Anaheim, CA, United States (4E Sports) – Veteran left winger Dany Heatley has been given another chance to prove himself as he signed a one-year deal with the Anaheim Ducks, eight days after NHL free agency began.
The 33-year-old Heatley is coming off 12 goals and 16 assists in 76 games with the Minnesota Wild, who scratched him late in the season.
“I feel like was kind of in a tough spot in Minnesota,” Heatley said. “I feel I’ve got a lot to prove and a lot to give. I want to prove a lot of people wrong, and I’m very happy Anaheim has given me that chance.”
“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,” he added.
Ducks general manager Bob Murray admitted that Heatley has struggled (49 points, minus-30 the past two seasons), but the opportunity presented itself for the sides in a low-risk contract.
“I think he’s a very proud athlete and it hasn’t gone quite right for whatever reason, and I think he knows the end is coming,” Murray said. “I think he’s very motivated at this point. Our power play wasn’t very good this year, and he could help our power play.”
Anaheim’s power play ranked 22nd in the NHL at 16 percent last season and could use Heatley on the left side together with Matt Beleskey, Patrick Maroon and Emerson Etem, though Andrew Cogliano, Jakob Silfverberg and Kyle Palmieri.
Heatley has 372 goals in 863 NHL games. He has scored at least 39 goals in a season six times, notably 50-goal seasons in 2005-06 and 2006-07.