The Anaheim Ducks have been having a good start to the season, currently leading the NHL standings. Even with their success, there has been a few disappointments along the way. The most disappointing player so far this season has been Dany Heatley.
Anaheim signed Heatley in the offseason to a one-year contract, hoping to capitalize on the veteran winger’s skill. Heatley is well known as a two-time 50-goal scorer and has been selected for four NHL All-Star appearances. In many ways, this was a low-risk, high-reward situation for Anaheim who could have used the veteran presence to lock up the left wing spot in a line with the dynamic duo of Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry.
Unfortunately, that’s not at all what happened. Heatley injured his groin in the preseason and has since been suffering from that injury. While he did come back for a brief amount of time, it was only for four games in which he recorded no points and had a -2 rating. In some games, coach Bruce Boudreau made him a healthy scratch.
After those four games, Heatley was placed back on injured reserve for the same groin injury. It later came to light that he had surgery on the groin in November. The Ducks have now sent him to the Norfolk Admirals of the AHL on a long-term injury conditioning loan.
In any case, Heatley has been the biggest disappointment on the Ducks this season primarily because he hasn’t ever been healthy enough to play. While it’s no secret that the entire Ducks roster has also struggled with injury and illness, many hoped Heatley would be a big help to Anaheim, particularly on the line with Getzlaf and Perry. However, even in the four games he played, it was pretty apparent that he was not where he needed to be in order to be a factor in games which makes him the biggest disappointment so far.