Tag Archives: Dany Heatley

Quick Skate And Off To Canada

The Wild were on the ice today for a short, yet, strategic practice before heading North of the Border to face the Edmonton Oilers tomorrow night.

Working mostly on systems, breakouts and the transition game, the Wild seemed to be dialed-in and focused after last night’s 4-2 loss to Pittsburgh.

Head Coach Mike Yeo said that he wanted the team to be intense and on-point today, and the team responded with an up-tempo, concise practice. He describe the effort as practicing with “snarl.” Although Yeo was disappointed with his team’s performance last night, especially in the first period, today was not the time nor the place for conditioning drills with a quick two-game road swing, capping with a Saturday afternoon game in Vancouver, on the docket.

Mikko Koivu, Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi were reunited on the top line after spending some time apart against the Pens. Yeo said that sometimes a team needs to mix up the lines in an attempt to create a spark. Of note, the wings were playing their strong sides (LW for the left-handed Heatley and RW for Setoguchi), possibly, to help with D-Zone and transition play. Yeo didn’t show his hand in regards to how long any line combination will last or how quickly it will be split.

Defenseman Greg Zanon sat out practice, but not because of the second period blocked shot to the midsection against the Penguins, but to rest a tweaked groin.  He is expected to be ready tomorrow night.

Finally, if you think the team would be down in the dumps, they didn’t show it, at least not the young’un, Brett Bulmer.  At the end of practice, Bulmer and Yeo dropped their gloves and engaged in a mock-fisticuffs standoff and good-natured phantom punching.

After practice, while talking to the media, Yeo joked that Bulmer made some mistakes in the D-Zone and had to be taught a lesson.

Lesson number one Rookie: Don’t mess with the coach; he determines your ice time.

The Heater’s Back In Ottawa; Nystrom Could Be Back In Minnesota

The Minnesota Wild has placed forward Eric Nystrom on re-entry waivers today, meaning that he will rejoin the club tomorrow if he clears. Other teams have the option to pick him up, but if they don’t, Nystrom would join the Wild and another roster move would have to be made.

General Manager Chuck Fletcher said on Tuesday that the move was made with the purpose of bringing Nystrom back to Minnesota.

“He’s an NHL player,” said Fletcher. “He’s versatile. He can play center or wing.”

Whatever happens, Nystrom will not be with the club when it closes out a quick trip out East tonight against the Ottawa Senators. The Wild will go with the same lineup tonight that it used in New York yesterday.

The media mob was out in full force today, as it was two years ago when the Wild was in town. Canadian hockey towns bring out the news contingent anyway, but the equipment truck fire in 2009 brought more than usual, and Dany Heatley’s return has the same effect.

I didn’t get the chance to see Heatley’s media availability, but Head Coach Mike Yeo sang his praises and how great he’s been for the team on and off the ice. He also had some fun with the media throng when asked about the much-anticipated return.

“Coming back to an old building…you know the fans are going to be booing. But Cully’s an experienced guy and I think he’ll bounce back from it.”

Matt Cullen spent a brief stint with the Senators in their 2010 playoff run. He played 21 regular season games, and six playoff contests with the Sens before signing with the Wild in the offseason.


Heatley “A Newcomer To Watch”

As the NHL’s regular season rapidly approaches, NHL.com is ramping up its previews. If you missed it over the weekend, the latest installment focuses on 10 “newcomers” to make an impact in their respective new uniforms. Dany Heatley is among the names mentioned. What’s interesting is the mention of his “disappointing” 26-goal, 64-point performance a year ago.

As Devin Setoguchi mentioned when he met the Twin Cities media last month, it’s tough to call any 26-goal NHL season a “down year.” And those 64 points would have been tops on the Wild last season. And to further belabor the point, you’ll notice the 10th player is Erik Cole who supposedly put up “big” numbers in Carolina, including a 26-goal campaign last season.

All that said, Heatley will undoubtedly be looking for at least a 30 spot this season, if not more if he can stay healthy. Thus far in his career, that hasn’t been a problem (he’s played at least 80 games in five of the last six seasons).

Wild players will slowly begin trickling this week, including Cal Clutterbuck and Eric Nystrom. By the way, you can follow Eric Nystrom on Twitter on his account @enystrom23. At last check, Mr. Nystrom has 3,185 followers, which is only 3,041 more than @glenny34us, who will occasionally send out some interesting tweets, as well as some false ones.

Hopefully you’ve been watching “Becoming Wild” presented by Toyota. Thus far, there have been four episodes, and if you’ve missed any, I would hope you’d know to check them out on Wild.com. Only two episodes remain, and the next one will air on Friday, September 9.

Wild Signs Powe, Taffe; “Becoming Wild” Premieres July 8

Good afternoon, Wild fans!

There was plenty of big Wild news over the 4th of July holiday and there continued to be more announcements today. OK, so maybe today’s news isn’t quite at “blockbuster” level like the trade Sunday night, but there is certainly plenty of cool stuff to tell you about.

Firstly, Wild GM Chuck Fletcher announced this afternoon that the Wild has signed center Darroll Powe to a three-year contract and center Jeff Taffe to a one-year, two-way contract.  You’ll remember, the Wild acquired the 26-year-old Powe from Philadelphia for a 2013 third-round draft pick on June 27 and held his rights as a restricted free agent. He registered 17 points (7-10=17) and 41 PIM in 81 games for Philly last season, leading the Flyers with 196 hits and setting career highs in assists and points. The Saskatoon, Sask., native played three NHL seasons with the Flyers after signing as a free agent out of Princeton University. It was also announced that Powe will wear No. 14 with the Wild. Hear what Powe had to say about the contract here.

Many Minnesota hockey fans remember Taffe, the former Golden Gopher from Hastings. The 30-year-old notched 67 points (30-37=67) in 74 games for the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs last season, skating in one game with the Chicago Blackhawks. The 1999 Mr. Hockey Minnesota has posted 44 points in 175 NHL games with Phoenix, the New York Rangers, Pittsburgh, Florida and Chicago. Stay up to date with all of the Wild signings on the transactions page and contract chart on wild.com

Of course, many fans are still talking about the trade the Wild made Sunday night with San Jose, acquiring Dany Heatley for Martin Havlat. If you were too busy having picnics and lighting fireworks to get all of the details on the deal, click here for audio, video and more. The Hockey Lodge also sent over the first photo of Heatley’s new Wild jersey, which is currently available at the Xcel Energy Center Hockey Lodge location and is available for pre-orders on hockeylodge.com. It’ll take some time to get used to the new names on the No. 10 and 15 jerseys, but there have been plenty of fans making us aware that they are excited to see the former Sharks skate with the Wild.

Secondly, the Wild also announced today that it has named John Torchetti as new head coach of the Houston Aeros. Torchetti fills the spot of Mike Yeo, who of course left Houston to become the new Wild head coach. The 46-year-old Boston native comes to the Aeros after serving as an associate coach for the Atlanta Thrashers last season. His 27 years of professional hockey experience as a player, coach and manager include NHL coaching experience with Tampa Bay, Florida, Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta. For the full announcement and audio of Torchetti’s reaction to the announcement, click here.

Finally, the Wild announced a really cool project with FOX Sports North and Olson that I’d bet Wild fans will love. “Becoming Wild,” presented by Toyota, is a six-part TV series that documents the Wild offseason through unprecedented, behind-the-scenes coverage of the hockey operations department. I’d say it’s similar to the NHL’s 24-7 series on HBO this year. One of the best parts about the series, which will premiere on July 8 after the Twins game on FS North, is that filming started before any of this summer’s excitement and drama happened, meaning it was caught on camera and fans will get to see it. For more on the series, including broadcast dates and clips of the premiere episode, click here. Outtakes and full episodes will be available on wild.com after the premiere of that episode airs on FS North. I was lucky enough to get to watch the first episode, which covers the Aeros run to the Calder Cup Finals, and will tell you two things: 1. I don’t know how anyone will watch the episode and not be incredibly excited to see Mike Yeo coach the Wild and 2. While the coaches-healthy scratches scrimmage is a great scene, not all of the best parts are given away in the preview clips. There’s a Matt Kassian vs. the rest of the team discussion about whether he could fight Manny Pacquiao that could well be a fan favorite.