Originally created 12/16/03

Heatley cancels plans to skate for first time since car wreck



ATLANTA -- Thrashers All-Star Dany Heatley canceled plans to skate Tuesday for the first time since the car wreck that killed teammate Dan Snyder.

The Thrashers said Heatley's knee was sore after a rehab session Monday, so his return to the ice was postponed until later in the week.

Heatley had surgery in October on a broken jaw and two torn knee ligaments. He's been out all season and planned to work out alone at the Thrashers' headquarters in suburban Atlanta.

Southeast Division-leading Atlanta hosts the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night.

Atlanta expects Heatley to return this season, if his legal problems allow it. He was charged with vehicular homicide after Snyder died from head injuries in a Sept. 29 crash.

Test results showed Heatley consumed a very small amount of alcohol before the crash. His blood alcohol content was less than 0.015 percent, far below the state's legal limit of 0.08.

Because Heatley wasn't drunk, and Snyder's relatives said they forgave him, prosecutors could decide the car crash was just an accident, with no need to pursue felony charges and sentences ranging from three to 15 years.

Erik Friedly, a spokesman for the Fulton County district attorney, said Monday the investigation is continuing.

"We still have to make a formal charging decision," Friedly said. "Hopefully, it'll be a matter of a few weeks."