Here's your news for the day, and let me preface with a sincere apology for going 'National Enquirer'. I don't have inside information, don't claim to, and so don't get involved in rumours. But this is what went down over the noon hour: Bill Watters just announced on Leafs Lunch that Heatley's trade request was built completely around his desire to get away from the rampant drug use in the Ottawa Senators organization. This is on the radio podcast of today's show in the final segment, if you can get it to the final 5:30 minutes of the podcast. From Watters:
"I was at a function with a group of hockey miscreants, and I include myself in there, and was told that Heatley is telling people that he doesn't want to go back to Ottawa because of the alleged, rampant drug use. And I had not heard that and I thought it was strange because as you remember a couple of years ago, there were three Senators who were allegedly on tape, involved in an alleged purchase of some of that Peruvian marching powder and of course they couldn't arrest them, or wouldn't arrest them because they didn't catch them with it on their person..."
Watters goes on to add that he doesn't agree with Heatley at all and wouldn't take him on a bet on his team...just making his previous rant about the drugs all the more irrelevant to his actual and 'alleged' point.
Here's what really grinds my gears - some blowhard on the radio spouting off about another organization and committing blatant defamation of character. We expect this lack of accountability in our own blogging world where a guy can create a rumour empire without using his own name, but mainstream media? Does someone reprimand Watters for saying this on air without offering any proof outside of his own shoddy reputation? Sadly, there are thousands of followers to the Leafs Lunch program that just eat this up because it came from the almighty Watters. At least our version of a beat writer has the wherewithal to not whisper smut into the Sun without any proof. And this is worse than any kind of 'did you hear what Eric Lindros did at that guy's cottage in Muskoka' rumour because you are using your credibility and are actually attacking the reputation and character and accusing them of committing crimes.
I'm not trying to turn this into a whole 'this guy does drugs but that guy doesn't' debate. The rumours have been circling around for years and a lot of the names that came up are now with other teams in the Atlantic Division. But this was the first time we'd heard it spewed by a local media member on air who was talking about something completely different.
So to sum up, a professional sports personality in the Toronto media and former hockey executive just said on the radio that the Senators are an organization with a drug problem and that is the sole reason that our 50-goal scorer has requested a trade out of town. Am I the only one that is furious about this? Is this on par with when that dude on the Team 1200 made a joke about Domi using his ladyfriend as a punching bag? It was a terrible joke and his apologies rung across the province for weeks. Does Watters need to be accountable for this defamatory 'tidbit' of news? Watch as this one goes unnoticed by most...
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In lighter news, I have this weird feeling that Patrick Eaves will find his way back to Ottawa this summer. He was just traded to Boston with a 4th in exchange for Aaron Ward, and was then immediately placed on waivers to be bought out. Eaves has two years left with a cap hit of $1.4M.
Murray on Eaves when he traded him and Corvo two years ago: "I didn't want to give up Patty Eaves, I really like this guy, he's got a good future," (link). Listen, I agree there is no need for another third liner on this team, but he's gonna be had for under a million and if Murray moves Kelly in a trade, then it wouldn't shock me if he made his way back.