Dany Heatley has had his fair share of difficulties over the past few seasons and now the struggling sniper could be leaving North America altogether for a shot to reclaim his career in the KHL.
According to Championat.com, CSKA Moscow and SKA St. Petersburg have contacted Heatley about possibly joining their respective clubs next season. After the situation this past season in which Heatley failed to catch on with the Anaheim Ducks before spending the bulk of his campaign in the AHL, it seems unlikely he’ll get another shot at an NHL deal for 2015-16, so playing in the KHL might be his next best option.
In the past three seasons, Heatley has seen his game slip from 20-goal scorer to borderline NHLer, which has been one of the main reasons for his demotion to the AHL. In 2011-12, Heatley scored 24 goals and 53 points in 82 games for the Minnesota Wild, but over his next 118 NHL contests, he registered just 23 goals and 49 points. In his six games with Anaheim in 2014-15, Heatley failed to find the score sheet.
Following his demotion to the AHL, Heatley played 43 AHL games between the Norfolk Admirals and San Antonio Rampage. A late-February trade between Anaheim and Florida sent Heatley from the Admirals, the Ducks’ farm club, to the Rampage, the Panthers’ affiliate.
His numbers in the AHL, however, left something to be desired. Through 43 games, the two-time 50-goal scorer notched only eight markers and 20 points. His play vastly improved in San Antonio where he scored six goals and 13 points in 18 games, but his abysmal showing in Norfolk, two goals and 7 points in 25 games, doesn’t inspire much confidence in the state of his game right now.
Unlike other NHLers who headed overseas during the lockout-shortened campaign, Heatley remained in North America and didn’t suit up for any minor league teams. He does have some experience across the pond, however, having played 16 games for SC Bern in the Swiss NLA during the 2004-05 lockout. He also played 11 games in the Russian Superleague, playing alongside then-Atlanta Thrashers teammate Ilya Kovalchuk with Ak Bars Kazan. In 11 games, Heatley scored three goals and four points. Were Heatley to sign a KHL deal with SKA, he and Kovalchuk would again be reunited in Russia.
Internationally, Heatley has represented Canada four times – twice at the Olympics, once at the World Championship and once at the World Cup. In his 37 games wearing the maple leaf, Heatley has scored 24 goals and 40 points and helped Canada to the 2010 Olympic gold medal in Vancouver.
In 2001-02, as an Atlanta Thrasher, Heatley was the NHL’s rookie of the year, scoring 26 goals and 67 points in 82 games.