admits that he was sad to see his good friend Devin Setoguchi
get traded to the Minnesota Wild on Draft night. It's more than 2,000 miles between San Jose and St. Paul, and while the hockey world is small, it can be tough to remain close during a long NHL season.
Two weeks later, Heatley and Setoguchi are both in Minnesota, looking for houses and are now likely to be living three blocks from each other.
Heatley and Setoguchi are going to remain teammates in a new state, which they've visited over the weekend as they look for places to live and meet the members of their newest team.
The news of their acquisitions sent waves of excitement through Wild fans, and after spending some time in the State of Hockey, the feeling is mutual from both players who met with the team and the local media at Xcel Energy Center on Monday morning.
"It's been an exciting week," said Heatley, who knows the area well after playing at Wisconsin and developing close friendships with players and fans from Minnesota. "I've been in this area a lot, and I know it's a great hockey town. I love playing in this rink. It's always been one of my favorite places to play."
Heatley and Setoguchi both dealt with the shock of being traded to a new team, but both say they feel good about their new situations.
"Coming from San Jose, the organization is top notch from head to toe," said Setoguchi. "After meeting everyone here, it's the same thing here. I already knew it was a hockey state, and I wasn't worried about that. Now I just need to meet the rest of my teammates."
We're right in the middle of July, and this week the Xcel Energy Center ice belongs to hopeful prospects taking part in the Wild's Development Camp. Training camp is still two weeks away, but that hasn't stopped fans from fascinating about line combinations and this new look team showing what's in store for 2011-12.
The feeling is shared by both newcomers.
"It's a sense of a fresh start," said Heatley. "You get a little excitement, and I know 'Seto's' excited as well."
Heatley's telling the truth according to "Seto."
"We were talking the last couple days about how excited we are to be here to be a part of such a big hockey state," said the 24-year-old sniper. "It feels like I'm back in Canada playing junior hockey. [Minnesota's] like the 14th province of Canada."
"Province of Hockey" just doesn't have the same ring to it. We prefer "State of Hockey," which Setoguchi will learn, and one thing our prideful habitants have been yearning for is a pure goal scorer. Now the Wild has at least two.
"I think I can score goals," said Heatley, who has hit the 50-goal mark twice in his career. "I've always been a goal scorer and I think that's what I'm expected to do here. I think we both bring that to this team."
Again, Setoguchi is in agreement with his buddy.
"You're going to find that I'm just going to shoot the puck," he said. "I get the puck, I shoot it. I don't hold onto it. I don't make sweet plays with it. I just shoot it."
He did plenty of that in games against the Wild. In four games against Minnesota last season, he scored three times and added an assist.
"I always liked to play the Wild for some reason," he said with a sly grin. "I seemed to always be able to score."
Now his and Heatley's scoring will be done for the Wild, and the only downside to that is it won't happen until October.