September 3, 2009 Ray to Heatley's Rescue TFP Columnist
Dennis Bernstein proves not everybody is against Dany Heatley.
[LOS ANGELES, CA] -- While Los Angeles
Kings' GM Dean Lombardi burned when asked about the prospects of
acquiring Ottawa's Dany Heatley at last weekend's Kings Hockeyfest, other attendees fiddled.
Specifically, former King and
current broadcaster Ray Ferraro, who lent his expertise to an "NHL
Experts" panel comprised of Kings' TV color analyst Jim Fox and Hockey
Night in Canada and former Kings' netminder, Kelly Hrudey.
After Ferraro spoke about the Kings' chances to reach the playoffs
since 2001 (Ray expects them to be in a scrum of six teams fighting
for the 6-7-8 berths), he was questioned about the availability of
Heatley and his possible destinations.
The topic of Heatley's troubles and how
they would affect a new team came up stirred very pointed remarks
about the former 50 goal scorer from Ferraro, who scored 406 career
goals in the NHL.
"Let me tell you something, when I was in Atlanta, I roomed with Dany.
Anyone who says he's a bad guy is full of (crap)," Ferraro said. "You had a situation
where he signed a big deal and had what I call, 'The Summer of Dany.' He didn't work out, went to baseball games and came back a step out of
shape. But you're talking about a talent who was out of shape and
still scored 36 goals last year.
"Two years go, he scored 50 goals and
how many players scored 50 in the league last year? Two? Does he have
more growing up to do? Of course he does. If he winds up staying in
Ottawa, he's going to have to go to the team and have a sit down with
them to make things right. He's going to have to say that although
he's asked been traded, he's ready to give 100%."
Heatley's request to be traded, though
made earlier than June, was made public during the Stanley Cup Finals.
"The worst thing about the off season situation is that it went
public," Ferraro said. "People don't realize that players ask for trades all the time
but the demands never go public and that was unfortunate. But you're
talking about a one-shot scorer, and how many of those are in the
When asked about the scenario in which San Jose
Sharks GM Doug Wilson would call him for his opinion, Ferraro put it
"I'd tell him that he shouldn't hesitate because you
have the ability to acquire a one of kind talent," he said. "Sean Avery is
divisive, Dany Heatley isn't."
Bernstein, the man behind SCORE! Media and an NHL
Analyst with ESPN Radio, is the Los Angeles
Correspondent for The Fourth Period Magazine and a Columnist