Year End Reviews – Heatley


This is the first instalment of this series that includes a player.  In order to reflect the coaching change, I will split the analysis between the BC (Before Clouston) games and the AC (After Clouston) games.

Dany came into this season publicly requesting a greater leadership role on this team.  His request was welcomed by all involved, from GM to fans (“I really think that in the room he wants to be an important guy and I’ve seen that already in camp,” said GM Bryan Murray), and many of us fondly recalled the string of games he played in the 06/07 season without Alfredsson and Spezza.  It was that display of all around play that had many openly questioning the need for Spezza, even wondering if the team was better off without him, no matter what was gained in return.  Dany was hitting, forechecking, playmaking and scoring.  He was a complete player.  He was a leader.

So, after inheriting the “A” from the departed Redden, did he assume the role of leader?  In a word…No.

Dany Heatley – RW/LW – 28 yrs – 6’3″ – 220 lbs
GP-82 G-39 A-33 Pts-72 PIM-88 Plus/Minus -11 ATOI-20:07 PROD-22:54

B.C. (48 games)

G/g – .458

A/g – .479

Pts/g – .937

PIM/g – 1.25

Plus/Minus – -9

SOG/g – 3.021

ATOI – 21:00

PROD – 22:25

A.C. (34 games)

G/g – .500

A/g – .294

Pts/g – .794

PIM/g – .824

Plus/Minus – -2

SOG/g – 3.324

ATOI – 18:51

PROD – 23:44

As you can see from the stats, Heatley was actually more productive under Hartsburg.  This may appear grossly counter-intuitive, but, when you consider the fact that he played more PK time under Clouston, and saw duty on the second PP unit vs. the 1st, I’d chalk it up to a statistical anomaly, especially when you consider the fact that his shots were up per game while under Clouston.

Ultimately, at 28, it was hoped that Heatley would become the power forward he has the skill and size to be.  Instead, he seems to have settled into the role of “one timer guy” vs. “franchise guy”.

Dany is an incredibly talented player that, for whatever reason, has been unable to re-ignite his competitive fire since the Cup run in 06/07.  Watching the play in the post season has clearly displayed how passive and perimeter a game Dany has been playing over the last 2 seasons, and if this is what Dany truly believes is his role, it’s time for Murray to consider looking elsewhere for a top line player.  Like it or not, as the highest paid player on this team, and a consumer of significant minutes, if he can’t lead by example with hard work, 50 39 goals or not, he drags the rest of the team down, not up.

Dany has to look like he cares more about doing what it takes for the team to win, than what it takes for him to score.

I’ve no idea what the future holds for this roster, but there is no doubt that if the future includes improved results, it will require much more from the likes of Dany Heatley.

Dany Heatley – C

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