The Dany Heatley vs. Ottawa Senators date in San Jose last night turned into, well, just a hockey game.
The first game (and only game this season) where Heatley faced his former team became a very big media event. The amount of coverage normally seen in San Jose was doubled due to the Canadian interest. Sportsnet did a special half hour pre-game show and TSN dispatched a crew to cover the game and the story.
It turned out there really wasn’t much of a story to cover. Despite being riddled with questions neither Heatley nor anyone else said anything new or different about the circumstances of his departure from Ottawa. He spent a good deal of time telling everyone how happy he is here in San Jose. The bulk of the emotion left in this divorce will bubble to the surface next season when (with the cross over schedule) the Sharks visit Ottawa. The fans will get their first chance to vent directly at Dany and they will. With Alexei Yashin out of the NHL there will be a new “most hated” man at SBP.
Ultimately the fans will get to spray venom at the man who spurned their team and their city, but frankly I don’t get the sense that Heatley cares at all. He will expect the boo’s and they wont hurt his feelings. Dany appears to me to be a person who wants what he wants and doesn’t particularly care how it might affect anyone else thus he wont care about the boo’s.
Sharks fans might want to take notes on how all this works. Dany’s history indicates there is a good chance the same thing will happen eventually in San Jose. When that day comes the person I will feel sorry for is Sharks GM Doug Wilson. Every sports TV network will pull out his statements when the deal was done. Wilson said he had no concerns about Dany’s character or commitment when he arrived from Ottawa. When Dany pulls the chute in Northern California he will again have very little if any concern for those affected by it, but Wilson will be harshly judged for mis-judging the character of a high priced star player.
See you at the rink.