Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Heatley Wants Out of Ottawa

senatorsWell, how is that for a hard time in Ottawa? Dany Heatley has informed the Senators that he wants to play hockey elsewhere. This does have a rattling effect on the summer's activities, especially since Heatley is a high-value commodity at $7.5 million over the next five seasons and he carries a No-Movement Clause in his contract, which should actually allow him to decide where he wants to go.

This situation just breeds more questions than it does answers. Where would he prefer to play? Do the teams he'd play for have enough assets to make a move for a 50-goal scorer like Heatley? Does this happen before the Entry Draft?

There is some thought that Heatley would like to make a move to Western Canada, but that only leaves three teams. Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton. Vancouver has room to move, but they also are still looking at signing the Sedin twins this summer and want to look at Roberto Luongo again soon. Calgary may have assets to move in Dion Phaneuf, picks or prospects, but the numbers are still very high going forward for the Flames. The Oilers have plenty of young assets, but that is really selling the farm to get somewhere with Heatley.

If I was Bryan Murray, GM of the Sens, I wouldn't be afraid to throw Heatley's name out via the fax machine and say, "what do you have that I want for him?" Now that everyone knows that the rumours have been made factual, Murray does have some lean, gambling on that Heatley will still play near-100% come the beginning of the regular season in October. It would be in Heatley's best interest to play his best if he isn't dealt by training camp, as his stock as a stand-up guy takes a bit of a hit and then character issues come into play.

I would also wager that if a first round pick is going to be involved, the Sens will want to be talking about this deal right away, since this isn't a bad draft class to be picking through, especially in the first round.

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