Wild right wing Dany Heatley has had two 50-goal seasons (2005-06 and 2006-07). He has had two 41-goal seasons (2002-03 and 2007-08). And he's had two 39-goal seasons (2008-09 and 2009-10).
But last season for the San Jose Sharks, Heatley, who turned 30 in January, finished with just 26 goals, matching his rookie season total from 2001-02.
"That's funny, we were just joking about that with Mike (Yeo)," Heatley said Monday, referring to the new Wild coach. "He was saying, 'You're 30 years old, it's not like you're 38.'
"Throughout a career, you have good years and you have bad years. Last year was a little bit of a down year for me. I'm going to work this summer and try to bring that back up."
Heatley was asked if he knows why San Jose traded him.
"I don't know, I haven't really speculated on that," he said. "Obviously, they felt they wanted to make a change, and that's the nature of the business. But I'm happy that (Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher) made the trade and he wants me here. And I'm happy to be here."
If there is second-guessing about Heatley's ability to continue to score goals (he has 325 in 669 games), he doesn't seem to mind. He said he uses that as motivation.
"You always want to prove people wrong," he said, "and I'd like to do it again. I feel real good, and I feel I can have a good year this year, and I'm going to do that."
New Wild winger Dany Heatley looks to rebound from 'down year'
St. Paul Pioneer Press | Jul 12