From Chris Stevenson in the Ottawa Sun (link here) :
Like everybody else, Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson said he was surprised by teammate Dany Heatley‚s request to be traded.
"I was, no question, as I think most people were," said Alfredsson, speaking on the topic for the first time since word of Heatley's request leaked out close to a month ago. "I didn't get the sense from him at the end of the year that it was that big a concern for him with the coach, so definitely, I was caught by surprise."
Alfredsson, currently in Paris to attend NHL players association meetings, said he has tried but has been unable to get in touch with Heatley to discuss the situation.
Word is Heatley has differences with coach Cory Clouston and the direction the team is taking.
Alfredsson said he will continue to try and talk to Heatley.
"I want to because I would like to know ... this is all speculation from you guys, from myself, from everybody. Dany hasn't spoken publicly about it. Nobody knows how everything came to be, if it was just a process where he felt throughout the end of the season, 'I'd like to be somewhere else,' or it was, 'one day I woke up and I needed a change.' I'm not sure. I definitely would like to talk to him."
Alfredsson said if it turns out there is no deal, Heatley could return to the Senators. He said other players have gotten over differences with the coach.
"If he feels he can contribute to the team, I don't think coming back to the team is the big problem. Obviously the media and the fans will have a harder time with how everything has been dealt with. It's become a very unfortunate situation for everybody involved," he said. "We definitely would work something out."
Alfredsson said he's looking forward to the chance to play with forward Alex Kovalev, signed as a free agent last week.
"He's one of my top two players in the league to watch, him and (Pavel) Datsyuk (of the Detroit Red Wings), as far as skill-wise," said Alfredsson. "I'm looking forward to practice and after practice, playing 1-on-1 and fooling around with him because I think you can learn a lot. He can teach a lot to the younger guys, as well.
"On the ice, he'll help our power play tremendously. He's going to bring a lot of excitement to the rink."
Alfredsson said he didn't know yet how the lines would be configured.
Oka, Basil, what does it all mean? Well, it won't help Heatley's PR any as it now sounds like he is avoiding calls from his teammates. This is turning into quite the soap opera. I wonder if paparazzi like BooBoo will be gawking from the outside of Spezza's wedding to catch a glimpse of Heatley and who he talks to during the event.
Stevenson also wrote earlier in the day that the Oilers are taking a beating from their fans for keeping their offer on the table for the Heat. As much as this all feels like a resolution is coming soon, please keep in mind that our first exhibition game is still a full 9 weeks away. Is there anything that makes you think an ending is coming in July?
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