Monday, August 10, 2009

The Heatley Enigma

Well, as we all know, Dany Heatley is the one issue this summer that refuses to go away.

After an average season (if you can call 39 goals an average season) and missing the playoffs, Heatley shocked the NHL universe by requesting a trade out of the Ottawa Senators in early June. No word on why except some rumblings on not liking the coach or his minutes. He has been repeatedly asked why he is making this move and there has been no official word. None whatsoever.

And that of course leaves all of us to speculate on what he's thinking. And speculate wildly we have! The rumours include:

- He wants out because his girlfriend wants to move to California
- He wants out because of rampant drug use within the Senators organisation
- He wants out because he's been outed as having an affair with Chris Phillips' wife

Now, admittedly, I was interested in the reason why he would choose to give up on the organisation that took him in at his very difficult time when he came from Atlanta. The organisation that gave up Hossa to facilitate him. The organisation that basically bent over backwards to make sure he was looked after.

I WAS interested. 2 months ago when this all started I was interested. Now, I really could not care less. Let's just move him on out of here already, shall we?

My attention now turns to what we can turn Heatley into. I am going to briefly run through a few of the rumoured options and what they bring to the table...

Edmonton - we all know that they were the first and most enthusiastic team onto the bandwagon. The trade for Penner-Cogliano-Smid was solid if not breath-taking, but Heatley snubbed it. However, after much runaround, Edmonton appears to have dropped out of the running.

Don't be surprised if they are sneakily still keeping their eyes opened and waiting for someone to get desperate here...I wouldn't be disappointed if we got Cogliano in a revamped package, however his size is a concern.

San Jose - the new kids on the block. Personally, I don't see the upside of adding a player like Heatley with his character issues into a team that, quite frankly, has character issues. Nonetheless, the Sharks have been active and trying to push this trade through.

They have a number of young prospects to offer, the most attractive of which I would rate Devin Setoguchi...but the sticking point here is Jonathan Cheechoo. The Sharks don't want him (and can't afford him if Heatley comes to town) and neither do the Senators. Marleau's salary was also rumoured to be on the way out to make room but I just don't see that happening with his NTC.

NY Rangers - well, well, well - what a surprise this is. The Rangers are well known around this league as being the sort of team that loves to sign the superstars, no matter the cost. However, in their case, I just don't see who we would get back. Gaborik? They just signed him and I can't see them doing that. Plus the guy's made of glass. Last year I would have said Lundqvist but now that we have Leclaire...I don't see that happening either.

Buffalo - this one intrigues me somewhat because there are a few young players here that could be worth it...Derek Roy or Tim Connolly would fill our need for a 2nd line player. But Murray's not going to take a trade within the division lightly so the package would need to be spectacular. And Buffalo aren't known for spectacular.

Tampa Bay - there are a number of players that they could package that would be of interest to the Sens, and they have some cap room. Ryan Malone would be the key in a trade - Murray has already shown his hand in his willingness to take Penner that he would like to get bigger. And Malone is a lot more effective than Penner. Throw in Ranger on D and a 1st round pick and they could go somewhere with this. Imagine a line of Heatley-Lecavalier-St Louis. Truly scary!

Florida - any deal here would revolve around Nathan Horton, who seems to be wasting away down in the tropics but could be re-energised on a new team. Florida makes sense - last year they were as close to the playoffs as you can get without actually making the playoffs. Heatley is good for at least 40 goals and that is HUGE to a team that is starting to stagnate and risks financial problems if they cannot put a winning team on the ice.

All in all - lots of question marks and not a whole lot in the way of's hoping that this saga is ended and soon!


  1. I agree, I don't care about the reasons anymore I just want him out.

    I'm still mourning the loss of the EDM deal, I had hopes of Cogliano in a Sens jersey :(

    I don't like the rumoured returns from NY and SJ. I'd like at least Staal + from NY and Setoguchi or Vlasic + from SJ. If that happens I'm a happy fan

    Heatley will get traded soon and it'll be to a team that nobody saw coming

  2. First of all, this was a very well written article, and enjoyable read.

    Perhaps if "He wants out because of rampant drug use within the Senators organisation" is true, then him remaining silent yet requesting a trade is just about the best he could do. I've always had a bad feeling about the drug issue in the Sens lockerroom, and I sincerely hope that those problems, if there were any, have been taken care of.

    Tampa Bay, huh? Trying to find a way to get Ottawa Taylor Hall? :P

  3. @ Josh Lind - the drug use story has been around for years. I have heard disturbing stories and I'm sure you have too.

    I would think that a problem that has been going around THIS long would eventually have a whistleblower somewhere...a disgruntled player, a SBP staff member, something.

    Either the media in Ottawa is very complicit and don't ask any questions, or this is just a rumour.

  4. Well, the Sens have got the disgruntled player...

    I would think that it would be damn near impossible to play NHL hockey with a serious drug problem...but looking at Ottawa's performance last year, the motivation didn't seem to be there.

    The true extent of the problem, if there is any, will probably never be known to the general public. Meanwhile, once Heatley is traded or rejoins the team, we should get an indication of why he wanted out. Should he still remain silent after being traded, it would seem more likely that drug use could have been the problem - and it could mean the man has taken a LOT of bad rap for nothing.

    But the fact that Murray and Alfie were so confused as to Heatley's trade request makes me think that drugs seem less likely to be the issue.

    Hey, at least this has all kept the fans busy and anxious...maybe it's all been a marketing ploy since the start :P