15 Years Later: Evaluating Dany Heatley’s Impact on the Ottawa Senators

OTTAWA - FEBRUARY 26: Dany Heatley #15 and Mike Fisher #12 of the Ottawa Senators celebrate a goal against the San Jose Sharks in a game on February 26, 2009 at the Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, Canada. (Photo by Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images)
OTTAWA - FEBRUARY 26: Dany Heatley #15 and Mike Fisher #12 of the Ottawa Senators celebrate a goal against the San Jose Sharks in a game on February 26, 2009 at the Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, Canada. (Photo by Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images) /
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LOS ANGELES, CA – APRIL 25: Dany Heatley #15 of the San Jose Sharks celebrates after a goal against the Los Angeles Kings in game six of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Staples Center on April 25, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA – APRIL 25: Dany Heatley #15 of the San Jose Sharks celebrates after a goal against the Los Angeles Kings in game six of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Staples Center on April 25, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

The Club’s Purest Goal Scorer

Although the latter half of his time in Ottawa was not as memorable as the first two years, Heatley left behind a large impact on the Senators organization from a hockey perspective. Not only did Heately eclipse and set many franchise records, but he also helped solidify the Senators as a Stanley Cup contender upon his arrival in Ottawa. Heatley’s goal-scoring ability filled a gaping hole on the Senators roster which Marian Hossa failed to deliver specifically in the playoffs. His game-breaker mentality and knack for scoring was something the Senators desperately needed to address in order to succeed, and GM John Muckler went out and did just that by bringing in a proven scorer in Heatley.

Moreover, Heatley’s keen instinctive offensive awareness helped elevate the game of those around him too, including Alfredsson and Spezza. Before Heatley arrived in Ottawa, the other two members of the CASH line did not see the same amount of offensive opportunities and results as they did when the Senators injected him into the lineup. Upon Heatley’s arrival, Alfredsson scored a career-high 103 points and Spezza recorded a career-high of 71 assists after being slotted alongside the Calgary native in their first year together. Both Spezza and Alfredsson played the best hockey of their careers alongside Heatley during his four-year tenure in Ottawa, not only putting up the best offensive totals of their career playing together but also making the biggest impact on the city and the fans during this time too. Spezza and Heatley were known for being great friends and were often seen at various events off the ice and in the community showing support for various charities. Thus, Heatley not only completed the Sens’ offence but also added an element of camaraderie to the leadership core in Ottawa.

Although Heatley’s time in Ottawa ended abruptly and without a Stanley Cup, number 15’s legacy still lives on 15 years after he was acquired, and will go down forever in the Senators’ history books as the club’s purest goal scorer. Until a future Senator surpasses his records, Heatley will be remembered quite fondly for being the finishing touch to a work-in-progress Senators offence which helped them get to a place where the franchise had never been before, and for being the team’s highest point-producing forward in team history. Heatley ultimately helped put the small market Ottawa Senators back on the map in the hockey community as a competitive and offensive team, and will forever be remembered as the catalyst to a high octane offence led by the CASH line.