A “pure goal-scorer,” Dany Heatley is a player Anaheim general manager Bob Murray has “always liked.”
So you can imagine Murray was pretty happy yesterday to get Heatley signed to a one-year contract for a paltry (relatively speaking) $1 million.
Looking ahead to next season, Murray feels the 33-year-old winger will have motivations beyond a regular paycheck.
“He’s struggled the last couple of years for different reasons,” Murray told the L.A. Times. “A great opportunity presented itself. We’re a good match for each other at this moment.… I think he’s a very proud athlete. It hasn’t gone quite right and I think he knows that somewhere down the line the end is coming. And I don’t think he wants it to end like this.”
A former 50-goal scorer (twice), Heatley had just 12 goals in 76 games for the Wild in 2013-14. That being said, he still feels he has the wheels to keep up in the NHL.
“I’m still quick enough, fast enough, and I can score goals,” he said.
And he’ll get the chance to prove it next season with a Ducks team that boasts one of the premier passing centers in the game, Ryan Getzlaf.
While Heatley may or may not skate on Getzlaf’s line, it sounds like he’ll get ample time on a power play that Murray concedes “wasn’t very bloody good last year.”
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.