Former All-Star Dany Heatley is back with Norfolk–until further notice.
Anaheim’s offseason was marked by some very interesting acquisitions. Dany Heatley was a curious signing, a clearly declining star who could not produce at the levels of his prime. Ostensibly, Heatley was brought in to man the wing alongside star forwards Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf. After appearing in 4 games for the Ducks, Heattley found his way to the injured reserve. Anaheim eventually put him in Norfolk for a 2-game conditioning stint. It was not fruitful, and a sign of things to come in Anaheim. Once back with the club, Heatley would find himself in two more games before being waived. He has cleared waivers, and has been assigned to the Admirals.
Heatley’s descent to the minors is not surprising. In six games, he has managed 8 shots on goal, no points, and has not driven possession. At $1 million this year, the Ducks were hoping for a bargain. Instead, they received a player with little to no value at the NHL level. The idea behind putting Heatley in the AHL is to “revive his game”, giving him top-6 minutes to ignite his offense. If Heatley can produce, then the Ducks would likely want to trade him for some sort of assets. An example of this sort of happened with Anaheim’s own Rene Bourque. He was not working out for the Canadiens, was waived and sent to AHL Hamilton, and then found himself traded to the Ducks. Heatley, until that happens, is a Norfolk Admiral.
Norfolk needs goals, but I don’t think Heatley is the answer. If Rickard Rakell or Emerson Etem appeared in the minors, that may be different. When Heatley did his conditioning assignment, he did not look that great. I have no idea if he will get his game back in the AHL. He’s still on the wrong side of 30 with his best years behind him. If-there are a lot of ifs-Heatley can produce, it might help the Ads in the win-loss column. I am not depending on him, though.
Norfolk plays tonight in Hershey, as they finish up a three-game road swing in Pennsylvania. The Ads have had two close losses, and want to break through for a win tonight. I don’t expect Heatley to be in the lineup for tonight’s action. I do think he will be in Norfolk by tomorrow and in the lineup against Lehigh Valley.