Doug Wilson And His Feelings On Acquiring Heatley: Thank you, it’s an exciting day for the Sharks organization and to add a player of Dany’s talents and skill set is really a rare thing. Without going into all his stats I think they truly speak for themselves and this is a player that we feel very, very fortunate to add to this hockey team. We made a move that we gave up two wonderful character people that gave a lot to this organization, but the team comes first and we made ourselves a better hockey team by adding this type of player.
Doug Wilson And Heatley's San Jose Ties: He has played with many of our players. He just came back from the Olympic camp with Joe Thornton
, Danny Boyle and Patrick Marleau
. He has played with Rob Blake, he has played under our coach. He played in the world juniors in Sweden under Todd McClellan. That’s important to us because this is about hockey, this is about going forward because I’m sure Danny will say that this may be one of the last press conferences that we deal with. We do respect the medias needs and the opportunity to answer and ask questions. I guess as a GM I will share a little something with you too. And this is that in this business it is not a rare occurrence for me as a GM to have players who have requested a trade, especially when it is in the best interest for all parties. The ones that I have dealt with have all played out privately and worked out fairly seamlessly. This one, unfortunately for all parties involved, did not (play out privately) and that’s not to lay blame or point fingers or anything like that. But that is what I think led to a lot of the attention on this deal, that plus the level of player that Dany is.
Doug Wilson Heatley Representing Canada: As a hockey player and as a Canadian I will tell you that one of the greatest honors for a hockey player is to represent your country. And Dany has represented his country more often and better than any other player in the history of international hockey. Dany is the leading goal scorer for the country of Canada. That means a lot to me obviously. It is pressure and attention and in an environment where you want to win. It’s an honor to play best on best so that’s another element to his game that makes us feel very fortunate to have him. The other part of it is that when we acquire a player and we look into these types of opportunities, we do a lot of research. Dany was probably one of the easiest players I’ve ever had to do research on. He was playing in my home town of Ottawa. When he represented the country of Canada he was playing for people Steve Yzerman and Bob Nicholson, two very close friends, two people that I have as much respect for as anybody in the world of hockey. Peter Chiarelli, who is a good friend of mine and is the general manager of Boston, was in Ottawa when Dany was there. So you look at people and say, does this guy fit in as a hockey player? Absolutely. As a person? Absolutely. One of my staff members Wayne Thomas has known Dany since he was a young boy. So when we sit here and say we go forward we do it with great pride. And I can just tell you that I am very, very proud to introduce Dany Heatley as a member of the San Jose Sharks organization.
Question: There was a big gap between the time of the trade and you getting to San Jose which was pretty much out of your control. Can you talk about your level of frustration in not being able to get here sooner or how you spent your time waiting for everything to happen?
Dany: Yeah, well when the trade happened obviously I was excited and I wanted to get going. But at the same time I was after everything that went on this summer I think it was good to go back to Kelowna and get away from it for a couple of days and feel good about it and feel excited to get down here.
Question: Were you able to get on the ice at all?
Dany: Yeah, I was on the ice everyday out there. By myself, actually with my dad, but got on the ice a little bit. It felt pretty good today.
Question: How soon do you think you will be able to test yourself out in a game?
Dany: I feel good right now. It’s up to Todd and the coaching staff. But I feel ready to go right now.
Question: How do you feel about coming here to San Jose where maybe the pressure to perform is a little different then it is in Ottawa?
Dany: I think it may be different, but the pressure is still there. I think that this is a very good team, this is a team that has a great chance to win. I think I understand that and everyone else in the room understands that. I think that is a great thing, I’m certainly excited to have a chance to be a part of that.
Question: Joe Thornton
and Coach Todd McClellan both had nice things to say about you in the dressing room a couple of minutes ago. What do you think about the guys that you are joining here? Not only the players, but the coaching staff?
Dany: Obviously it’s a great staff. Got a chance to see Todd again and meet the rest of the staff and go over a little video and a little about the system. Obviously there are some Stanley Cups in there and there is a lot of great experience.
Question: You’re coming to a team that has put upwards of a shot a minute on the goal. Does that have you chomping at the bit and how do you feel about coming to a team that shoots like that?
Dany: I like shooting the puck. I’m ready to go, I like this style of team. I think it has been said before, but I feel confident playing this style, an offensive skating style and again I’m anxious to get going.
Question: You have had some time now to digest the trade, the move and all of that. How tough was it for you this summer going through this? And now to get this point how happy are you to be here?
Dany: I think as Doug said, it was unfortunate that it was public. You know, it was tough, it was tough mentally all summer. But at the same time I was kind of away from it out in Kelowna. I actually had a pretty good summer getting ready for the season wherever that was going to be. I felt confident that something was going to get done and it happened right before the season started.
Question: Can you reconcile why through this process you have sort of been vilified so much where as Brent Sutter does virtually the same thing in New Jersey, and it is an accepted thing?
Doug: Well I can help on that one. I think it is the great thing about hockey, the passion and love of the players and the team that the fans have. And I understand it, I’m from Ottawa, it’s a great city. But I will also say that this should have played out a little differently and should have been more of a private nature. But I will also say as a hockey player and as a Canadian hockey player, and I’m biased towards hockey players. Nobody gives up more to represent their country for no compensation and puts their butts on the line to play internationally and that is a great measure of a player. Not only Dany, but any other player that has ever done that. So you can understand when a player thinks that it is in everybody’s best interest to move on, which again happens more often then you really think. But the fans at that time are tied to their players and that’s a good thing. I think also that it has to be kept in perspective of the reality of the situation, and the reality that this guy here beside me has gone and played hard. His reputation as a player, and the most important people, his teammates, the people he has played with and the coaches that he has played, they look at him as a hockey player that leaves it all out there and that’s what we are getting. He is a San Jose Sharks player. We’ve had a couple of other players come from other teams in recent years. There is no question about him as a hockey player, and there is no question about him as a man and we are proud to have him here.
Question: You are coming here under difficult circumstances. Do you expect any of the fan base here to have an arched eye-brow waiting to see what you can deliver? Or what do you expect it when you get on the ice from all the fans?
Dany: Well yeah, I think anytime you go to a new place the fans and the cities are waiting to see what you can do. I’m excited about that, excited about that opportunity. They will see what kind of player I am.
Question: On the flipside do you expect or anticipate anything on your first trip or two up to Canada?
Dany: Well I’m sure we will cross that bridge when we get there. Again, like Doug said, they are passionate people, great hockey fans and they have the right to their opinion and to cheer you if they want to cheer you and boo you if they want to boo you.
Question: Dany, you are coming in here from a different franchise. You know the history of this franchise recently. In your mind what is the difference between a very good hockey team and a very good hockey team that gets over the hump and gets to the finals and gets a Cup?
Dany: There are a lot of good teams in the league on paper. It takes a lot of different things to gel and things to happen to win. The Stanley Cup Playoffs are four tough rounds, the bottom line is to win when you have to. It’s tough to say, but you got to want it more than the other guys for four rounds. I think experience is part of that, I think that going through different playoff rounds, playing different teams over the years all helps to prepare you for the new challenge.
Question: You didn’t get a lot of time out there, but you had a quick skate with Joe and Seto, how did it feel? I know it is tough to put projections out there after one practice, but did you get a good feel for them out there?
Dany: Yeah, definitely. It felt good today. I had a lot of fun with those two guys. It’s a lot more fun to skate with them rather than skating by myself like I have been. It felt good to get out there and pass the puck around and get a feel for Joe and Seto.
Question: Now Todd has spoke about his relationship with you that went back to juniors when he was still trying to woo you (to play for Swift Current). What is it about him? A lot of this has to do with the coach as well. What is it about Todd’s approach to the game that is going to work better for you here?
Dany; Well, I think first of all, the style that he brings and the staff brings personally is a great style. Offense in the game today is what makes the game fun and fast paced and I think that is the type of system that we are playing here. You know, everything is out there. I think that is another big thing, he is a great communicator and he is going to tell you exactly what he wants from you and where to be in the system and I think that is all you can ask for from a coach.
Question: Follow up, was that a problem in Ottawa? In a sense, that you talk about what kind of system you want to play in. So much was speculated Dany about your problems in Ottawa. Was it the system as opposed to the personal?
Dany: You know there were a lot of things, hockey wise that led to me asking to be traded. But I’m not going to get into that. I think that is in the past and I’m ready to move on here.
Question: Doug had spoken about how often you have represented Canada internationally. Are you concerned at all with the way you were treated in the press and your chances on making the Canadian team?
Dany: No, I understand that some media up there have written a lot of negative things. But as far the Olympic team goes, I’m not concerned at all. I know Steve and the staff will pick the best team. That’s the bottom line. Especially with the Olympics, if you can’t pick a team off merit for the Olympics then something is wrong. I know that they are going to pick the 23 best guys that give them the best chance to win a gold medal and I hope that I am on that team.
Question: Dany with the trade situation that you went through this summer and you know what the Sharks went through last year in the playoffs. Do you feel like you already have something in common with the team in the fact that you are looking forward and not in the past?
Dany: Yeah, defiantly. I think anytime you don’t win, you haven’t done the best job. I think everyone is excited to get back on the ice and show everyone what we can do.