Heatley and Setoguchi arrived with the Minnesota Wild this summer in separate trades from the San Jose Sharks, and spent the first eight games of the season on the team’s top line together with Mikko Koivu in between them.
The duo has combined for five goals in eight games, but Koivu has none and the team has only 16 total, so coach Mike Yeo will split his two ex-Sharks up Thursday night when they face the Anaheim Ducks at Xcel Energy Center. Setoguchi will skate with Matt Cullen and Pierre-Marc Bouchard, while Cal Clutterbuck will join Heatley and Koivu.
"It happens. You never know," Setoguchi said. "When things aren’t going well -- I mean our power play is 29th in the League and our line hasn’t been doing extremely well -- you just switch it up and try to find the chemistry in order to produce. It is not like [Cullen] and [Bouchard] are bad players by any means. It is going to be a process, but we have to try to find chemistry and it is not just going to happen like that. I played with the same guys [in San Jose] for four years. [Ryan] Getzlaf, [Corey] Perry and [Bobby] Ryan have played together for four years now. It takes time and once it happens, it happens."
Setoguchi spent his first four NHL seasons with the Sharks after being a first-round pick in the 2005 Entry Draft. He was part of a package sent to Minnesota for defenseman Brent Burns.
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"I've been here for about a month and a half now and I know my way around the city," Setoguchi said. "The team is good and the guys are good. Everything has been going well. The good thing with technology now is with my GPS I know where I’m going almost all of the time. That’s definitely nice to have."
Heatley came to the Wild later in the offseason in a blockbuster one-for-one swap with Martin Havlat going the other way. He is tied for the team lead with 5 points, but the two ex-Sharks were expected to help improve the Minnesota power play and that hasn’t happened yet.
For a younger guy like Setoguchi, having someone to make the move with has helped. It is probably not a coincidence that his locker is next to Heatley's in the Wild dressing room at Xcel Energy Center.
"[It helped] a ton -- anytime you can make this type of transition with someone else, it obviously makes it a lot easier" Setoguchi said. "The guys here are great and it didn’t take us long to fit right in. They have been pretty accommodating."
Added Clutterbuck: "It only took about two or three days [for them to fit in]. It is easy. In hockey, it is amazing how guys are so much alike. You pretty much live the exact same life as someone else. It is really easy to get along with somebody in this sport, and especially those two guys. They are good guys to begin with, so it has been smooth."
One adjustment after all those years in San Jose is the weather. As of Wednesday night, there was a 30 percent chance of snow this morning in the Twin Cities area. It turned out to be something of a false alarm, but winter is coming.
"I checked that yesterday, too, and it said there was a chance of snow," Setoguchi said. "I'm a Canadian kid though, so I am not soft when it comes to that by any means."