Okay, so I'm not going to actually apply odds to each team, but I want to add my two cents to the potential destinations by looking at each and every one of the 29 other teams, taking into consideration the cap, their needs, and their return offer. Let me start by saying my inside sources (read: TSN) said that this is a three team race between Edmonton (offering Souray as the main piece), NY Rangers (offering Drury as the main piece) and San Jose (offering Marleau as the main piece). Murray has also said that nobody has offered us a higher pick in the first round yet. And while I have the conch, Jack, let me also point out that we're going to need to take a contract back. So as you look through these teams, keep in mind that while it would be nice to get picks and rookies, we're going to end up with a $4M+ player on our books, guaranteed.
Here we go, kids:
Anaheim: Sure, that might work. We all know Getzlaf and Heatley work wonders on the international stage. We'd definitely want Corey Perry in return (I'd actually do that trade straight up to get that extra $2M in cap space and a player that can drive the net). They definitely have cap space, regardless of what Niedermeyer does, and they desperately need scorers, which might make them hesitate about a one-for-one deal. Does Anaheim benefit from this? They take on an extra $2M and add 15-20 goals a year.
Atlanta: Not going to happen. He won't go there, they don't want him, etc., etc., etc.
Boston: This is where the interdivisional trade debate comes in. Typically, you don't want to send a top player to a division rival. But in this tough position, does that unwritten rule fall by the wayside? They are in major cap trouble with Kessel and perhaps a Wideman ($3.875M for three more years)/Kessel package would be available here. But you then have to face him 6 times a year and facing Chara that often already sucks. Kessel and Wideman?
Buffalo: Never say never, but I think the two teams hate each other just enough to not work together. Buffalo loves building from within and has a ton of depth up front as it is. They need their help on defence and we know quite well that Heatley doesn't deal with defence. Zing!
Carolina: For some reason, this is a dark horse to me just because Rutherford and Murray have connected before. It might be of interest to the Canes that they have a great centre in Staal and then a couple of dinosaurs in Brind'Amour and Wizard Whitney that have a couple of years left. I think we'd demand Pitkanen at least, and boy Brandon Sutter would be a nice pickup. I just don't think Carolina wants two $7M+ forwards, though, nor do they want to give up Pitkanen.
Calgary: Heatley for Phaneuf, right Eklund? Forget it. The cap space isn't there for either team since we're both trying to shed some weight. Calgary needs a centre for Iginla, not a winger. And putting Heatley on a line with Iggy and Jokinen is like an island of misfit toys in that they all play a different style. I don't see Calgary as a player here. Sutter Boys want to build from the net out.
Chicago: Now there is something to talk about here. They're hoping to keep Havlat long-term. What if he won't sign? Now they have to find an elite scorer and we know they have a ton of depth on D. But if BM didn't want to match that Brian Campbell offer last year, he certainly won't trade for it this year after he was demoted to the second pairing behind Seabrook and Keith. A package involving Sharp and Barker would be a nice start, though, if the Hawks were resolved to just paying Huet and not re-signing Bulin Wall.
Columbus: I don't think they have the horses to offer us. They do have talented young forwards like Brassard, Voracek, and of course Filatov, but those are building blocks and trading for Heatley just holds that back. I don't see this happening.
Colorado: I thought about this one for a while, but Colorado is going to go into rebuild mode and brace for one more year (or no more years) of Sakic. They need to start turning this team over to Stastny, who is untouchable here. After that, they don't have the blue liners that we'd covet and under no circumstances would they give us that third overall pick. In fact, I wouldn't be shocked if they tried to move someone and that third overall to Long Island to get Hedman in the first overall before Tampa picks. In the meantime, Wolski and Liles won't do it for me.
Dallas: Keep an eye out for these guys. New GM plus an embarassing season could equal a big trade. They've got some interesting young forwards in Neal and Eriksson and they hold the 8th overall pick. That being said, they already have an expensive contract with Richards for two more years. I'm not sure they'd give us a defenceman given that Sydor and Zubov are old as hell. I wouldn't be shocked if Nieuwendyk tried something crazy, though.
Detroit: Forget it. Holland can get hometown discounts on lifetime contracts (it's like the effing Supreme Court in there), but he can't fit in Heatley, too. Plus, how dare you suggest having a player that makes more than Lidstrom. The Little Caesars guy sentences you to a lifetime of his own pizza. Ahhhh, noooo.
Edmonton: This one is a pretty straight fit. There are plenty of reasons for this to work if they throw in young guys like Sully, Gagner, Cogliano, or Stortini to go along with a defencemen like Souray, Visnovsky or Gilbert. To me, any combination of one of those forwards plus one of those defencemen plus their 10th overall pick is enough for me. Just don't put Heatley in touch with Mrs. Pronger in asking if he wants to live there.
Florida: Randy Sexton, old Kanata guy and co-founder of the Sens appears to be calling the shots lately. Without question, these guys could use a star player right about now. The problem is, we'd want their centre back in Nathan Horton. I don't think Florida has the assets available unless Murray wants Bouwmeester's rights, which isn't completely out of the question. Bouw's negotiating rights plus their pick plus Weiss?
Los Angeles: Not going to happen, folks. This isn't even a real rumour! Someone made it up because LA asked for a scoring winger and they have cap space and problem players. Lombardi and Hextall have both come out and said there are 'red flags' around Heatley. You don't call a guy a red flag and then trade for him. That's as bad as calling him a jive turkey, in my books, right Jackie Moon? There is no such offer of Frolov, JMFJ, and their 5th. I'll personally eat my Heatley jersey with a knife and fork if he ends up in the City of Angels.
Minnesota: This one is in play, for sure. A new GM who has publicly said he is trying to make an immediate stamp on the franchise and they're about to lose their former franchise forward. People talk a lot about Burns, but I worry about his shoulder injury and him potentially being a bit overhyped. I know that Zidlicky is already 32, but he's signed at $3.35M and I think is better than Kuba at moving the puck around. Add in a young player like Clutterbuck and a draft pick?
Montreal: Piss off, Habs. At least we're looking upward. You guys are still trying to find a reason to celebrate your 100th season. Au revoir. Murray would never send him down the road to the land of expected entitlement.
Nashville: This would have been an interesting discussion had David Poile not said no. They've got a plethora of defencemen and Danny Hamhouse would be a nice piece to start. But again, Poile said to beat it.
New Jersey: Speaking of the old boys club, Lou is like the dang headmaster of the group. That's the only reason this is worth considering. I don't think he'd go for it because this is becoming Parise's team and there is no need to slow that transition down. Average age of the Devils players is 64, interesting fact.
NY Islanders: No sense in this. Garth needs as many serviceable bodies as he can get and it would cost him three of them to get Heatley.
NY Rangers: Okay, so let's assume that the rumours of Redden getting sent down are true, thus giving them a bit more cap space. This deal would have to include either the Gomez contract or the Drury contract. Do you like how I don't even refer to them as people? Just contracts. Drury is the more manageable of the two - three more years at $7.05 while Gomez has five more years at $7.35M. The only fun part would be to have the old Sabres captain and hero to make them hate us more. I just don't think Murray would take on that contract, even if they added in pieces like their first round pick and a young dman like Sanguinetti, Girardi, or even Staal. Would you take Drury if it meant you could get Staal and their 1st?
Philadelphia: 4 reasons why this won't happen: Briere, Carter, Richards, Gagne. They're already trying to peddle Lupul to make room for a defenceman. Nothing here.
Phoenix: I just don't know how a bankrupt team would take on a $7.5M contract. Jovo is only 33 and they've got some good young forwards...nahhhhh, they won't take on this contract.
Pittsburgh: They don't have what we want. Staal is a tad overpaid and after that, they're made up of these old bag of bones role players. Plus, why would they change anything?
San Jose: Here's another strong choice. They want to change the path a bit after shatting the bed again. Would we have to take Marleau at $6.3M for this year? Ehrhoff or Vlasic are both young defencemen at $3.1M. This really depends on if Doug Wilson insists on Marleau, or if he'd be open to a Michalek or Setoguchi. At that point, though, they are in cap trouble. They also have to deal with Ryan Clowe and his RFA status - perhaps he's available as a winger. But yeah, I think this would have to involve Marleau. I guess it couldn't be bad to have a legit #2 centre and a solid second pairing defenceman and their pick.
St. Louis: A ton of young players, but they aren't going to screw up the amazing progress they made this year by trading some of them for one goal scorer. This team belongs to the young stars here and it will be that way for a few more years. JD is running this team and he will not sway from their strategy. Blues are not in play.
Tampa Bay: Remember that rumour that had a three-way deal that ended with Lecavalier here? Wow. Not worth anymore space than that. The only thing that Tampa needs more than warm bodies right now is Victor Hedman. They won't move multiple players to get Heatley and they won't move that pick. How's Meszaros doing, fellas?
Toronto: Not worth talking about. Unless...we somehow get LA's #5 pick, which I said we wouldn't do, then sent that to Toronto for Kaberle and the 7th...
Vancouver: This has potential if the Sedin Sisters bring their two-man alien show to another tent in another town. They could use someone to cheer them up after Luongo cried is eyes out last playoffs, and they could use some scoring after the meatballs take off. Let me start by saying I don't care for Kesler at all. He's a poor man's Fisher and is going to start looking for that kind of money next year. Give us Grabner and Bieksa and we can start talking about who else we want. Also, a quick aside is that Murray tried to trade Redden to SJ for Steve Bernier and a first rounder two years ago, so there's obviously something there that he likes.
Washington: Nothing here. They need a father figure for Mike Green on the blue line, not another goal scorer.
So when all is said and done, who are we left with? Anaheim, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Edmonton, Florida, Minnesota, NY Rangers, San Jose, Vancouver. Are you upset because I just rattled off 10 teams as potential destinations? The most popular hockey rumour site does exactly that but spreads them out three at a time. I just saved you a week's worth of clicks by putting them all in once place.