The newest member of the Minnesota Wild spoke to the media over a conference call on Monday, and talked about getting a fresh start with his fourth NHL team, being the ‘go-to guy’, and putting this past spring’s struggles behind him.
Minnesota entered the off-season as a team in search of some scoring power. With the addition of two wingers (Heatley and Devin Setoguchi) in a pair of trades with the Sharks – Wild GM Chuck Fletcher has effectively added some scoring punch. Fletcher spoke about the club’s new offensive focus and more specifically, Sunday’s trade:
“For us to compete and do a better job next year we felt we needed to score more goals. Certainly this trade, acquiring certainly one of the better goal scorers in the NHL today in Dany Heatley, on the heels of acquiring Devin Setoguchi at the draft, we feel we’ve added some goal scorers, some players that shoot the puck, and hopefully will mesh well with some of the other players that we have on our roster.”
Heatley on his struggles during this year’s playoffs, the desire to prove he’s still an elite player, and the Wild’s chances:
“Last year wasn’t my greatest playoff. I’m excited to get back there and prove people wrong.”
Heatley on the Wild franchise and the city:
“I want to say I’m happy to be a Minnesota Wild. I’m excited to play with those guys and be in that room, to play in that city in front of those fans, it’s a great place to play hockey and I’m happy to be there.
I think anytime you get traded it’s a fresh start. I think we’ve talked about the city, it’s a great city to play hockey in, great fans, obviously great organization. I’m excited to play with a lot of those guys in that room and excited to get going.
Obviously, it’s a great organization, great fans. As a player, that’s all you can ask for. To play in front of a packed building every night and have fans that love the team. I’m excited about that.”
On assuming the role of number one goal scoring option in Minnesota and ties to the city:
“I think as a goal scorer and a player,you want to be that guy. I’m excited to be in Minny; I’ve got a lot of ties to Minny. I obviously went to school in Madison and have a lot of friends in Minny. I’m excited to be that guy, for sure.”
Heatley was asked about the possibility of playing with two of the Wild’s top offensive players, Mikko Koivu and Pierre-Marc Bouchard:
“I’m going to go wherever they put me but I think Mikko’s one of the top centermen in the game today. He’s had some great years the last few years and I’m excited to get a chance to play with him. Pierre-Marc Bouchard is a great player. Obviously, he had some injury trouble last year but a really, really good player and if that was the case I’d be happy.”
Heatley presser audio via Hockey Wilderness available here.