Cheechoo wants to get career back on track in Ottawa

BRUCE GARRIOCH, Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:45 PM ET

Jonathan Cheechoo is determined to get back on track.

The newly acquired Senators winger wasn’t surprised when he learned he and San Jose Sharks teammate Milan Michalek had been dealt to Ottawa for disgruntled winger Dany Heatley yesterday.

While Cheechoo won the Rocket Richard Trophy as the NHL’s leading goal scorer with 56 in 2005-06, his production has fallen dramatically. Struggling with injuries, he’s had just 35 goals in only 135 games in the last two seasons.

“It was a little bit of a shock, but I look at it as a great opportunity to go out and prove I can still do what I can do,” Cheechoo told the San Jose Mercury News.

“It’s a no-brainer for them (the Sharks). That’s somebody they targeted (in Heatley) and you’re going to have to give up things to get things. To be part of that deal, I’ve got to go to Ottawa and show them they didn’t make a wrong choice.”

The word out of San Jose is Cheechoo has been working hard to rediscover his game.

“I’m looking forward to (this) season. I put in a good summer of training and I’m excited,” he said.

Sharks GM Doug Wilson is confident Cheechoo can bounce back.

“He’s a wonderful character kid. He got married this summer. I am a big believer in Jonathan Cheechoo,” said Wilson. “We need the type of player we got in (Heatley). He’s a sniper. His history is history. This trade is good for everyone involved.

“Milan is one of the top young players. Cheechoo has to get back up to the top of his game, but it won’t be through lack of effort (if he doesn’t).”


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