Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau is hoping that he’s found the third ingredient for what could be the most lethal top line in hockey. Centered by MVP candidate Ryan Getzlaf and flanked on one side by former-MVP Corey Perry, the Ducks have had one of the best 1-2 punches in the league for a while now. But they haven’t had that third option since Bobby Ryan was traded last summer. Now Boudreau thinks they have their guy in veteran winger Dany Heatley.
Heatley signed with the Ducks for a modest one year, $1 million deal after finishing out a contract that paid him more than $7 million annually for the Minnesota Wild. The two-time 50 goal scorer lost his touch along the way, but Boudreau is optimistic he can find it once more alongside premium linemates.
“Every time we’ve played him, he’s been a dangerous player,” Boudreau said per NHL.com. “I think we can try him with Getzlaf and Perry. We tried Dustin Penner there … I think this can work better.”
Heatley concurred, saying it was all about his preparation this season as he embarks on what may be his final great shot at making an impact on an NHL roster. “My job is to get in shape and be ready to play with those two guys,” Heatley said. “I know those guys, and I’ve played with both of them, particularly [Getzlaf]. I love playing with the guy. He’s one of the best players in the League, as is Corey Perry. We’ll see what Bruce wants to do. But my job is to be ready to go and be ready to get a chance with those two guys.”
Heatley tallied just 28 points in 76 games played with the Wild last season. He has five 80+ point seasons to his credit though and his failures in Minnesota may have stemmed more from lack of chemistry than anything else. Both he and the Ducks are hoping that’s the case as he’ll get every shot to stick on the top line.