rulururu
Two dudes blogging and podcasting about the San Jose Sharks, straight from sunny California.

post Have You Hugged a Heatley Today?

March 16th, 2010, 9:59 am

Filed under: blog — Written by Mike

After reading this article, I marvel again at the ability of Doug Wilson to get anyone to take Jonathan Cheechoo and his contract, currently $3.5M per year, with another year left after this one.  That’s not to say I don’t feel bad for ol’ Cheech.  He seems as bewildered as anyone about his descent into mediocrity.  Actually, mediocrity would be a gift for him right now.  As someone that always carried himself with class, and would still be considered a fan favorite in San Jose, his dismal output in Ottawa (14 points in 61 games) is the only thing that matters in the NHL.  And even though his productivity has improved with the Binghamton Senators (9 points in 14 games), his defensive ability hasn’t (-7).  Looks like he’ll be getting bought out this off-season, which would give him *only* $1.16 million for the next two years.  Most likely he’ll never see money like that again.

Maybe he can pull a Rick Ankiel and come back as a goalie.  Either way, Cheech, good luck.

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    10 Comments to “Have You Hugged a Heatley Today?”

    1. Ruben says:

      Dudes, do you think Cheech would come back next year for the minimum? Right now, he is still Jed Ortmeyer with better scoring touch (though I guess Ortmeyer is better defensively).

      Would the Sharks even want him? Where would he fit? Maybe set him up on a 3rd line with Couture and McGinn? Almost a poor (very poor) man’s HTML line, with a nice pivot surrounded by a speedy guy and a shooter (unfortunately, describing Cheechoo as a “sniper” is a little over the top). He obviously has to be sheltered from top offensive players, but handled right and on a line with Couture you would think he could still pot 20 goals a year, which is a bargain if he only makes the minimum.

      • Evilducks says:

        He’s not even Jed Ortmeyer. Ortmeyer can skate. They both have about the same ability to score these days, I’d rather have Jed at this point.

    2. Tom says:

      I think cheech needs to spend a summer or two working on his skating. If, and only if he can get his speed up I’d do it. As good or not good Cheech is or could be, his lack of speed is a liability. In today’s NHL he won’t ever be successful without. I think this is partially why his stats have fallen off more and more post lockout.

    3. Mike says:

      If he can only score 5 goals while playing some of the time with Spezza, I have difficulty believing he can score 20 under any circumstances. And until he re-jiggers his game to become a defensive asset instead of a liability, he won’t find work anywhere in the NHL.

      I wouldn’t advise any team in the NHL giving him anything other than a two-way deal for the minimum next year.

      • Ruben says:

        I don’t remember him getting much time with Spezza. From the get go, he was a 3rd line guy getting 10-12 minutes a game.

        The skating definitely impacts his defense, for sure. I’m not so sure it affects a player like him so much on offense. He (like setoguchi) drifts around the slot trying to find an open area, or hangs around the net. Not much skating required there.

        On the other hand, the results speak for themselves… he just doesn’t have finishing touch like he used to.

        • Evilducks says:

          The difference is Seto can actually get his ass to the slot to float around, lay a big hit when he needs to and still has some semblance of self confidence.

          • Ruben says:

            The question is, is the sole ability to find soft spots in the slot and rip one-timers enough to make someone an NHLer even at the minimum?

            Put another way, Cheechoo is like Ken Griffey Jr. in baseball. Can still hit a HR, but no defense ability, no contact ability, no speed. Problem is, baseball has the DH. Cheech has to at least attempt to play defense, has to try to recover pucks in the corner. I think it’s worth $500k to find out.

    4. Ivan M. says:

      I don’t know that his AHL offensive stats can be considered an improvement. Among those 9 points, only 4 are goals. 4 goals in 14 AHL games is not going to earn him too many contract offers in the NHL, even at a minimum salary. I think Cheech might have played his last game in the NHL.

      On the other hand, he can easily earn $2M or more, tax free, in KHL if Semenov is making over a million, just by faxing the clubs his resume that includes 56 goals season.

    5. Nazi Troll (aka the artist formerly known as Jerry) says:

      Speaking of goalies, you think Steve Shields is still available? The Sharks could use him after the Stars made mince meat out of Nabby and Greiss.

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