Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson wants the situation with Dany Heatley settled and did not give him a ringing endorsement today so given the captain's comments combined with the Senators management making his trade demand public it's not a question of if but when he will be traded, Ottawa has a lot more money to pay someone who does not wish to play there and will remain a daily distraction until he departs.
I know the fans/management and a few other teams spoke out against having Heatley on their club and no doubt won no fans in Edmonton after refusing to waive his NTC to play for the Oilers.
Would Heatley waive his NTC to come here so the Canadian media and the New York media can bash him as they did Alexei Yashin unless became a Ranger so at least the Ranger fans in the limited New York hockey media can blame the Senators for his problems? Perhaps.
Bottom line Dany Heatley holds all the cards and can hold out for any team he wants and reject any trade, this was part of his contract agreement and he's entitled to force the Senators to trade him where he wants or keep paying him as long as he reports to camp which he says he will do.
As a general manager this is not all about courtesy class or signing good character people, it's about fielding a winning team and filling needs. If you recall I flat out wrote Garth Snow should claim Sean Avery and give him Nate Thompson's spot last year because it's about production and giving your team the best chance at winning.
Character players leave in UFA all the time or simply are not good enough to take a team to the next level.
Has Dany Heatley had enough of Ottawa he would be willing to play with John Tavares and could the Isles and Sens construct the kind of trade where the Isles do not give up anything significant from their future?
I don't know.
For myself, if Bryan Murray wants Heatley off the roster and is willing to deal with the Isles (and Heatley will accept such a trade) Trent Hunter is on the table with Richard Park or an Andy Sutton/Brendan Witt choice or they can have a second round pick or a Jeff Tambellini/Blake Comeau choice or perhaps one of the prospect defenders aside from deHaan but that's about it.
No first rounders or Okposo, Bailey, Tavares and I would even take Bergenheim and Nielsen off the table. If that's what Bryan Murray wants he can find another team to deal with.
If you are on Charles Wang's side of the trade you have to give back salary to balance out such a deal and know going in Heatley could want off his third NHL team at some point in the future.
Would I put Hunter, Sutton or Witt with some combination I mentioned to offset most of Heatley's salary while Bryan Murray can work a deal with Mike Comrie or sign another player? Yes.
I'm well aware of what Garth Snow thinks of Trent Hunter as he said on the NHLPA website late in July and I agree with Snow and Hunter is no doubt a class act and a big time character player who does a lot of things that do not appear on a score sheet to win a hockey game.
Having written that if there is a chance to improve on the ice and fill a need you have to take it, Hunter has had two very poor seasons offensively and off his fast start last season there was no excuse for such a falloff even with Frans Nielsen's injury.
Absolutely know going in Heatley without Alfredsson or Spezza may not be the same player coming to a roster with kids.
If Garth Snow is really interested in a Satan or inviting in Mark Parrish here it should be for Hunter's spot on right wing because that's where they fit best.
Having written this it's a risk I would take for a combination of the players I wrote about.
Would Heatley, Murray and Garth Snow agree? Stay tuned.