By Thomas Harrington
One year ago today, the Anaheim Ducks traded Dany Heatley and a 2015 third round pick to the Florida Panthers for Tomas Fleischmann. This move was primarily about dumping Heatley who had done absolutely nothing for the Ducks since he had signed with the team. The Ducks were also able to get a useful veteran player to plug into the team’s bottom six when needed. While the Ducks would have preferred to not give up the third round pick, there was no way Florida would take Heatley without something else going their way. The Panthers took defenseman Thomas Schemitsch with that pick.
The Ducks signed Heatley on July 9th, hoping that he would fit in on their top line next to Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry and help out with their scoring. If he didn’t work out at even strength, the hope was he could help out the Ducks’ power play. Even though Heatley was a long way from his 50 goal days in Ottawa, he had scored 12 goals for the previous season for Minnesota. During the lockout shortened year, he had 11 goals in 36 games. In Anaheim, Heatley’s scoring completely left him. He missed the start of the season, and didn’t make his way into the lineup until late October. After playing in four games, he was placed on injured reserve. He didn’t return to action until December 19th. He played his final game for Anaheim against Phoenix on December 27th. He went scoreless in all six games he played for the Ducks. A couple of days later, he was placed on waivers and assigned to the Norfolk Admirals. He played in 25 games for the Admirals and scored two goals and seven points.
Fleischmann signed a four year deal worth $18 million with the Panthers in July of 2011. His first two seasons in Florida went well, scoring 27 goals in his first season there and then 12 in the lockout shortened season. The 27 goals were a career high for him. In his final full season with the Panthers, his production dropped off dramatically, as he scored only eight goals in 80 games. Fleischmann’s better days appeared to be behind him. Last year, he appeared in 52 games and scored seven goals for the Panthers.
The Anaheim Ducks were looking to dump a player who they had hoped would provide at least a few goals. The Panthers were looking to acquire prospects and picks as they were set to miss the playoffs last season. Both teams got what they wanted in this deal, and Anaheim even managed to get a useful player in this deal, something most Anaheim fans thought was impossible in a Heatley trade.
Heatley was immediately assigned to the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL and spent the rest of the season there. He scored six goals and 13 points in 18 games for the Rampage. The Panthers did not bring Heatley back in the offseason and he is no longer playing hockey in North America.
Schemitsch is an offensive defenseman and the fourth ranked defensive prospect in Florida’s system according to Hockey’s Future. He’s 6’3” and can quarterback a power play. He’s currently playing for the Owen Sound Attack of the OHL and has eight goals and 25 points in 41 games this season. At this point, it’s unknown if he’ll make it to the NHL or not. He will most likely play one more year of juniors after this one before looking to turn pro.
After joining Anaheim, Fleischmann was used sparingly by the Ducks down the stretch. He appeared in 14 games and scored one goal and six points. In the playoffs, he appeared in two games in every round that Anaheim played in, giving the Ducks a veteran presence in their bottom six when it was needed. He recorded no goals and one assist in six playoff games. The Ducks chose to not sign him at the end of the season, and he signed with the Montreal Canadiens.
This is a deal where both teams got what they wanted. For the short term, the Ducks came out on top as they dumped a player who couldn’t score and received a veteran player who helped them out in the playoffs. While Fleischmann wasn’t an integral part of the team, he played well on the team’s fourth line. Long term, the Panthers got a pick they used on a prospect who could help them out on their blue line at some point in the future. Even if Schemitsch doesn’t work out, the Panthers were able to unload some salary in the deal, as Fleischmann made more than Heatley did. Overall, both teams can be relatively happy with the deal.
Follow us Twitter @DucksNPucks !
Like us on Facebook at DucksNPucks !
Follow us on Instagram at DucksNPucks !