As Dany Heatley sits, sweat dripping from his curly hair, he looks around the locker room with a playful grin. Heatley is always chirping, always tossing barbs. So you just know he's waiting for his next target to walk through the door. His smile grows wider as Niklas Backstrom enters. "Boy, was I good today, eh, Backy?" Heatley says with a wink.



Backstrom removes his mask and fires back, "Just trying to give you confidence, Heater, but what happened to you in the second half of practice?"



Heatley laughs hard.



Like prizefighters, the Wild's new sniper and the Wild goaltender go jab for jab the next three minutes.



It has been three months since Heatley was blindsided by the trade that sent him from San Jose to Minnesota for Martin Havlat. But watch Heatley on the ice, in the locker room, and it is clear that initial disappointment has dissipated as the easygoing hockey player gets accustomed to life again in the Midwest.



"How about them Badgers?" Heatley, a former University of Wisconsin star, howled after the football team blew out Nebraska on Saturday. "No. 4 in the nation on our way to a national title."



OK, if you're a Gophers diehard, Heatley's love of getting into "some Badger-Gopher feuds" may quickly grow old.



But he is happy, laughing and relaxed, and that's what's most important.



Fair reputation or not, this is Dany Heatley's: He has asked off two teams (Atlanta and Ottawa) and refused to go to a third (Edmonton), so when Heatley smiles, that's a good thing.



"I'm telling you, though, the Minnesota fans have nothing to worry about with Heater," said former Sharks teammate Ryane Clowe. "He's looking forward to playing in Minnesota, and Minnesota will be good for him."