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Dany Heatley

Dany Heatley

Daniel "Dany" James Heatley (born January 21, 1981, in Freiburg im Breisgau, West Germany) is a Canadian professional hockey player who currently plays for the Ottawa Senators of the National Hockey League. As one of the Senators' leading scorers for several seasons, Heatley has set franchise records for single-season goals and points. Internationally, Heatley has played in five World Championships, one Olympics and one World Cup of Hockey at the senior level, as well as two World Junior Championships for Team Canada. In 2008, he surpassed Marcel Dionne as Canada's all-time leader in goals and Steve Yzerman as the all-time leader in points for the World Championships. He is known for being in a car accident which killed teammate Dan Snyder on September 29, 2003. Heatley survived with a broken jaw, a minor concussion, a bruised lung, bruised kidney, three torn ligaments in his right knee.

He usually plays left wing on one of the league's most productive lines, with teammates Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson. The line, named by fans, is known as the 'CASH' (referring to Captain Alfredsson, Spezza, Heatley) line or 'Pizza' line, referring to a Pizza Pizza 'free slice' promotion on nights the Senators score six or more goals at home.

Early life

Heatley was born in Germany to Karin and Murray Heatley, who was then playing in a German hockey league. When Murray retired from hockey, the family settled in Calgary, where Dany was raised. Because he was born in Germany, Dany holds a dual Canadian and German citizenship, but plays for the Canadian national team (IIHF rules mandate that a player may not switch countries once he has already competed for one, however, Heatley is eligible to play for the German national team for the World Cup of Hockey as it is a non-IIHF sanctioned event).

Playing career

Atlanta Thrashers (2001–2004)

Before entering the NHL, Dany Heatley played at the University of Wisconsin. He was drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers second overall in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft behind goaltender Rick DiPietro. After a second year of college hockey, Heatley played his first NHL year in 2001–02 in which he led all rookies in points (67) and assists (41) and was second in goal-scoring (26) behind teammate Ilya Kovalchuk. He won the Calder Memorial Trophy for rookie of the year.

In the 2002-03 season, Heatley emerged as an NHL superstar. Finishing ninth in overall league scoring, Heatley tallied 41 goals and 89 points in 77 games, his best statistical season with the Thrashers.

On September 29, 2003, Heatley was seriously injured after he lost control of the Ferrari 360 Modena he was driving. The car struck a wall, splitting the car in half and ejecting him and his passenger, teammate Dan Snyder. Heatley suffered a broken jaw, a minor concussion, a bruised lung, bruised kidney, and tore three ligaments in his right knee; Snyder was critically injured with a skull fracture and died six days later on October 5 of sepsis. Heatley was charged with vehicular homicide; he pleaded guilty to second-degree vehicular homicide, driving too fast for conditions, failure to maintain a lane, and speeding. At the time, his blood-alcohol content was the legal limit. He was sentenced to three years probation, and the judge required the court to approve Heatley's vehicle, which could not have more than six cylinders and would not surpass 70mph (112km/h). Heatley avoided having to serve any jail time as part of a plea deal that dropped the first-degree charge of vehicular homicide.

Because of injuries he suffered from the car accident, Heatley's next season started in January 2004 and he appeared in only 31 games. A disappointing season ended with an early elimination in the race for a playoff spot and just 25 points.

During the 2004–05 NHL lockout, Heatley initially played for the Swiss team SC Bern. He played consistently well, scoring more than a point per game, until being injured in November when he required surgery for a broken orbital bone after being struck in the left eye with a puck. The pupil in his left eye became permanently dilated as a result. He finished the year with the All-Star laden AK Bars Kazan in the Russian Superleague, joining Thrashers teammate and friend Ilya Kovalchuk, among others, but had an unimpressive stint.

Ottawa Senators (2005–present)

Prior to the end of the lockout, Heatley asked to be traded from Atlanta in hopes of leaving reminders of the tragic accident behind. Understanding Heatley's situation, on August 23, 2005, the Thrashers sent him to the Ottawa Senators for Slovak star Marian Hossa and veteran defenceman Greg de Vries. A restricted free agent at the time of the trade, Heatley immediately signed a 3-year, $13.5 million contract with the Senators. Hossa, popular in Ottawa, was traded by Ottawa GM John Muckler due to his high salary demands.

In his first game for the Senators, against the Toronto Maple Leafs on October 5, 2005, Heatley played with Jason Spezza and Brandon Bochenski, but when the Senators were down with five minutes to go, Daniel Alfredsson replaced Bochenski, scored the tying goal and the 'CASH line' was born. As 2005-06 was the first year that the NHL implemented the shootout, Heatley and Alfredsson became the first players to score in an NHL shootout, scoring against Leafs goalie Ed Belfour. Their sticks are now in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Later that month, on October 29, Heatley scored 4 consecutive goals in an 8–0 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, marking a career-high for goals in a game.

Heatley made a spectacular start with his new team, registering points in the first 22 games of the 2005–06 NHL season, breaking Marian Hossa's previous franchise record of 13 consecutive games. Among players with new teams, this was behind only Wayne Gretzky's 23–game streak upon joining the Los Angeles Kings during the 1988–89 NHL season.

In his first game back in Atlanta as a Senator, he was frequently booed, indicating that Thrashers fans felt snubbed by Heatley's previous trade request. Despite scoring, Heatley and the Senators suffered an 8–3 defeat to his former Thrashers teammates.

Heatley finished the 2005-06 season with 50 goals and 103 points, fourth in the league. Incidentally, Heatley's first 50-goal season also marked the first time any Senators player had achieved that mark, setting a franchise record for goals in a season (previously held by Marian Hossa, who scored 45 goals in 2002-03). Heatley's 103 points also tied Daniel Alfredsson for the team lead, together surpassing Alexei Yashin's franchise record of 94 points in a season (achieved in 1998-99).

Catalyzed by a rejuvenated offense, Ottawa finished the season with the best record in the Eastern Conference and the second best in the league. With lofty expectations for the playoffs, they were eliminated in the second round by the Buffalo Sabres. Heatley recorded 12 points in 10 games. At the end of the season, Heatley was selected, along with Alfredsson, to the Second All-Star Team.

After a slow start to the 2006-07 season, Heatley recorded 50 goals once more (second in the league to Vincent Lecavalier's 52 goals) and 105 points (fifth in the league). By reaching the 50-goal plateau for the second straight season, he became the first NHL player to do so since Pavel Bure in 1999-00. Heatley's 105 points broke the previous franchise record he shared with Alfredsson. His performance earned him a spot on the First All-Star Team.

Heatley and the Senators followed up another strong regular season going all the way to the Stanley Cup finals but finished short in 5 games against the Anaheim Ducks. The CASH line was dominant, with Alfredsson, Spezza and Heatley leading the NHL in playoffs points all tied at 22.

Fresh off the heels of a Stanley Cup finals appearance, Heatley began the 2007–08 season with a new 6-year contract extension with the Senators worth $45 million, signed prior to the season opener against the Maple Leafs. Since arriving in Ottawa from the Marian Hossa trade, Heatley had appeared in 208 consecutive Senators games, until suffering a separated shoulder on January 12, 2008, in a collision with Detroit Red Wings forward Dallas Drake, sidelining him for 11 games. He completed the season with 41 goals and 41 assists for 82 points in 71 games.

In addition to Heatley's injury, Ottawa was plagued with injuries to its superstars all season. Seeding seventh overall in the East, Ottawa met Pittsburgh in the playoffs, coincidentally the same first round match-up of the previous year. However, Heatley and the Senators would not make a second run for the Cup and was swept in four games. Heatley managed just one point.

On October 3, 2008, Heatley was named alternate captain to Daniel Alfredsson, joining defenceman Chris Phillips.

All-Star Games

Heatley has been voted into the NHL All-Star Game three times, and played in two of them, most recently 2007. His first appearance in the All-Star Game was in 2003, where he scored four goals, tying a single-game All-Star record (held by four other players, including Wayne Gretzky). The game went to a shootout where Heatley scored the only goal for the Eastern Conference in a 6–5 loss. The shootout goal did not, however, count towards his regulation total of four, leaving him tied for the record. Heatley also added an assist for a game-high 5 points and was named the All-Star Game MVP. In response to Heatley's impressive performance in just his second NHL season, Eastern Conference teammate Jeremy Roenick commented, "Twenty-two years old? You're not supposed to be able to pull moves like that at 22. My goodness.

Heatley's next appearance came in 2007, where he played on a line with former SC Bern teammates Daniel Briere and Marian Hossa and got a goal and two assists in a 12–9 loss to the Western Conference.

Heatley was selected for the 2008, but had to withdraw due to a shoulder injury he suffered in an earlier game against the Detroit Red Wings.

International play

As a junior, Healtey competed in two World Junior Championships. His first, in 2000, ended with a bronze medal win against the U.S. in a shootout; Heatley scored a goal in the 4-3 victory. The next year, in 2001, Heatley scored 3 goals and 5 points as Canada won a second straight bronze.

Heatley made his senior international debut with Team Canada at the 2002 World Championships, after his rookie season with the Atlanta Thrashers. He scored 4 points as Canada was defeated in the quarter-finals by Slovakia. The following year, Heatley led Team Canada in scoring (7 goals and 10 points) at the 2003 World Championships in Finland, en route to his first gold medal.

Having missed the playoffs once more with the Thrashers, Heatley participated in the 2004 World Championships in the Czech Republic. Heatley dominated with 11 points to lead all tournament scorers, earning his second straight MVP award. Canada captured a second straight gold medal, defeating Sweden 5-3 in the final. Heatley scored his eighth goal of the tournament in the third period, starting a rally from a 3-1 deficit. Several months later, Heatley competed in the 2004 World Cup and contributed 2 assists as Canada defeated Finland in the final to capture the second ever World Cup championship.

At the 2005 World Championships in Austria, his fourth straight World Championships, Heatley did not achieve the same success, with 7 points in 9 games, as Canada was shutout by the Czech Republic in the gold medal game.

On December 21, 2005, Heatley was chosen by Team Canada to participate in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin – his first Olympic games. Heatley managed 3 points in 6 games as Canada, defending its 2002 gold medal, was eliminated in the quarter-finals by Russia.

As Heatley returned to the World Championships after a three year absence in 2008 – he was added to the roster with teammate Jason Spezza after the Ottawa Senators were eliminated from the playoffs – he became Team Canada's all-time goal-scorer and then all-time point leader for the World Championships, passing Marcel Dionne and Steve Yzerman, accordingly. Heatley finished the tournament with a staggering 12 goals and 8 assists in 9 games, however, Canada was defeated by Russia in overtime of the gold medal game. Heatley was given MVP, Best Forward, and All-Star Team honours.

Personal life

Endorsements

Heatley was selected as the cover player for the EA Sports NHL video game franchise in 2003. However, due to the fallout from Heatley's accident shortly afterwards, EA switched the cover photo to Joe Sakic, although many copies of the game were shipped with his photo on them.

He has recently received a sponsorship deal from Easton Hockey. He now plays with their all new equipment which include: S17 Hockey stick, S17 Skates and new Easton helmet.

Awards and achievements

Junior

  • Air Canada Cup MVP - 2007
  • AJHL Player of the Year - 1999
  • Canadian Junior A Hockey League Player of the Year - 1999
  • WCHA First All-Star Team - 2000
  • WCHA Rookie of the Year - 2000
  • NCAA West Second All-American Team - 2000
  • WCHA Second All-Star Team - 2001
  • NCAA West First All-American Team - 2001

NHL

International

  • World Championships All-Star Team - 2004,
  • World Championships Best Forward - 2004, 2008
  • World Championships MVP - 2004, 2008

Records and milestones

NHL

  • All-Star Game record for most goals in a game (4, tied)
  • First NHL game-winning shootout goal

Team

  • Atlanta Thrashers franchise record for most points by rookie (67)
  • Ottawa Senators franchise record for most goals in a season (50)
  • Ottawa Senators franchise record for most points in a season (105)
  • Ottawa Senators franchise record for longest point-scoring streak (22)
  • Ottawa Senators franchise record for most points in one post-season (22, tied with Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson)
  • First Ottawa Senator in franchise history to score 50 goals
  • First Ottawa Senator in franchise history to score back to back 50 goal seasons

International'

  • Team Canada's all-time leading goal-scorer - 32 (as of 2008 WC)
  • Team Canada's all-time leading point-scorer - 52 (as of 2008 WC)

Career statistics

    Regular Season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1999–00 UW–Madison NCAA 38 28 28 56 32 -- -- -- -- --
2000–01 UW–Madison NCAA 39 24 33 57 74 -- -- -- -- --
2001–02 Atlanta Thrashers NHL 82 26 41 67 56 -- -- -- -- --
2002–03 Atlanta Thrashers NHL 77 41 48 89 58 -- -- -- -- --
2003–04 Atlanta Thrashers NHL 31 13 12 25 18 -- -- -- -- --
2004–05 SC Bern NLA 16 14 10 24 58 -- -- -- -- --
2004–05 Ak Bars Kazan RSL 11 3 1 4 22 4 2 1 3 4
2005–06 Ottawa Senators NHL 82 50 53 103 86 10 3 9 12 11
2006–07 Ottawa Senators NHL 82 50 55 105 74 20 7 15 22 12
2007–08 Ottawa Senators NHL 71 41 41 82 76 4 0 1 1 6
NHL Totals 425 221 250 471 368 34 11 25 35 31

International statistics

Year Comp GP G A Pts PIM
2000 WJC 7 2 2 4 4
2001 WJC 7 3 2 5 10
2002 WC 7 2 2 4 2
2003 WC 9 7 3 10 10
2004 WC 9 8 3 11 4
2004 WCH 6 0 2 2 2
2005 WC 9 3 4 7 16
2006 Oly 6 2 1 3 8
2008 WC 9 12 8 20 4
Senior Int'l Totals 55 34 23 57 47

NHL All-Star Games


Year Location   G A Pts
2003 Sunrise 4 1 5
2007 Dallas 1 1 2
2008 Atlanta -- -- --
All-Star Totals 5 2 7

References

See also

External links

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