Hilarious. I didn't get to see the beginning of Team Canada's red and white exhibition game last night, but reports are saying even fans in his hometown of Calgary are a little sour on Dany Heatley's trade request this off-season. When Heatley's name was announced before the game, and just about any time he touched the puck throughout, Heatley was met with boos from the sold out crowd.
But he won't likely lose any sleep over it, judging from his reaction as posted by James Gordon on Hockey Capital:
"Hey, what are you going to do? They’re hockey fans. They have opinions on things. I think I got a few cheers at the end (after scoring in the shootout), so that’s fine."
"A little bit," he said. "That’s what’s going to happen in a situation like this when it became public. That was unfortunate that it did and people are going to react to that."
You've got to wonder how this might affect Heatley's actions in the coming weeks. Although his comments make it seem like water off a duck's back, some bloggers are suggesting this could give added pressure to Heatley to find any deal he can out of Ottawa, in case that somehow lessens the criticism he'll take in every building in the NHL--and the San Jose Sharks' recent salary-dump trade of Brad Lukowich and Christian Ehrhoff has just added fuel to the fire, despite TSN's Darren Dreger's contention that talks between San Jose and the Ottawa Senators have cooled off.
You've got to wonder, though, if Heatley might be a little put off by the boos on Thursday night, which weren't just in any city but his hometown--where you might think he'd get a little reprieve. If he comes back to Ottawa this season, he'll take it every home game, and it'll probably follow him in every rink on the road, too. If he gets traded, his new team and their fans might be happy to have him, so that'd give him a break for half the season.
Or maybe he'll just continue to ignore what other people think and say about him.