreau said. "I'm sure he's excited and motivated."

Heatley sounded it when he spoke to reporters upon his signing. The two-time 50-goal scorer and longtime Ducks nemesis said he wants to prove his critics wrong and show he still has speed. Skating with Getzlaf, a reigning Hart Trophy finalist, and Perry, a former Hart winner, might help put that spring back.

"My job is to get in shape and be ready to play with those two guys," Heatley said. "I know those guys, and I've played with both of them, particularly [Getzlaf]. 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 wants to do. But my job is to be ready to go and be ready to get a chance with those two guys."

Murray thinks Heatley's veteran presence will at least rub off on those younger players -- his left-handed shot on the left side doesn't hurt, either. Heatley reportedly was a fine example in Minnesota for players like Nino Niederreiter and Charlie Coyle after Heatley's role got reduced.

"As an older player, sometimes you get pushed to the side a little bit to let the younger guys develop," Heatley said. "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."

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 ANA 66 42 17 7 196 179 91
2 NSH 65 41 17 7 193 158 89
3 STL 63 40 18 5 197 159 85
4 CHI 64 38 21 5 188 152 81
5 WPG 65 32 21 12 180 175 76
6 VAN 63 36 24 3 182 173 75
7 MIN 63 34 22 7 179 163 75
8 CGY 63 34 25 4 178 162 72
9 LAK 63 30 21 12 171 164 72
10 SJS 65 32 25 8 185 183 72
11 COL 64 28 25 11 170 183 67
12 DAL 64 28 26 10 199 212 66
13 ARI 64 20 37 7 139 218 47
14 EDM 64 18 36 10 145 213 46

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 63 20 41 13 61
C. Perry 51 27 18 15 45
R. Kesler 66 17 24 1 41
S. Vatanen 57 12 22 6 34
M. Beleskey 56 21 9 13 30
J. Silfverberg 65 10 20 11 30
H. Lindholm 63 6 23 20 29
P. Maroon 58 7 21 -4 28
C. Fowler 65 6 22 3 28
R. Rakell 55 6 19 5 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 30 8 5 .917 2.34
J. Gibson 9 5 0 .924 2.41

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