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Petshark: Talking Stick

Why’s it cool to boo Heater?

Why is it cool to boo Dany Heatley? I get why Sens fans do it. To the best of their knowledge, he dissed them.  But the rest of us? San Jose? What did he do to us?  Lots of rinks around the NHL boo Dany Heatley, for reasons hard to discern.  I’ve asked, but the reasons people give me (people other than Sens fans) don’t hold water anymore, if they ever did.

As far as I can tell, it’s just trendy, people don’t ask why.  Most of those rinks never had him on their team.  I think San Jose should have a reason to boo him, not just do it like a jerk reflex.

He cost the Sharks a lot, not only in cap space.  The Sharks traded Milan Michalek for him:

Still, few Sharks fans in the Bay Area shed many tears when he was shipped to Ottawa along with Jonathan Cheechoo for Dany Heatley, then thought to be the player that would put the Sharks over the top. -Sharks Talk

Fans were sorry to see Cheechoo go, and regretted losing Michalek as well.  Heatley had a big burden of sentiment and sense to shoulder.  He didn’t put the Sharks over the top.  He didn’t win a cup for us, and all these years later, Michalek is burning up the scoring charts.  Boo who?

Now Heatley isn’t costing the Sharks a nickle, and I don’t hear Sharks fans booing Michalek for being traded away and failing to fail for evermore.  Why not?  Don’t remember him well enough to boo him?  If fans like to boo so much, I would think they’d grab any reason to do so. Wouldn’t want Winnipeg to have all the fun.

Heatley didn’t ask to leave, he got sent away, but there were a whole lot of Sharks fans who did ask for him to be sent packing.  I don’t know what they have to boo about now.

Heatley never said anything to imply he wasn’t happy and grateful to work and live in SJ.  He didn’t make insulting statements about a whole hockey community without any basis for an opinion at all.  (Bryz earned that.  He can take a bag of extra sticks to give away every time he goes to Winnipeg, and he will still be booed.  Sorry, Bryz,  engage brain before speaking.)

Heatley didn’t say anything bad about being sent to Minny. He didn’t go hide on an island and refuse to talk to the press for days when he got the news he’d been traded during a 20 second window in his no trade clause.  (Maybe that’s unfair to Carter.  Maybe he was nursing a broken foot.  Poor Carter.)  Heatley’s dealt with lots worse, really serious grief.  He didn’t freak out even if he was surprised and his feelings were hurt.  Now he’s doing his job, he’s working hard. What’s to boo?

Did Heatley insult his teammates?  Did he say the black armor unis were boring?  Did he go around town kicking dogs?  Is it because he won’t join Twitter?  If you were Dany Heatley, would you?

You think he didn’t work hard enough here? Why didn’t you boo him then, when that would or could have hurt your team? What’s to boo now?  Would booing your own expensive player have been too Vancouver?

How about we wait for him to score, and then boo him?

I must be missing something, because when Heatley came back to the Tank the first time, it sounded like the place was full of Sens sympathizers. Get your own beef, people.  He was one of the team’s leading scorers as a Shark, he didn’t make a fuss, played hurt like a dutiful hockey player, was a good teammate, never asked to leave. What’s there to boo?

On top of that, he has said, time and again, that being booed inspires him to play better.  Lots of players say that, who can tell if it is always true.  Seems like a fair reason to not boo him, if a fan actually cares about her team’s success.

Someone please explain.

Filed in: , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: boo, dany+heatley, fans, trades



Because he’s a whiny cancer and he killed a guy.

Posted by Garth on 12/06/11 at 06:04 PM ET


Because he’s a whiny cancer and he killed a guy

Now that’s just nitpicking.

Posted by Seaner from San Jose on 12/06/11 at 06:36 PM ET

KelseyAnn's avatar

Heatley didn’t ask to leave, he got sent away, but there were a whole lot of Sharks fans who did ask for him to be sent packing.  I don’t know what they have to boo about now

That about sums it up right there, on why there’s no reason to boo him. Maybe the fans are just joining in on the booing trend, maybe they are too ignorant to learn the truth (because if they did, they would really have no reason for it).

I live in a Phoenix suburb, and even the (mostly) fairweather Coyotes fans don’t boo Bryz, although I feel they have slightly more of a basis for it. He wanted an a$$load of money, but his play didn’t justify it, especially the way he had just laid an egg in the playoffs. Not to mention, he was horrible at manning up to when he played a bad game. If he played a bad game he would refuse to talk to the media and leave his teammates to defend him or make excuses for him. That’s not cool. I don’t want to go so far as to say he was a locker room cancer, but he certainly didn’t help the atmosphere at times. Mike Smith may not have quite the talent of Bryz, but he’s fairly solid and more of a team guy than Bryz ever was, and that can’t do anything but pay dividends for the team.

So to sum it up, given the off-ice demeanor and the demanding of more money with insufficient play to back it up, Coyotes fans have good reason to boo Bryz. But they don’t, so those Sharks fans that think inexplicably booing Heatley is cool or whatever prove to sound even more stupid in my opinion. (And yours since you obviously don’t understand either. I have no insight into that unfortunately, I’d love to ask them why though)

Posted by KelseyAnn from Ahwatukee, Arizona on 12/06/11 at 06:58 PM ET

Da lil Guy's avatar

Sometimes the fans just need to remind a player he’s not considered ‘one of us’ anymore. Where they once welcomed him with cheers and adulation, it’s now boos and criticism.

The other night the Senators played in Washington and there were some boo-birds calling after Sergei Gonchar. It’s been almost 7 years since the Caps traded him.

Mind you, Heatley’s sordid history and the reputation it’s gotten him probably add to it in his case.

Posted by Da lil Guy from Guelph, Ontario on 12/06/11 at 07:39 PM ET


I don’t see a reason to boo him, either. From all accounts, he was an outstanding teammate in San Jose, didn’t pout when he got demoted to the 3rd line (he in fact had his best game of the playoffs, for a time I was actually excited about the possbility of a Wellwood-Heatley line), never made excuses for his poor play. The Dan Snyder tragedy was awful, but I can’t imagine people actually boo Heatley for that.

Really, the only thing a San Jose fan can boo him for is sucking in the playoffs, but that would make a long list of players than San Jose fans should boo…

Posted by Ruben from Fresno on 12/06/11 at 07:52 PM ET

petshark's avatar

What makes it more unreasonable to boo Heatley in SJ is that the fans cheer Setoguchi.  Granted, Seto doesn’t have the long history but he got a lot of negative attention from fans while he was here for falling when he should soar. 

I certainly agree that the Snyder tragedy is an appalling reason to boo someone, but it does come up in the top 2 reasons people bash him on Twitter.  But that assumes most Sharks fans know about it which is not at all certain.  Maybe I just like to think they don’t know, because it is too horrible to believe they would boo someone for that.

Posted by petshark from Nor Cal, and on Twitter @petshark47 on 12/06/11 at 08:34 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Heatley was supposed to light the league on fire being fed goal-after-goal by Joe Thornton and he never lived up to that. His time in San Jose could be compared to Robert Lang’s time in Detroit.

Setoguchi never had those kinds of expectations dumped on him. Anything Seto did over not falling down and impaling himself was gravy.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/06/11 at 08:41 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Oh also Heatley is basically an unlikable dick.

Just because I’m not a Senators fan doesn’t mean I have to side with Heatley when he pouts his way out of the team that traded Hossa for him because he had to get out of Atlanta for killing his teammate.

... and then refuses a trade to Edmonton (even though Edmonton sucks).

I don’t dislike Dany Heatley because it’s trendy, I dislike Dany Heatley because his history in the league indicates he’s not the kind of person I like.  If that reason doesn’t hold enough water for any of you, then I kindly invite any of you to kiss my ass.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/06/11 at 08:46 PM ET


I personally liked Heatley when he was on the team and gained a lot more respect for him seeing him play through injuries trying to contribute anyway he could despite being hurt. But that being said, fans have every right to boo him here. We traded away 2 fan favorite guys (one being a great scorer in Milan) and the guy ended up being the highest paid player on the team who couldn’t be even 80% healthy in two years when it mattered most in the playoffs. If you are going to be the top dollar dog, you need to perform like it and it just didn’t happen with him here unfortunately. I wasn’t wild (no pun intended) about the trade of him, but i’m ok with it since it gave us the cap room to lock up burns and couture for the foreseable future, as well as the chemestry Couture, Clowe and Havlat have developed.  Would like to see Havlat putting the puck in the net significantly more, but as long as the line keeps producing zone time, chances and goals, as well as not giving up goals..can’t complain too much.

Posted by danny from bay area on 12/06/11 at 09:03 PM ET

Da lil Guy's avatar


Why is it so horrible to boo him for the Snyder thing.

He plead guilty to vehicular homicide - admitted criminal responsibility for Snyder’s death. He’s not the victim in this tragedy. He’s the villain.

Posted by Da lil Guy from Guelph, Ontario on 12/06/11 at 11:09 PM ET


There are just lots of stupid old season ticket holders that don’t follow hockey like the younguns do

Posted by SJMatt on 12/07/11 at 07:19 AM ET

Luongo-is-my-hero's avatar

why would sj fans boo seto? he just signed a 3 year contract and was happy to be a shark, then was promptly traded 24 hrs later in a douchebag move by wilson.

Posted by Luongo-is-my-hero on 12/07/11 at 11:10 AM ET


Check out the Dany Heatley All-Star vids on youtube!  GOLD!!!

Posted by Gordon from Ottawa on 12/07/11 at 11:31 AM ET

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About Petshark: Talking Stick

Native of Northern California.  Hockey fan since 1998... sort of... there's a hiatus in there that I still can't explain.

I want to know about anything and everything related to the sport and the spectacle.  I watch, I react, I write it down.

My interest in the Sharks was initially a matter of geographic convenience and regional loyalty because that seemed to be how it worked.  I had no prior interest (at all-- AT ALL) in professional sports of any kind.  When I met hockey, it might have set off a chain reaction of general sports fandom.  It hasn't, I don't think it will.  At all.

Since then, that interest developed into full blown (mostly sort of usually almost completely) exclusive loyalty to the Sharks.

I started blogging a couple years ago on wordpress. I still occasionally put things there that I don't think fit here because they are not about the Sharks. Wherever my words wander, here on Kuklas Korner, they will (usually) hang on to a teal thread.

I can be found in cyberspace on Twitter @petshark47, or emailed at talkingstick@petshark.net

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