Dany Heatley made the right move. As tough as it was for the Senators winger to ask the Thrashers for a trade last year, Heatley couldn't have scripted it any better.
Not only is Heatley on the road to scoring 50 goals and 100 points, he was selected yesterday as Ottawa's nominee for the Bill Masterton Trophy, which is given to a player each season for perseverance and dedication to hockey.
"This is a big honour for me," said Heatley, who was selected as the club's representative in voting done by the Ottawa chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association. "This is something that is nice. Obviously, it has been great to be part of this team."
Heatley requested a trade from the Thrashers last August. Following the lockout, he decided it would be to difficult to return to Atlanta, where he was involved in a tragic car accident that took the life of friend and teammate Dan Snyder.
Heatley was dealt to Ottawa in exchange for winger Marian Hossa and defenceman Greg de Vries -- a trade that has worked out well for both sides.
Heatley, who scored twice in a 5-3 loss to the Canadiens on Thursday, has set two franchise records with 47 goals and 95 points.
"This has worked out well for me," said Heatley. "To get the chance to come to a Canadian team and play in a hockey atmosphere has just been great."
The winner of the Masterton will be announced at NHL awards ceremony June 22 in Vancouver.
NO TIMETABLE FOR REDDEN: Senators coach Bryan Murray isn't sure when D Wade Redden will return to the lineup, but said: "He'll be given as much time as he needs." Redden has missed five games after he returned to his home in Lloydminster, Sask., last week to be with his mother Pat, who has been ill for several months. "We have to be compassionate about the individual," said Murray. "I talked to him the other day and I just told him to do what he needs to do for his family and for his mother."
AROUND THE BOARDS: There should be some good news tonight at Scotiabank Place. The Senators returned D Tomas Malec, who was called up Thursday to play against the Habs, to their AHL affiliate in Binghamton yesterday. That means D Anton Volchenkov, who has been nursing a sore neck, should be ready to return to the lineup. "He's feeling much better and we're going to see how he feels (this) morning," said Murray. The Senators have been playing with only two of their regular blueliners -- Brian Pothier and Andrej Meszaros -- this week. Murray hopes to have his entire defensive corps back for a couple of games prior to the post-season. "Ideally, you'd like to have everyone back so that they at least have a chance to play two or three games together before they go into the playoffs. I'm not sure if that's going to happen," said Murray ... With three games in the next four days, Murray is toying with the idea of playing No. 3 G Mike Morrison. Though Ray Emery, who is nursing a sore hip, will start tonight, don't be surprised if Morrison plays Tuesday against the Bruins at home depending on what kind of impact the game will have on the standings. The Senators were only two points ahead of the Hurricanes heading into play last night for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. "I'm playing (Emery tonight) because it's Buffalo and we need the points," said Murray ... Senators tough Brian McGrattan said he's not sure if he's ever seen two guys drop the gloves -- like teammate Brad Norton and Montreal's Aaron Downey did Thursday -- and not throw a punch. "I may have seen it in one of those Don Cherry Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em videos a long time ago. That kind of thing doesn't usually happen to me because you always have the linesmen or the officials saying, 'Hurry up, hurry up!' " said McGrattan ... D Zdeno Chara (hand) is still having issues shooting the puck. "He told me he would come to me and tell me when he's ready to play," said Murray.