Friday, August 21, 2009

What diminished role?

I was tweaked by Dany Heatley’s claim that he wants out of Ottawa because of his self diagnosed “diminished role”. When Corey Clouston took over as head coach there were a few games where Heatley got only 13 or 14 minutes of ice time but for the most part nothing much changed.

Last season Daniel Alfredsson got more ice than any other forward and deservedly so. He averaged 20:52 minutes per game. Guess who was 2nd? You got it! Dany Heatley at 20:06. On average he played only 46 seconds less per game than Alfredsson. In other words one shift. That puts both of them in the top 30 in the NHL for ice time amongst forwards.

Here is a very short list of some very good players who averaged less ice time than Heatley last season:

NHL Rank /Player/ TOI-GM
#32 Henrik Zetterberg 19:52
#33 Jordan Staal 19:50
#36 Jason Spezza 19:41
#37 Marc Savard 19:32
#40 Joe Thornton 19:27
#43 Alex Kovalev 19:25
#45 Alexander Semin 19:14
#46 Pavel Datsyuk 19:12
#60 Zach Parise 18:45

The two names of particular interest to me are Zetterberg and Datsyuk. Both are integral players in Detroit. Both have won the Stanley Cup. Both at times play on the first powerplay unit. Both at times play on the second unit. Both at times kill penalties. They quietly do what the coach asks them to do for the good of the team. Neither, to my knowledge, has asked for a trade because they feel their role has been diminished and their ice time is not in keeping with their status as super stars.

Dany Heatley it appears is not pleased with being taken off the penalty killing team early in the season and being relegated to the 2nd power play unit in the last third of the season. Well the team was terrible early in the season and the penalty killing was awful. It improved when Heatley was taken off. It didn’t improve because he was replaced, but he didn’t make it better when he was on it. For 8 million dollars a year isn’t he supposed to be a difference maker?

The power play improved after Clouston came in and the number of important goals also increased. This was after Heatley was moved to the 2nd unit. It didn’t help his personal stats but it did help the team win more games.

The worst thing for Dany is that the longer this goes on, the more people are going to put his contentions under a microscope. The more that happens the worse he looks and sadly for Bryan Murray, the harder he is to trade.

See you at the rink.


Liz said...

Dany, if you love the fans here in Ottawa so much and you're such a "team guy", how about giving up $2M of the $4M you got in June or the $7.5 you'll get this year, so the Senators can stay under the cap and keep a player or two who really wants to be here.

kal cole said...

OK so Dany doesnt feel he has to answer to us fans, the great unwashed. Or to the minions in the media. He also doesnt feel he has to return his teammates' phone calls, namely Alfie.

But my question is what does he say to Dan Snyder's father, Graham?
Back in 2003 he faced a slew of charges after that infamous car crash. Most notably, second-degree vehicular homicide.

Graham Snyder went before a judge and prosecutors and pleaded profusely that Heatley is a good, stand-up guy and nothing would be gained by imprisoning him.

And so this is a good stand-up guy's behaviour.

Scott said...

Dany has now cemented himself as a Senator for the next 4 years. If he maintains a 40 goal/season average, a desperate GM may trade for him the last year of his contract. At which point what will be the return? First round pick? Prospect?

As an UFA, unless he somehow magically erases the fallout from the last 2 months (donates a kidney to save Don Brennan's life?), he'll likely have to accept a huge pay cut to play anywhere, let alone teams on his "list".

One thing's for sure he has become a case study for Public Relations courses the world over.

I bet you'll see Dany at the rink (in the NCR for a few more years).


Sens4Life said...

liz.. thats not how things work.....

Anonymous said...

Danny should read article from the National Post with special emphasis on these two passages:

Some players are going to play fewer minutes. [gosh, primadonna, that might mean YOU! gasp!!]


"It's important that we have the right veterans who have the right attitude when things don't go well -- maybe even individually.

"They're going to have to be able to put the team ahead of anything individually."