Dear Dany Heatley,
'Sup? That sucks that you took the penalty that lost your team's playoff series. That's OK, though, I'm sure you made up for it with a few goals in the game. What's that? You didn't? No worries, I'm sure you racked up some assists in the game with some of your teammates banging home rebounds. Hmm? No assists or goals in a do-or-die game? Hey, it's all right. The Blackhawks are a good team; they've shut down lots of good players this year. I mean, you still battled out there, right? You were probably shooting every chance you got just to try to create some offense. Huh? You just took one shot?
No, no, it doesn't mean anything. It just means "Oh." Aw, come on... don't look at me like that. I'm sure you led your team in something.
Hey, I'm sure the Sharks are thrilled to get a two goal, eleven assist player in the playoffs. If there's one thing San Jose was lacking, it was offense. Don't worry about your minus four rating in the series -- no one needs sound defensive play to win the conference championship.
I know the loss stings, but look on the bright side: You forced your way out of Ottawa. Screw you and your policy of rewarding responsible players, Cory Clouston! Just think, you avoided getting embarrassed by Sidney Crosby so that you could get embarrassed by Dustin Byfuglien. Maybe you should call him and ask how to score big goals in big games, because neither of your two postseason goals came with anything meaningful on the line.
All sarcasm aside, there really is a silver lining to last summer's petulant tantrum: You will never have to be held responsible for anything in San Jose as long as they have Joe Thornton to blame for their problems. Isn't that awesome? You can ask for things like more responsibility, a leadership role, and all the power play time you want and you don't actually have to do anything! If I were you, I'd start talking about what the team needs to do to win immediately. You know, score goals, backcheck... crap like that. Better yet, don't say anything and then head off to your cottage for the next few months and then finally call a press conference and only vaguely hint at them. That got you what you wanted last time.
I'm not a big fan of schadenfreude, so I don't want to spend too much time harping on the Sharks' loss, and this is probably the last time I'll mention him-- especially because I have nothing against that team -- but there can't be much doubt among the fans or organization about what they got in Dany Heatley. He is and will always be a passenger, and the only way he will find success is not by leading a team to it, but by riding on the coattails of others.