Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Heatley Headed Out?
More bad news for Ottawa (though many will be cheering that another star player is going to leave town).
Dany Heatley, as reported, wants out of Ottawa and the reasons are not exactly clear, although Bruce Garrioch says that it is because Heatley does not get along with new coach Cory Clouston. That sounds bizarre to me but we don't yet know the truth.
Perhaps he simply wants to win a championship, which Ottawa is now seemingly farther from than ever.
Yet Bryan Murray has an opportunity here to at least re-stock his depth and possibly pick up a promising prospect.
But make no mistake. Losing Heatley and his dependable, and often spectacular, goal scoring is going to hurt this team. You are simply not going to be able to replace his 40 – 50 goals in a trade.
It's not going to happen.
Trades like the Heatley for Marian Hossa deal are extremely rare. Yet Murray might (ironically) be able to persuade a top talent such as Hossa to return to Ottawa with the cap space he clears out in any move.
If Heatley is moved for an even higher draft pick (like Colorado's 3rd so Ottawa would be in a position to draft Matt Duchene), then players like Hossa, Martin Havlat, Mike Cammalleri, Marian Gaborik and Jay Bouwmeester would become affordable, but with no guarantees any of those would want to come to town.
Murray might look to San Jose where GM Doug Wilson has already said he is not averse to shaking up his playoff weak team, which could make players such as Patrick Marleau, Milan Michalek and Jonathan Cheechoo available.
Can you imagine Heatley playing with Joe Thornton?
That combination could be what San Jose needs to get over the top. Heatley has proven to be an excellent playoff performer after tying for the scoring lead in the 2007 post-season.
While we wait to see what Murray does, things look completely chaotic (as usual) in Bytown.
No one knows if Chris Neil, one of the heart and soul players, will sign (or if his heart is even in Ottawa anymore). Reports about Mike Comrie returning are conflicting. Jason Smith may or may not retire. Even President Roy Mlakar may be out the door.
And finally, the Big Three will be officially split up without an elite sniper for Jason Spezza to feed pucks to. Kind of makes the lack of a true number one defensman a minor problem compared to this.
So what is really going on with this team anyways?
My only concern is that Ottawa is slowly turning into Edmonton East, an organization in constant upheaval where nobody really wants to play anymore despite past glories.
To be honest, it's not surprising that Heatley wants out after everyone calling him a bum and a lazy player for the past two seasons.
Stay tuned for more when we hear more....