Heatley wants to be 'that guy' for Wild

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Heatley wants to be 'that guy' for Wild

July 5, 2011SHARKS PAGE SHARKS VIDEONHL PAGE MINNESOTA PAGE

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Minnesota Wild have been searching for the kind of dynamic goal scorer who can put the puck in the net in the blink of an eye, a player who won't hesitate to let a shot rip from anywhere in the opposing goaltender's zip code, ever since Marian Gaborik left in 2009.

Here comes Dany Heatley, who never met a shot on goal he didn't like, determined to show the rest of the league he can still light the lamp with the best of them.

The Wild landed Heatley from San Jose on Sunday night, sending forward Marty Havlat to the Sharks in a straight-up swap of two 30-year-old wingers. Heatley said Monday he was excited to be coming to Minnesota and couldn't wait to prove that last year's sub-par season was a fluke.

"As a goal scorer and a player, you want to be that guy," Heatley said.

RELATED: Wild roster depth chart season stats

Heatley had back-to-back 50-goal seasons in 2005-06 and 2006-07 for the Ottawa Senators, but finished with only 26 goals last season for the Sharks. Heatley played a month and a half with a broken hand and said he had several other nagging injuries that held him back.

"Last year wasn't the greatest year for me personally, but I'm looking forward to getting back there," Heatley said.

After the Sharks flamed out in the playoffs yet again, San Jose GM Doug Wilson was looking to switch things up. He found a willing partner in Wild GM Chuck Fletcher, whose team has missed the playoffs in both of his seasons as the team's top executive.

Fletcher fired coach Todd Richards, replacing him with the Houston Aeros' Mike Yeo, and then sent All-Star defenseman Brent Burns to the Sharks for a package that included 24-year-old goal scorer Devin Setoguchi on draft night.

Fletcher said the biggest priority heading into the offseason was injecting some juice into a team that finished 30th in the league in shots on goal and had too many players who were better suited to passing and setting up others than finishing the plays themselves.

RATTO: Heatley a gamble that never paid off

Havlat seemed to be one of those players. He tied for the team lead last season with 62 points, but only 22 of those came on goals.

"Marty Havlat is one of the better offensive forwards in the league," Fletcher said. "You look at this trade, it's two pretty good hockey players trading places. Some hockey players fit into some teams better than others. I think we've seen a lot of that over time."

Fletcher brushed aside character questions about Heatley, who asked to be traded out of previous stops in Atlanta and Ottawa. Fletcher said the team did an extensive background check, as it does with every acquisition.

"Dany's a quality person and somebody who will fit well in our room," he said.

He'll have a familiar face in Setoguchi. The two were close buddies in San Jose, though it would seem likely that Heatley will play with Mikko Koivu and Pierre-Marc Bouchard on the Wild's top line, while Setoguchi will be the shooter on the second line to balance the offense.

"Our lack of goal scoring is well documented. Our inability to shoot the puck is well documented," Fletcher said. "We've acquired two players who are able to complement the players on our team real well."

Heatley has three years and 19 million left on his contract, while Havlat has four years and 20 million remaining on the deal he signed with Minnesota two years ago.

"We have a lot of salary cap space," Fletcher said. "Dany has a higher salary cap number than Marty does, but Marty has another year on his contract. There certainly are no issues from that respect."

Heatley has a history of struggling in the playoffs, but the Wild would love to see him have a chance to redeem himself in that area. The franchise has missed the postseason for three straight years, making even one of the most supportive fan bases in hockey start to get a little impatient.

"We're there to get back in the playoffs, no question," Heatley said of Setoguchi and himself. "Once you're in the playoffs, it's a whole new season. They have a good team. They were a good team last year, and I think they're better team this year."

Report: Blazers trade Allen Crabbe

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USATI

Report: Blazers trade Allen Crabbe

Allen Crabbe will end up in Brooklyn after all.

The Blazers will trade the shooting guard to the Nets, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

In exchange, Brooklyn will send big man Andrew Nicholson to Portland.

Nicholson will not suit up for the the Blazers, as Portland will waive and stretch his contract.

Last summer, Crabbe -- who was a restricted free agent -- signed a 4-year, $75 million sheet from the Nets.

The former Cal star returned to the Pacific Northwest because the Blazers matched the offer.

Last season, Crabbe averaged a career-best 10.7 points per game, while shooting just under 47 percent from the field and over 44 percent from deep.

He averaged just 5.5 points in the opening round of the playoffs against the Warriors.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Warriors officially ink six players to new contracts

Warriors officially ink six players to new contracts

The Warriors re-signed free agents Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, Zaza Pachulia and David West to contracts, the team announced on Tuesday.

Curry, 29, averaged a team-high 25.3 points per game (10th in the NBA) in 2016-17 to go with 6.6 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 1.81 steals (seventh) in 33.4 minutes over 79 games, earning All-NBA Second Team honors. The two-time MVP led the league in three-point field goals for a fifth consecutive year, following his NBA-record 402 threes in 2015-16 with 316 triples in 2016-17, including an NBA single-game record 13 threes on Nov. 7 vs. New Orleans. Curry upped his averages to 28.1 points, 6.7 assists and 6.2 rebounds in 35.4 minutes over 17 games in the 2017 postseason, helping Golden State capture its second title in three seasons. In eight career seasons with the Warriors, Curry owns averages of 22.8 points, 6.8 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 1.79 steals and is the franchise’s all-time leader in three-point field goals (1,917, 10th in NBA history).

Durant, 28, tallied averages of 25.1 points (13th), a career-high 8.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists, a career-high 1.60 blocks (ninth) and 1.06 steals in 33.4 minutes over 62 games in his first season with the Warriors in 2016-17. The 6’9” forward earned All-NBA Second Team honors after hitting a career-best 53.7 percent from the field and becoming the first Warrior to average at least 25 points and eight rebounds per game since Rick Barry in 1966-67. Durant led the Warriors in postseason scoring with 28.5 points per game to go along with 7.9 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.33 blocks in 15 games, scoring at least 30 points in all five games of the NBA Finals on his way to Finals MVP honors. Durant joined Michael Jordan as the only players to earn NBA Finals MVP honors with averages of at least 35 points (35.2), eight rebounds (8.2) and five assists (5.4).

Iguodala, 33, averaged 7.6 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.00 steals in 26.3 minutes over 76 games for the Warriors in 2016-17, while shooting a career-high 52.8 percent. A 13-year NBA veteran, Iguodala led the NBA in assist-to-turnover ratio (4.50) and was a finalist for 2016-17 NBA Sixth Man of the Year honors, leading all reserves in plus/minus with an on-court differential of +6.9. The 2015 NBA Finals MVP scored a playoff season-high 20 points in Golden State’s series-clinching Game 5 win over Cleveland in the 2017 NBA Finals, hitting 9-of-14 from the field in 38 minutes.

Livingston, 31, shot a career-best 54.7 percent from the field and posted averages of 5.1 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 17.7 minutes over 76 games in 2016-17. The 13-year NBA veteran upped his accuracy to 57.6 percent from the field in the postseason, averaging 5.2 points over 14 games and scoring in double figures three times (twice in the NBA Finals). Livingston owns career averages of 6.6 points, 3.2 assists and 2.5 rebounds in 698 games with nine different teams, including three seasons with Golden State.

Pachulia, 33, averaged 6.1 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 18.1 minutes over 70 games (all starts) in his first season with the Warriors, while hitting a career-high 53.4 percent from the field. The Georgian native led all centers in plus/minus (+6.0) and led the Warriors with 140 offensive rebounds in 2016-17. In 15 postseason games (all starts), Pachulia averaged 5.1 points and 3.8 rebounds in 14.1 minutes, scoring in double figures four times. For his career, Pachulia owns averages of 7.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 961 games over 14 seasons with the Magic, Hawks, Bucks, Mavericks and Warriors.

West, 36, tallied averages of 4.6 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 12.6 minutes over 68 games in his first season with the Warriors. The 14-year NBA veteran was one of only four players to play in all 17 of Golden State’s playoff games, averaging 4.5 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists, and 13.0 minutes in his eighth career postseason appearance. A two-time NBA All-Star, West owns career averages of 14.1 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 961 games with the Hornets, Pacers, Spurs and Warriors.

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