understands what probably lies in store for him Thursday night, and the San Jose Sharks
forward is fine with it.
"I think there will probably be some booing, but fans are entitled to do what they want," Heatley told assembled media following Thursday's morning skate in Ottawa, according to the Toronto Sun.
"I'm not nervous. I've been through this before. This is just another game. I've moved on, I'm happy in San Jose and I want to win the game," said Heatley, who will be facing the Senators in Ottawa for the first time since asking to be traded during the summer of 2009.
"I've played a lot of games in here. It was nice to see some of the guys on the team here for sure."
Heatley spent four seasons in Ottawa, where he had the only two 50-goal seasons of his career and helped the Senators to the 2007 Stanley Cup Final. His desire to be traded was granted three weeks before the start of the 2009-10 season, as the Senators dealt him to the Sharks in exchange for Milan Michalek
, Jonathan Cheechoo
and a second-round draft pick.
The Senators don't expect fans at Scotiabank Place to treat Heatley too kindly.
"It's not going to be very nice for him, but I'm sure he's expecting that," Senators forward Mike Fisher
told the Ottawa Sun. "Other guys have come in here and it's kind of the same thing. Guys on our team get booed in other rinks. That just happens all over."
"It doesn't bother me," Senators coach Corey Clouston told the Ottawa Sun. "The only time I think about it is when it is brought up by media. That's fine. You guys need to do that. To me, our whole focus is getting our team ready to play the way they need to be."
Heatley has 51 goals and 56 assists in 105 games with the Sharks. He had two assists in the Sharks' 5-1 win against the Senators in their only meeting last season, which came at HP Pavilion in San Jose.
Heatley said he expects to hear boos when he takes the ice in Ottawa, and that's OK with him.
"It is what it is. Like I said, I'm happy to see a lot of people in this town," Heatley said Thursday morning. "I met a lot of great people during my time here. If people want to cast me as a villain, that's fine. I'm just going to go out and play hockey."