Monday, August 10, 2009

3 Reasons why a Heatley trade IS close

Okay, so last week we discussed to some extent the Heatley trade rumours and Brennan's source that thought the trade would be done by last weekend. We said that the Elliot contract didn't tell us that Heatley's contract was coming off the books, that the three-way team carried very little logic as it relates to cap space, and because Murray wouldn't budge for anything less than what Edmonton was offering.

Now, let's try and consider the other side of the puck, why Heatley WILL be traded before camp next month.

1. He's a major distraction

I'll preface by saying I'm a strong believer in a tight-knit locker room, players getting along together, hanging out off the ice, etc. I know some think that it is irrelevant because all that matters is what they do on the ice, but you fight harder for teammates when you have that trust in one another. Right now, everyone is saying that they'd welcome Heatley back with open arms, but does anyone really think that Heatley has the courage to earn the trust back of his teammates?

On one hand, the players clearly know why Heatley has asked for a trade. They're going to be keeping that from the Garriochs and the rest of the media, but they know. On the other hand, Heatley still has turned his back on this team. He hasn't given one shred of evidence that he wants to rejoin this team, bury whatever hatchet is out there, and focus on the upcoming season. It is going to take a lot of charity work for him to earn the respect of the fans, but it is going to take far more than that to earn the trust of his teammates. For that reason alone, Murray will move him out of the dressing room and bring in guys that have a clean slate. This season is too important to Murray's career to let this distraction hang over the start.

2. Can a brother get some cap space?

I don't fault Murray for signing Spezza and Heatley to long-term contracts. It is very hard to just pack up and choose one of the two when they're up for extensions. Alfie is a lifer, so it was either choosing one or the other of the boyfriends, or cornering ourselves with a top heavy salary structure like what we have now. Obviously, Murray doesn't want to move either of the boyfriends because he thinks he can plug in the role players for under a million instead of balancing out salaries throughout the top three lines. But it doesn't work! Tampa proved that a few years ago, we proved that last year, and in time, Detroit will show that, as well. You can have a couple of guys paid as elite players, but you have to spread it out across positions. I like Calgary with Kipper, Phaneuf, Regehr, and Iggy as the four highest paid players. In Ottawa, we have our four highest paid players all at forward. It doesn't allow for much depth in the third and fourth lines and it leaves us in a terrible spot on defence and in nets.

While we don't like the circumstances that brought us here, Murray now has a golden opportunity to fix our salary structure. Go and make Spezza the highest paid players and then crank out a few guys in the $2-4M range. With Heatley and Spezza and Alfie together, we'll never have a chance to carry an elite defenceman or an elite goalie. We can't afford it! So while the trade request stinks, this is a blessing in disguise and a seasoned manager like Bryan Murray knows this. There has to be some feeling of relief for him that he can tidy up the payroll and blame it on a player at the same time.

3. Heatley still has value

Sure, we're furious at the guy and his agents for how this whole saga has been handled. For nearly two months, we've called Heatley every name in the book and questioned everything from his heart and courage to his social life to his commitment to Canadian hockey. Even other GMs like Burkie and David Poile have done us the favour of criticizing Heatley publicly. But at the end of the day, he's still one of the most prolific goal scorers in the decade, has put up 50 in a season twice since the lockout, and is a lock as a Canadian Olympian. Add to the list that he's signed long-term and is 28-years old and you have an elite player available to the highest bidder. And by highest bidder, I mean anyone that has cap space and offers three decent roster players. Teams like Dallas, Minnesota, San Jose, NY Rangers, and others could all use a player like this.

The fact that a trade hasn't been made isn't because there is no interest, it is because they're all waiting for Murray to drop the price as camp approaches. We've said all along that this is a multi-layered game of chicken involving Murray, Heatley, his agents, and any other GM that has a need for the Heat. As camp approaches, Murray as the stubbon and curmudgeonly old Shawville boy that he is, will just sit in his office and wait for the phone to ring. While he says he's fine having Heatley in camp, he knows that there are a small handful teams that will up their offers as September comes around. Oh yes, folks, the offers will come around. A 50-goal scorer is up for grabs and so long as Murray holds his standard, he knows that he's got an asset who will have his demand rise a bit everyday from now until teams step on the ice in mid-September.

Okay, that's it. Any thoughts? I know there are some of you commenters out there that think Heatley will be on this team through the trade deadline. But there are three strong reasons listed here that tell us that Heatley has a great chance of pulling on another sweater in September. Thoughts?


Canucnik said...

Duff: You are nothing if not relentless...very admirable!

Reasons: 1)15, 19, 11 are promised a "Gonchar Type" there is money and CAP for it...4 - 5 play!
2) Heater and CC!
3) The gf wants to see and live in the bright lights...this is a western couple.
4) He's got big money (7.5 per) burning a hole in his pocket...he's still just a pup, a late twenty year old.
5) "Thin skin", with all that's gone on in his short life he cannot and will not take any criticism.

Time Line...Trade Dead Line!

With BARRY trying to force feed everyone, the GMs react late and badly. First trying to steal Heater, then trying to dump their CAP garbage on us, now trying to make CAP space without us for Bryan and Dan. The "Jig" is up. It lesson time for "Ar$ehOle" Agents, that smug Kelly over at he NHLPA, and "Big Dan".

Give Mr. Murray credit, he and I were the only ones to see the only real play at the TRADE DEADLINE...most importantly "He", the GM, more than anyone else.

Anshu said...

I like Calgary with Kipper, Phaneuf, Regehr, and Iggy as the four highest paid players.

Its certainly worked well for them the last few years, seeing as how they have demonstrated a consistent ability to advance deep into the playoffs.

Oh, wait a minute...

pynch said...

Good point Anshu. Though, I think what Duff likes is that Calgary is always a) in the playoffs and b) always a threat in said playoffs. Since going top heavy on the bf's two years ago, we've played 4 playoff games and guess what, we lost em all.

A balanced cap gives Calgary a balanced attack to work from. It's a model that keeps them competitive.

Canucnik said...

Eugene: "Get Mr. Murray on the line Please."......."Bryan are we sure we wish to remain steadfast till the TRADE are being offered some decent meat and the price is right?"

Bryan responds: "Mr. Melnyk,sir, everything is going according to we put the trade talks on ice and watch Big Dan's value increase."

Eugene: "But the TRADE DEADLINE is next year!"

Bryan: "It's time to give the kids a time (DEADLINE TIME) Wilson will sell his soul...I know his team it could be the Cup for those guys, if I don't hurt them too bad... Young talent is already having second thoughts about how "Creative" that Ar$ehOle BARRY is...and Kelly better put his yap in neutral or we re-open and work him for Dany...well he's a hockey player what can I say!"

Derrick said...

An untold number of things could go wrong in waiting for the trade deadline, Canucnik - Heatley could be the orcestrator of the implosion of the 09-10 Ott. Sens, thus tampering his value, or he could suffer a long term injury... those are the two biggies.

And you know both of those would be more likely to happen given the circumstances. It's not worth the potenial teeny extra bit of gravey if it will cost what could be a promising season if we keep him until Feb.

Canucnik said...


Good points...but the reality is

1)Bryan has been offered crap, no where near market value. Example Horton @ 4mill straight up...give me a break.

2) Ya gotta play to win...ya can't play not to injury projectionists have never played because pro athelets cannot let injury enter their consciousness.

3) Season Ticket Sales are starting to go...people like the idea of Dan with Kovy to start the season.

4) Dan needs the Olympics and then some goals...some scoring at the NHL level to fill that gravey boat to overflowing...we are talking major differential...from Cheechoo to top prospect or big pick plus.

5) Plus this is going to be fun, everyone, I'm talking the whole league, want to see will make us the top story on TSN from Training Camp to the TRADE DEADLINE.

6) At first I wanted to keep Dany forever, now if I was writing the Novel (Which I am) I'd have Heatley come back and succeed beautifully only to have Mr. Murray "Knee cap" him at the TRADE DEADLINE.

PS: I hope you are not one of "Chirpy's Gang", he will not let me associate with you guys.

Oman said...

Nik, never mind the chances that he gets hurt or simply doesn't play as well as he has in the past... what if he's no show at camp, like Spez's wedding? What will that do to his trade value? The term "quitter" will be forever synonymous with his name. No one will want him.

You might say he'd be stupid not to report to camp. You might think it would be career suicide, but as we have seen so far, the ego and arrogance of "Team Heatley" knows no bounds. I would not put it past them.

For the reasons above, I think BM has to move him if there's a reasonable offer, and hopefully as far away from Ottawa as possible. If it's all crap offers and tire kicking though, I won't blame BM for not pulling the trigger. If I had to bet, I'd say he's leaving, but there's still a good chance he won't.

For the sake of the team, I hope a deal gets done. I just can't see anything good coming from BM calling Heater to camp, even if the deal at the deadline turns out to be slightly better. Team chemistry is a weird and wonderful beast, and not something that should be sacrificed for pride or spite.

Canucnik said...


You go to the back of the class with guys are chicken!

Firstly and most importantly, the Trade DEADLINE brings the "Golden Return". Trust me you guys are gettin' nothing but expensive problems right now.

NOTE: You guys, Ottawa fans, Chirpy's Gang, have joined the other GMs around the league in a chorus of "insult" to the stead fast, unshakeable Bryan Murray. My esteme for him rises on a daily basis as he resists you bone heads!

Secondly, watch the way #19 and #11 pull together with Kovy for Dany to have success. This is the PROs man, we're in the Show, not Church League.

Thirdly, I thought we'd keep him and make a run but it's clear (No Messiah!) we are waiting for our young defencemen. Therefore, it's trade MR. Heatley at the TRADE DEADLINE.

pynch said...


You say no one will want heatley if he's a no show at camp. I agree that's a possibility, but I disagree on the whole.

Let me preface by saying Heatley won't sit out. Don't think he's that stubborn. Plus he wants to be on team canada. But, if he does...

Heatley's a two time 50 goal score, a canadian kid, with lots of upside. If he holds out, the ante stays high, if not goes up. Let's jump in the time machine...

Yashin holds out. Shite! What does Ottawa get? Bill Muckalt! Oh, and Spezza and Chara. Not bad.

I know, I know, it's a different ball game nowadays, but business is business and a 50 goal scorer is a 50 goal scorer. A sitting Heatley will hurt us, but will make us better as teams want him more and more throughout the season....

All that said, if Heatley sits out, Yzerman will hesitate to throw him on the team. You can't bring in a guy off the bench to compete with the Russians. Heatley can`t afford that.

I won`t speculate on a trade, but I will say he suits up somewhere when the season starts...

Master Of Puppets said...

Calgary's gone a little ape shit with spending and now have some bf's on the blue line as well (don't forget JayBo!)

Oh and anyone got a line on whether Heatley will get 50 again?

Mid forties yes, but I doubt he breaks 50 again.

Canucnik said...


"Vegas" will take your under bet...don't be a chump, he is the best Canadian goal scorer in the last 5 years.

By the way we are trying to market him as a two time 50 goal are not helping the cause. Remember Hockey does it backwards it's what have you done for me.. not what are you going to do.

PS: In 6-7 years from now after Heatley scores 50 goals for the 4th time, you can say to yourself "Cripes KATE" how did that OLD Canucnik ever figure that out!

PPS: HE should have had 50 this year, the man had absolutely no puck luck at all, these things balance out.

Canucnik said...

Tuesday...4 days to go!

Eugene to Bryan on (scrambled) High Security short wave..."He offered you Cheechoo "again"...I know we spent almost 3 mill for another guy who was "done" but... Cheechoo at 3 mill for three years. OK, you were right, string Wilson along to the TRADE DEADLINE, then rob him blind he deserves it for being so stubborn, not only stubborn but stubborn and stupid. Joe Thornton doesn't deserve Heatley he should get another three years with Cheechoo.

"Roger that Mel one! GM1 over and out!