Check PHT each weekday for the first four weeks of June for a new pending unrestricted free agent of the day. Today’s UFA of the Day is…
A two-time 50-goal scorer. Six times he’s eclipsed the 30-goal mark. He won Olympic gold for Canada in 2010. And he’s tied with Marian Gaborik for the highest expiring cap hit of all pending UFAs, at $7.5 million. This guy’s going to get paid, right?
Wrong. Heatley had just 12 goals in 76 games this season for the Wild and hasn’t been a dangerous scorer for a few years now. Where he ends up next season remains to be seen, but the 33-year-old winger seems destined to move on from Minnesota.
“We’ll see at the end of the year,” Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher said last month, per the StarTribune. “His contract is up, and we can just see what the fit is going to be and for us, the key thing is we have to look at our young players and where they’re all going to fit. … So we’ll sit down at the end of the year and talk to Dany and take a look and see how we end up here.”
Is there reclamation potential in Heatley? If he doesn’t sign an extension in Minnesota, that’s what his agent will have to sell on the open market this summer. Maybe the argument could be that the Wild’s system wasn’t a good fit. Or that he didn’t have any chemistry with the Wild’s play-makers.
It’ll be a tough sell. The common wisdom is that Heatley has lost a step (or more than a step) and can’t keep up with today’s younger, faster players.