Hope everyone had a chance to see the Bucci article below. Definitely worth a look at what an unbiased and educated hockey mind has to say about our team.
1. Dany Heatley, still an Ottawa Senator. As much as we all want him gone so we can focus on a go-forward plan for this team, the Euge has been talking code lately about how there's a chance he comes back. Senators management has done an admirable job on showing that they're pissed off but managing to deflect all of their criticism at the agents and those advising Heatley. In the off-chance we can't move this guy, then the welcome mat will come out and the front office won't have had a single bad thing to say about him (publicly). I'm still feeling that he accepts the only offer out there to Edmonton and we all move on.
What's funny about this is our friend over at hockeybuzz listing off 10 teams that are somehow connected, moving salary to make an offer, thinking about making an offer, etc. Listen, Heatley is a 50-goal scorer that is available on a long-term deal (albeit an expensive one) All 29 teams are going to at least give pause to the idea of getting Heatley but at the end of the day, there are only a small handful of realistic offers that can be tabled. And if we take Murray at his word, then only one actual offer has been made that fits the desired return from Ottawa. The offer has been made public and any other interested team knows that for Murray to take their offer, it has to beat what Tambellini put out there. If a lesser offer comes in from the Sharks, which is allegedly on Heatley's list, then there is nothing saying Murray has to accept it. We've gone over this, everyone. At the end of the day, I still see this being a choice between Ottawa and Edmonton and I still think Heatley takes the deal. He wants to be the go-to guy - he'll get that in Edomton, but he's gotta wait 3-4 more years in Ottawa until Alfie retires to get that title here.
2. Lost in the Heatley saga is the importance of Pascal Leclaire's health. With Auld gone, this season belongs to a guy that has had one great season and a guy that has had only half a season. As great as we think Pascal has the potential to be in Ottawa, his list of injuries has to give concern to all of us. Is there anyone out there that thinks we have a shot at the playoffs without a stellar season from Pascal? Speak now or forever hold your peace.
3. I'm starting to come around to the Alex Kovalev lovefest. If I can keep my expectations in check - 70 points - then I think I can handle him spotting time on the top two lines. If you haven't seen it, here's a clip of some of his skills on display in practice mode.