Dany Heatley appeared in six games for the Anaheim Ducks in the 2014-15 season. He never eclipsed fourth line minutes in any game, which is fitting, because he never appeared in the box score for any game either. You can be forgiven therefore if you forgot about him, since history will not remember him as a Duck.
But Ducks fly together, and all of them must be accounted for in critical review! [Whistle "God Bless America" to yourself to complete this picture]
There's a reason Heatley played more games for the Norfolk Admirals than for Anaheim, and it had to do entirely with his game speed. He wasn't able to keep up with play. He made Patrick Maroon look like a speed skater.
It wasn't just his lack of foot speed, or leg speed, or even brain speed, as slower guys who play intelligently can squeeze a couple extra years into their games. It was that he didn't even look engaged in his six appearances. He backchecked worse than Corey Perry. He flew the zone quicker than Teemu Selanne. He skated worse than Ryan Getzlaf.
It was like he was the embodiment of all the negative aspects of the Ducks, but in Voltron robot form...if said robot had five power cores stolen and the mice from the castle were the ones trying to operate it. (I might retire from writing altogether with that metaphor, thank you, thank you.)
But you don't read Kid Ish pieces for the metaphors. You read for the charts! Heatley was brought to the Ducks to be a cheap depth scorer, so one might expect to see any tangible boosts in his shot-based metrics. Scoring requires shooting or attempting to, after all.
Heatley posted really ugly relative numbers in both attempts and actual shots.
The team without Heatley on the ice was quite a bit better at generating offense, contrary to what he was brought to the team to achieve.
Ultimately, Heatley failed to accomplish what he was brought to Anaheim to provide. The risk in signing him had always been low, and six games spent with the big club before being sent to Norfolk was the proof of that. But it is hard not to feel those six games were still wasted in giving him the roster spot when other, younger players could have been tried instead.