Chatted with Bruce Boudreau this a.m.; said he’s excited about the possibilities w/ Kesler, Heatley, etc., but sounded very cautious.
— Curtis Zupke (@curtiszupke) August 5, 2014
It goes w/o saying but Boudreau said they can try Heatley with Getzlaf and Perry; overall there’s a lot of chemistry to be made in camp. — Curtis Zupke (@curtiszupke) August 5, 2014
There’s two ways of looking at this.
One, in a positive light — Heatley’s a left-handed shot that would (theoretically) play LW with Perry on the right and Getzlaf down the middle. In that sense, it’s a natural fit. Two, Heatley’s frame (6-foot-4, 221 pounds) and skating ability (or lack thereof) is more suited to the puck-possession, big-bodied style that the 6-foot-4, 221-pound Getzlaf and 6-foot-3, 212-pound Perry play.
But there’s also the negative way to view this.
What often seems like a good fit doesn’t always work. Last year, the Ducks signed Dustin Penner in the hopes of recreating some of the magic he had with Getzlaf and Perry during the 2006-07 campaign, but it never panned out. Penner’s game simply tailed off too much; after a good start to the season (he had 16 points in 15 games in November), he scored just four times in 27 games prior to getting dealt to Washington for a fourth-round pick… which didn’t sound like the most pleasant departure.
Penner said the interaction with [Ducks GM Bob] Murray was short and quick.
“He just said, ‘You’ve been traded to Washington,’” Penner said. “I said, ‘Why?’ And then he said, ‘Cap room.’ And then I left.”
Just like that, Penner’s second stint with the Ducks didn’t last eight months. The big winger who won a Stanley Cup with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry in 2007 was brought back on a one-year, $2-million deal to reignite the chemistry they had as a trio.
Penner arrived in training camp out of shape but worked his way back on to the top line and had his best run after an October concussion with seven goals and 12 assists in 18 games. His production tailed off but had picked up right before the trade.
Heatley, much like Penner, has been criticized for a lack of fitness and conditioning during his NHL career.
That said, Heatley — a two-time 50-goalscorer that popped 24 during the ’11-12 season — appears to be already focused on playing with Perry and Getzlaf, which may spur him on to arrive at Anaheim’s camp in the best shape imaginable:
Heatley on possibly playing with Getzlaf and Perry: “My job is to get ready this summer and come in ready to get a chance with those guys.”
— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) July 9, 2014