Ducks taking cautious route regarding Heatley’s return

When the Anaheim Ducks signed Dany Heatley, the ideal scenario would be that the faded star would rekindle his scoring touch thanks to all the room provided by Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. Unfortunately, the reality of the situation is that it’s still unknown when he’ll even debut in the 2014-15 regular season.

The Orange County Register reports that Heatley is hoping to return from his groin injury “sooner rather than later,” one of the few phrases more frustrating than “day-to-day.”

“It’s been getting better,” Heatley said. “Hopefully one day, I’m just going to wake up and be ready to go.”

The Los Angeles Times reported earlier this week that the timetable for his return is expected to be around Oct. 26 (against San Jose), but it sounds like Heatley and the Ducks are practicing due diligence. Both sides seem to lean toward getting him back at full strength rather than risking re-injury, as head coach Bruce Boudreau noted on Saturday.

“I’m aiming for him to come back when he’s ready,” Boudreau told the OC Register. “We haven’t been playing the game of, ‘Oh geez, it would be nice for the Buffalo game or nice for any game. When he’s ready to play, he’ll come back.

“I’m sure he’s dying … chomping at the bit but he’s not ready. So if he’s not ready, we don’t want to re-hurt you.”

So far, Getzlaf and Perry have lined up most frequently with Matt Beleskey (three goals in five games played) and Patrick Maroon (three assists in three games), according to Left Wing Lock.

Those numbers aren’t bad, really; besides, the Ducks’ 4-1-0 record indicates that they aren’t hurting too badly without Heatley.

More than anything else, the Ducks might just want to know what they have in the winger. Will he be someone who can help them break through in the playoffs are will he be a healthy scratch like he was in Minnesota? The sooner he can get on the ice and start providing Bruce Boudreau & Co. with a sample size of games to work with, the sooner they’ll know if they need to keep searching for other answers.

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