|It has not been a great start for the former 50 goal scorer. Photo: Brace Hemmelgarn/USA Today|
Well here we are now, beginning of November, 15 games into the season. Heatley has two goals, two assists and is astoundingly a 0 on the +/- scale. It took him 11 games to register that first goal (which was an empty net goal) and scored his second on Sunday against New Jersey (a tip in goal). To date, he only has 25 SOG this season which puts him 6th on the team.
Many of you have taken to the sacred forums voicing your complaints about Heatley. Heck, I'm right there with you. He has not been up to par this season. His feet (which we all raved about in training camp) have morphed back into their cement like state, and his hands are not there either.
But for those of you who believe the team should either release him or put him in the pressbox, you are gravely mistaken with that opinion. The Wild simply can not release Dany Heatley. In his contract, he has a NMC (No Movement Clause) which prevents the team from doing anything with him because he has to give his consent. So if the team were to waive him, he has the ability to block it.
And for those of you who think putting him in the pressbox is the answer, ask yourself this question: If you sat him for a few games then put him back in, would he really give the same level of effort?
On the positive side, Heatley did have his best game of the season on Sunday when he tallied a goal and had three shots. He was buzzing around the net and had a little more jump in his step than usual. But that was just one game. Hope he can turn this into a nice little stretch of games played.
There are no great answers here when it comes to Dany Heatley. But right now the only viable option is leaving him in the lineup and hope he can find a spark to salvage what is shaping up to be his final season in Minnesota. You can't trade him. You can't release him. You can't bench him.
All you can do is play him and hope for the best.
Follow Giles on Twitter @gilesferrell