Thursday, August 13, 2009

Have you forgiven Dany Heatley yet?

Training camp opens in less than a month. The first pre-season game is 33 days away, opening night just a few weeks after that. Kids are headed back to school, families make final summer plans at the cottage, and Dany Heatley braces himself for his inevitable return to the Ottawa Senators.

I've come a long way with this, to be honest. I've followed the Ian Mendes road to recovery and even though Heatley is still on our team, I'm coming to grips with this once unthinkable reality. I wrote here earlier this summer that there was no chance in hell that Heatley and Murray wouldn't come together and find a way to ship this guy to any of the 29 other teams. I thought either Murray would take a lesser offer or Heatley would suck up the deal to Edmonchuk.

Wrong on all accounts! In case you haven't noticed, I have an AWFUL track record with predictions and guarantees. I say we make the playoffs and we'll miss them. I say the we draft a forward and Murray picks a defenceman (although there is no chance he would have passed on Cowen at that spot regardless). And I guaranteed that Heatley would be moved and I stand here today to correct myself. Face it, guys, Dany Heatley is coming to town. He's suiting up alongside his normal on-again, off-again interest and he'll spot somewhere between 40-50 goals this season.

We should have seen this coming, to be honest. First, the publicity of the trade request is something that should never be underestimated. This turned the negotiations into a circus and made Heatley into the disloyal character he's seen as today. Second, the draft came and went without movement. This was an ideal opportunity to close the door and the offers just weren't there. And then the Edmonton fiasco on and around Canada Day/free agency. The writing has been on the wall since midnight struck on July 1st - nobody is going to give us anything close to equal value for this player. In the eyes of the other GMs, why offer talent for talent when you know Murray has to move him? If you're Murray, why get taken to task when you'd be just as happy to deal with the bad press and have a 50-goal scorer in the lineup? Long story short, the dude is coming back to the Sens.

So tonight, I try and take another step toward the reality of having this guy back on our team. The comments box a few weeks ago asked about what it would take for you to welcome #15 back. Responses ranged from a hat trick to a 7-figure donation to charity and everything in between. For me, I'm at a point where I'd just be satisfied with him saying that he has changed his mind and is ready to play as hard as he can to help Ottawa get back to the playoffs. Seriously, I think that's all I need. Just tell us you had a long time to think this summer and you've gotten over whatever it was your agent told you was bothering you, and now you're ready to play with your teammates.

Heatley's return will mean a few things for other players, too. First, Gator will either be placed on LTIR or quietly advised to retire and take a consulting position. Even if Smith begs Murray to move him to another team to play another year, nobody wants him at $2.6M. Putting him on re-entry waivers kinda screws us, too, because we'll have $1.3M on our books for half his salary. Gator is done when Heatley returns. Schubert is on the bubble, too. Mike Comrie won't get an offer from us, either. We'll have to fill holes with younger guys like Winchester again instead of having received players like Penner and Cogliano (and having the cap space to add Comrie, too...).

Like it or not, our cap situation stays the same, we don't get much scoring depth after AK27, and we have to cut a warrior. And most important, Dany Heatley will pull on his Sens sweater for another year. In fact, who is to say that the trade request doesn't fall from our minds by Thanksgiving and the guy plays out the rest of his contract?

Question for you, Joe Sensfan - have you forgiven Dany Heatley yet? If not, you'd better put down some chicken soup and have a heart to heart with yourself on how you're going to react on opening night when he's in our starting lineup.


Canucnik said...


Excellent "Mia Maxima Copa", I really liked the part about "getting over what ever it was your agent told you bothering you".

We are not Joe Sensfan...we are the Sens Army, tough, steady and maybe a little mouthy at times but ready to move on in support of Dany Heatley. Enjoy this "Fire Power" while we have it...imagine if Campoli turns into a junior's lights out for the EAST.

PS: Now it's the Trade Deadline...and Dan Boyle decides he wants to win the Stanley Cup in Ottawa...hypothetically the "Messiah" would arrive.
Note: It doesn't necessarilly have to be Boyle.

Derrick said...

I will continue to hold out hope of Dany's departure until the puck drops on October 4th (or whenever the first game takes place), upon which time I will come to agonizing terms with the fact that a floating turd who doesn't really want to be here IS here and I will become keenly aware of every little mis-step between Dany and anyone/thing else through the media and I will not cheer any goal he scores, unless it is a late game or overtime winner.


Canucnik said...


Your present thinking...your strategy has us Power Ranked 22nd (lower than TO or the Habs) by some guy named Keon.

You let me put #15; #11; #19 and #27 on the ice in any combination of two and two...I'll tell ya we scare the sh&t out of Montreal and we play half court with the Leafs.

Go get a good ticket close to the Sens the them push for Big Dan...this is Professional Hockey, you're in the SHOW! Enjoy the Big Four!

These guys are so good one of our lessor lights on the Blue Line is going to step up and they make him into Bobby Ore!

Oman said...

50 goal scorer or not, I still think Ottawa is a better team with a deal like the Edmonton deal + a Comrie or Afinogenov. Younger, tougher, faster, cheaper, much improved depth and a much more balanced salary situation. This whole thing could have been a blessing, if it had been handled better (ie. no media leak). Here's still hoping a good offer comes in soon. No more distraction. New exciting roster, with players who want to be there and who are willing to play the role required of them for the team to succeed.

Canucnik said...


You are warming me up for one of my first rants of the season.

a) Two months ago, Bryan Murray and I were the only two guys in Ottawa telling you there was a good chance Dany Heatley was staying because the offers will just not be there early. And we, Bryan, has the hammer!

b) Unless you are Evgeni Malkin, younger, tougher, cheaper guys do not put up big numbers nor do they lead teams into the play-offs.

c) There is a difference between 50 goal scorers and 20 goal scorers, that's why we pay 7.5 per for Dany.

d)You talk of blessings...what about the "curse" of Babe Ruth or King Clancy (an Ottawa guy)...teams that don't make the play offs and start discarding 50 goal scorers end up like the NY Islanders.

e) We, the Senators, will become the biggest media distraction you have ever seen knocking TO and the Habs right off TSN from Training Camp to the Trade Deadline. And this is a good thing...ticket sales even.

f) Finally, people want to see this as much as I do. So sit back and enjoy the is the SHOW after all.

Anonymous said...


I agree with everything you just said, although I do think if Heater is performing to his standards and the Sens are winning, he ain't getting traded :)

GMs who wouldn't pony up will be kicking themselves, and some GM's might even be fired over it, since they could have had Dominant Dany Heatley.

I wonder what the fan reaction in Washington would be if Ovechkin suddenly decides he wants out, and it became public. Would fans s^&* all over him as well? Hmmmm...


Canucnik said...


Ya got that one right!

I've had a good feeling about this ever since we got Kovy...this is a confidence thing it permeates through out the room.

In his hay-day Milt Schmidt, when scored apon, had a rallying statemnt for his goalie and his team..."It's OK! That one is on me, I'll get that one back!" And he could...and he would...

With the "Fire Power" we can put on the ice, it changes how everyone feels and plays. I've played on teams where my hands got better just sittin' in the room looking at the guys sitting around me.

Lastly if we got the puck they don' really helps the defence...we'll see how much pinching they do when all Fish has to do is chip it to AK27.

Anonymous said...

Yes sir. We got the puck, and they don't. Couldn't have said it better myself.


Oman said...

Hope you boys are right. Having Kovy does change things somewhat. Not sure I'd compare Heatley to the Babe, though I do like the Milt Schmidt reference, since my Grandfather played with the "kraut" line before they made the show (before injury killed his chances). The salary cap does make things different now. We're incredibly top heavy. It didn't work for TB after their run. If a bigtime offer doesn't come up, here's hoping all Murray's moves turn to gold this year. Crazier things have happened.

Grinder said...

Hard to imagine what this season will look like. If Clouston rubbed Heatley the wrong way before, how the hell does Heatley manage to play for him, especially now that he has been made to look stupid.

Demanding a trade, then having no interest from anyone must have been a shock to the system for Ol' Dany Boy...

From a personal point of view, I would be happy to see him lace up for us. Like was said before... there's something that separates the 50-goal guy from the 20-goal guy, which is why we paid him so much. Our top 4 will be awesome...

I certainly don't think a few "good" Edmonton boys, plus maybe a soft and bloated Comrie, does anything to replace true fire power.

Just my thoughts...