It’s a very bad day for Senator fans because Heatley wants out of Ottawa.
His agent J.P. Barry is claiming philosophical differences between Dany and coach Cory Clouston. I guess this is the most common excuse for any players asking for a trade nowadays.
Of course, we will soon hear Eklund and various other bloggers suggesting Heatley ending up in various club next season, and my hope is that he will be in Vancouver. But which team will not want Heatley in their line-up?? A 28-year old player who has never scored fewer than 40 goals in regular seasons, except for this year and 03-04 (the infamous car-accident season). Heatley is by-far the most consistent Senators, putting up consecutive 50-goals and +100-points seasons in 05 and 06 seasons. So, again, which team wouldn’t want Heatley?
However, being arguably the second-best Left-Winger of the league comes with a pretty huge price-tag. At an averaged cap-hit of $7.5-million, Heatley was paid $10-million in the 08-09 season alone. His contract-extension with the Senators from 2007 guarantees him $8-million for the next three years, and then $6-million in year 12/13 and $5-million in year 13/14. This averages out to be $7-million cap-hit and a contract locked down for 5 more seasons.
Despite fans from possible every NHL teams drooling over the thought of Heatley joing their team, most GMs won’t be too happy about such a lengthy and expensive contract, especially with the Salary Cap going down in the coming season.
That being said, since this will require a trade, if the asset going back the other way is of significant value, then Heatley is still a very attractive commodity. As TSN’s Darren Dreger suggested, teams looking to shake up their team chemistry will most likely be the winner of this bid.
Under-performed teams like the Sharks, the Bruins, the Rangers or the Ducks might be very interested. These teams do have desirable valuable assests which might interest Senators GM Brian Murray.
In Boston, with Fernandez going to free agency, the team can trade Patrice Bergeron and a top prospect like Blake Wheeler for Heatley.
The Rangers, dying for a change would love to send Drury the other way for Heatley!!!
Imagine having a Heatley-Getzlaf-Perry line-up in Anaheim!!! But this may require trading a top asset like Pronger the other way, I’m sure Murray would do that in a heartbeat!! Don’t forget they can still sign back Scott Niedermayer or add thru free-agency.
But perhaps the most likely scenario is the Sharks. The President’s Trophy Winner failed miserably in the Playoffs, and they know their time in running out. They need to win now like there’s no tomorrow. With Patrick Marleau having a come-back season in 08-09, scoring 38 goals and 33 assist, this is perhaps the best time to trade him. (Marleau only scored one fewer goals that Heatley this season)
Both players are 28-years old, and San Jose has often lack a natural left-winger to play with Thronton and Cheechoo. With a top finisher in Heatley, the Sharks instantly improve and will become even harder to play against.
The Sens reduce their cap-hit slightly by $0.7-million, and with Heatley openly express his willingness to leave, getting a player like Marleau in return should be considered very lucky.
Why, you might asked haven’t I jumped on the wagon rooting for Gillis to get Heatley. It’s because the Canucks, like the Canadiens have too many players pending free-agency. With so many players’ future uncertain, there is no way the Canucks will trade away any top players with a contract right now. As much as I would love to say Mason Raymond and Alex Edler for Heatley, I don’t think that will happen.
So, let’s just focus on signing Marian Gaborik, there’s only 20 days left before the bidding begins. I wonder if Demitra is showing Gaborik around town like what Naslund did last year.