Acquired by the Sharks in 2009, Dany Heatley reached an impressive milestone in October when he scored his 300th NHL goal in less than 600 games. The 29-year-old right winger currently leads the team in points (31) and is 17th in the league in goals (14). He played his 600th career NHL game on November 4 at St. Louis.
In this week’s Ask the Sharks, you wanted to know about Heatley’s favorite Sharks tradition, his skating tips, and what gets his adrenalin pumping. In the answers below, the native of Freiburg, Germany also reveals his most embarrassing moments on the ice and why he’s really excited to see his mom this Christmas.
1. What type of team do you get more pumped up for? A rivalry team you know will play you tough, or a weaker team that you know you can light the lamp against? -Adam Definitely a rivalry team. Those games are always fun. There’s a lot of emotion and they are usually tight games so there is some fun back and forth.
2. What's the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you during a game?-Jennifer It’s always embarrassing if you miss a one timer, or you miss a shot or something like that. Also, in a warm up if you step on a puck and fall down, that’s always a tough one.
3. I am an 11 year old girl who is interested in playing hockey I was wondering if you had any good tips on skating and puck handling and also what age you started playing hockey?-Sarah I started playing around four or five years old. Just keep practicing. For stick handling the technique is pretty simple. You just kind of roll your wrist, but practice is really big on that. I used to use a tennis ball a lot off the ice to help me with that. For skating, the biggest thing is to stay low and really bend your knees. But for all those things practice is really big and you have to put a lot of time into it.
4. How is the Bay Area different from the other places you've lived in during your career, and which guys on the team helped introduce you to the city of San Jose when you first got here? -Kayvon The weather is different for sure. It’s a lot warmer here than other places I’ve played. And there’s so much to do. San Francisco, Santa Cruz and Napa Valley are so close. There’s just so many things to do in the Bay Area and it’s a great place to play. I think pretty much everyone helped me out when I got here. That’s the thing here, this is a great group and all the new guys are taken care of by the guys that have been here. But Joe, Patty and Clowie really took care of me right off the bat.
5. What has been the best moment for you with the sharks?—Jason I think beating Detroit was probably my favorite moment from last year.
6. What is your favorite sharks tradition?—Matthew I guess the best tradition is playing in the playoffs. Winning rounds in the playoffs is always a special thing and that’s our goal this year and every year, and to win the Stanley Cup. So I’m looking forward to getting back in the playoffs.
7. You have the hardest and most accurate slap shot on the team. Why don’t you play the right side point on the power play?—John That’s a great point. You should ask Todd McLellan that question.
8. Being one of the best scorers in the game, which player on the team do you think looks up to you the most for advice on and off the ice?—Travis Like I said, I think it’s kind of a group atmosphere in here. All the veterans can show the young guys a few things and likewise I think us veterans can learn a lot from the young guys. It’s always a group teaching thing around here.
9. You've mentioned before that your mother is a good cook. What is your favorite meal of hers?-Cindy She makes really good Italian food. That’s probably my favorite, but she’s here for the holidays so I’m looking forward to a big Christmas dinner.
10. What was it like hearing that "warm" welcome in Ottawa? As a player do you use it as extra motivation or drown it out and continue business as usual?-Tim I think I use it as motivation. You know when it’s coming and when it’s expected so from that standpoint you kind of drown it out, but from a motivation aspect it definitely fires you up and gets your adrenalin going a little bit.