Jeers won't jar Heatley in Ottawa

San Jose Sharks' Dany Heatley corrals the puck in front of Edmonton Oilers' Devan Dubnyk.  ...

San Jose Sharks' Dany Heatley corrals the puck in front of Edmonton Oilers' Devan Dubnyk. (REUTERS/Dan Riedlhuber)

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:03 PM ET

The booing won’t bother Dany Heatley Thursday.

If anything, it might motivate the former Senator in his first game back at Scotiabank Place since he was dealt in September 2009 after requesting a trade out of Ottawa.

While the San Jose Sharks winger knows he’s skating into hostile territory, he’s also used to the jeers.

After refusing a deal to the Edmonton Oilers on July 1, 2009, Heatley has been hearing it every time he plays at Rexall Place — including last Saturday — with the Sharks and it hasn’t appeared to bother him one bit.

On Saturday, Heatley scored two goals and added an assist in leading the Sharks to a 4-3 victory.

“He just has to play like he did in Edmonton on Saturday,” said Heatley’s agent, J.P. Barry. “I was there and he got booed every time he touched the puck. It seems like the more they booed, the better he played.”

Heatley is trying to treat the Ottawa matchup like any other game. His parents won’t be flying in from Western Canada to attend and he won’t make himself available to the media until after the morning skate Thursday.

But this isn’t just another game. It will be televised nationally on TSN. The building will be jammed.

Barry said Heatley is ready for the challenge, but isn’t the least bit concerned.

“It’s going to be difficult for Dany (going back), but I think he’s always going to approach the game the same way, by going out there and giving his best. I think he’s going to be just fine,” said Barry.

“I think he really does understand what people feel and he understands how people feel about the team. I don’t think he’s going to try to avoid anything. I know Dany, he’s going to come in there and he’s going to deal (with the situation) head-on.”

Barry said there are no special plans for Thursday.

“I know he’s had some discussions with the team, they’ve got a good team there and they do things right,” said Barry. “But Dany handles himself well. He’ll deal with this himself. He’s used to that.”

Barry said playing with San Jose has been good for Heatley, who had 11 goals and 13 assists in 22 games heading into Tuesday’s game against Detroit.

“He really feels comfortable there. It’s an environment he really likes,” said Barry.

“He’s a happy person right now. That’s a big thing and I know that it’s been a really positive change for him.”

Heatley’s camp still won’t discuss specifics on why he wanted out. What is known is his relationship with coach Cory Clouston was frosty and he didn’t like the treatment he got from the Ottawa media.

Nevertheless, Barry said he understands why Senators fans want to boo Heatley.

“They need to understand there’s two sides to the story,” said Barry. “There were reasons for what happened. It’s probably time (for them) to move on. I know Dany has moved on. I hope the fans will as well.”

bruce.garrioch@sunmedia.ca


Videos

Photos