Monday, July 6, 2009

Heatley another day closer to being an Oiler (or someone besides a Senator)

Lowetide tells us that, with the Senator's acquisition of Alexei Kovalev, Dany Heatley is one day closer to being an Oiler. Because the Sens simply don't have salary cap room for both Kovalev and Heatley. So Heatley is going somewhere, and it seems like the Oilers are a team that really wants him.

Over on OilersNation, Brownlee offers us the spin control that we'll likely see if the Heater does in fact become an Oiler.

Mudcrutch breaks away from the general online opinion of Dany Heatley and offers this dissenting opinion:
Nowhere in his deconstruction of Dany Heatley’s moral failings does Barnes ask why it is that Heatley might not be completely excited about signing on with the local team. I haven’t seen anything this critical written about the decisions made by the Oilers in the past three years but it’s not like Heatley was being offered an opportunity to join a team that has provided the slightest of evidence that it has a clue about what it’s doing.

I’m not surprised that Dany Heatley prefers other teams to the Oilers. Personally, I have a hard time blaming him, given the track record of the Oilers in the past three years. With that said, Heatley has fit into a number of teams in the past and, until this trade demand, nobody’s had much that was bad to say about him publicly. He’s as good a goal scorer as you’ll find in the NHL who isn’t named “Ovechkin” and has proven that he can be a big part of a succesful team.

Edmonton is stuck in the embarassing position of having to grovel for elite talents because of how the team has performed over the past few years. That’s not on Dany Heatley - that’s on the Oilers management. If there’s some disappointment or embarassment that this is the route that the Oilers have to take to get players to come to Edmonton, the finger should be pointed at the Oilers, not at the players who are leery of getting on what appears to be a rudderless ship operated by a new captain, who has the guy responsible for the rudder getting broken off whispering instructions in his ear.

If Dany Heatley ultimately ends up in Edmonton, which I think is possible unless he’s personally willing to write a $4MM cheque to the Ottawa Senators, it will be a lucky break for this franchise. The team will take a significant step forward and, with the expected improvement that Heatley will bring, might well be able to avoid the embarassment of the past week when they’re trying to add talent in the future.