Heatley brings 'A' game

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:18 AM ET

Dany Heatley's "A" game could mean much more than just scoring goals this season.

Likely to wear the "A" as an assistant captain, Heatley wants to become a leader.

While Daniel Alfredsson is going to keep his "C" and Chris Phillips will again wear an "A," Heatley, 27, is expected to fill the void left by Wade Redden, who signed with the New York Rangers as a free agent.

Not only does Heatley --who had back-to-back 50 goal seasons in 2005-06 and 2006-07 -- want to be a "go-to-guy" on the scoreboard, he also wants to be regarded as a player who can lead by example after signing a six-year contract extension a year ago.

"I'm at the age right now, where I'm not old, I'm just not young anymore and I've been in the league six years," Heatley told Sun Media yesterday. "I'd definitely like to be more of a leader on this team and maybe play in some more situations.

"I've always been known as a goal scorer and that's never going to change. That's kind of been my reputation: Just score goals and do nothing else. But I feel, and I think the staff feels, that I'm capable of doing more than that and I'd like to do it this year."

Dealt to the Senators from Atlanta in August, 2005 in a trade that sent Marian Hossa to the Thrashers, Heatley sat down with GM Bryan Murray following a stint with Team Canada at the world championships last spring.

Heatley wants to kill penalties with longtime linemate Jason Spezza and he would like to be among the group of players that's relied on when the going gets tough.

"I really think that in the room (Dany) wants to be an important guy and I've seen that already in camp," said Murray. "Dany has really tried very hard to be that all-around guy that good players become if they want to become it."

Senators coach Craig Hartsburg said he's been impressed with the glimpse he's gotten of Heatley in the first week of the club's training camp.

"I never knew Dany before, but to me he's been very professional in everything he's done," said Hartsburg. "He's a guy that's been asking a lot of questions -- he's been vocal. Where he was before, I don't know, but to me he's been one of the leaders since I've been here.

"He's a guy that I look to and he wants people to follow him. For a guy that's scored 50 goals, everybody talks about his offence, but he wants to do more and not just be a goal scorer. He wants to be involved in other parts of the game. Sometimes those guys aren't like that."

SENATORS ON TV

Rogers TV (cable 22) will pick up tonight's pre-season game with the Senators hosting the Philadelphia Flyers at 7 p.m. TSN2 has announced it will air a pair of Senators regular-season games, along with Saturday's exhibition game vs. the Montreal Canadiens. TSN2 will air a Dec. 10 game at Chicago (8:30 p.m.) and a March 23 game at Carolina (7 p.m.).


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