Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Olympics: Heatley Named To Team Canada

Arguably the greatest forward to ever wear a Wisconsin sweater has once again been named to represent his native Canada at the Olympics.

Dany Heatley, who spent two outstanding seasons in Madison, will be playing in his second Olympic games. His first go round, 4 years ago in Turin ended in a disappointing non-medal finish for Team Canada. In Italy, Heatley registered 3 points in 6 games.

The Calgary, Alberta native has had one of the rockiest careers in the history of the National Hockey League. The former second overall draft pick in the 2000 draft has forced trades out of his first two cities. He asked for a trade from Atlanta after his car crash that killed teammate and friend Dan Snyder. This past season Heatley demanded a trade out of Ottawa after he became unhappy with his role and playing time under new coach Cory Clouston. He was eventually moved to San Jose for Milan Michalek, Jonathan Cheechoo, and second and fifth round draft picks in 2010.

Heatley is having a bounce back season for the Sharks and is currently seventh in the NHL in scoring with 44 points in 39 games. He also ranks fifth in the NHL in goal scoring, netting 23 goals so far at almost the half way point in the season.

A surprise to no one, Team Canada is very major junior heavy this season once again. Heatley is one of only four players to play college hockey to be named to the roster. Heatley (Wisconsin), is joined by Jonathan Toews (North Dakota), Dan Boyle (Miami) and Duncan Keith (Michigan State).

Team USA will announce their roster on Friday during the NHL Winter Classic game. Expect Former Badgers Joe Pavelski, Ryan Suter, and Brian Rafalski to be named to the roster.

Photo Credit: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images