There's a great story over on Bird Watcher's Anonymous about how some (most?) Thrashers fans feel about Dany Heatley, and that it's only now Canadian fans are beginning to notice the persona who Atlanta fans have long seen. Here's a teaser, but seriously... check out the whole thing here.
I've held off writing about the Dany Heatley saga. I've tried to get past Heatley--to move on in my hockey life--and for a while it worked. Back in 2002, I invested a lot of hope in Heatley and Kovalchuk. There were the twin cornerstones of the Atlanta Thrashers future. The two guys the team would build around as it became a playoff club and perhaps a Cup contender someday. Years later the future of both players is uncertain as Kovalchuk is now less than a year from becoming an UFA and Dany Heatley has asked for a trade.
But Dany Heatley broke my heart in more than one way. His reckless actions killed one of my favorite young Thrasher prospects, Dan Snyder. I had watched Snyder play in the both the AHL and NHL and was really looking forward to his first full year in the league. I remember being woken in the early morning and being told that there was a serious accident and two players were badly injured. I remember waiting on pins and needles as Snyder was in the intensive care unit right next to Georgia State University. One of my students asked me "what happened to you, you used to be so up beat?"