Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Heatley to . . . [insert team name (if any) here]

Hopefully something will be announced shortly after the 12 AM ET deadline . . . (UPDATE -- looks like that might be wishful thinking on my part) . . .

Most recent updates:
LeBrun (11:15 p.m. ET): Dany Heatley is done meeting with Edmonton Oilers president Kevin Lowe and GM Steve Tambellini and is now mulling over his decision with his family in Kelowna. The clock is ticking toward midnight ET, when the Ottawa Senators will be on the hook for his $4 million bonus (they don't want to deal him after that). Stay tuned.

McKenzie (11:44 PM ET): With just mere minutes remaining before the Ottawa Senators are on the hook for a $4 million signing bonus, it looks as though Dany Heatley is no more inclined to waive his no-movement clause to facilitate a trade to the Edmonton Oilers than he was 24 hours ago. Sources close to Heatley say he doesn't intend to make a decision by 11:59 p.m. eastern tonight and that he's not comfortable making a decision on the Senators' timetable.

Dreger (12:10 AM ET): Heatley wont decide tonight. He believed NYR and SJ were the main targets before Oilers offer was accepted.

LeBrun (12:24 AM ET):
Dany Heatley is now $4-million richer but he's still with the Ottawa Senators.

A trade to the Edmonton Oilers, completed Tuesday night, could not go through until Heatley decided whether or not to waive his no-movement clause.

"No decision tonight," a source in Heatley's camp told ESPN.com at 12:06 a.m. ET.

So what now?

Senators GM Bryan Murray had said all along he wasn't interested in moving Heatley after having paid him the $4-million bonus that kicked in at midnight ET Wednesday night.

Heatley met with Edmonton Oilers president Kevin Lowe and GM Steve Tambellini in his off-season home of Kelowna, B.C., earlier Wednesday night but the sales pitch didn't produce the immediate result.

Tencer (12:30 AM ET): Source: Meeting went OK with the Oilers. It's more about Heatley trying put the screws to Ottawa.

McKenzie (12:48 ET): Heatley situation likely to get ugly.

Dreger (12:48 ET): Heatley felt "blindsided" by Oilers' offer.

Part of the problem can be traced back to the NHL entry draft last weekend in Montreal. Heatley was led to believe both the San Jose Sharks and New York Rangers were both strong trading partners. Some suggested, the Los Angeles Kings showed interest as well.

Heatley was preparing for the trade.

No doubt he started thinking about life in California, playing for a contending Western Conference team like the Sharks, or the much improved Kings. Heatley thought about the excitement of New York City and how he might fit in with the Rangers.

If any of those teams had come up with a package suitable to the Senators, this deal would be done and Heatley will be merrily on his way.

Instead, Ottawa accepted the only offer Sens GM Bryan Murray deemed worthy. The only offer he had based on an asking price some teams reveal was too steep. An offer from the Edmonton Oilers that some close to Heatley say, ''blindsided'' him.

Heatley knew Edmonton was in the mix. How could he not? From the moment news broke he had requested a trade, Edmonton has been at, or near the top of the list of likely destinations. Heatley's meeting with the Oilers brass on Wednesday night was described as very good and he liked what he heard…just not enough to waive his no-move, end this saga and join a team that is desperate to bring him on board.

Heatley still believes there are other NHL options that haven't surfaced and he wasn't willing to bend to meet Ottawa's financial deadline to clear this trade.


Tencer (1:30 AM ET):
FYI: Heatley has a no movement clause. That means no farm team, either. Ottawa has no bullets other than refusing to trade him.

Jonathan Willis (OilersNation): A Bad Day / Where do we go from here?

Dany Heatley

This stuff honestly couldn’t get made up, it’s that weird. To recap:

  • 50-goal scorer Dany Heatley demands a trade from his team because he doesn’t get along with the new coach (under who the team finally started winning).
  • Despite demanding a trade, Heatley doesn’t waive his no-movement clause; he still demands the right to determine where he gets traded.
  • Edmonton puts together a package that Ottawa finds palatable, and Bryan Murray asks Heatley to waive his NMC to go to the Oilers. Heatley says (through his agent) that he wants to “sleep on it”.
  • At this point, we find out that neither the Oilers nor Senators have been interpreting his contract correctly – the 4 million dollar signing bonus that Heatley is owed won’t be due until the next night. Heatley’s agent, meanwhile, knew this the entire time (I wonder if he wants to be an assistant GM – I can think of two teams that would probably be upgrading in that slot by hiring him).
  • The Oilers dream team flies out to meet with Heatley to persuade him to waive his NMC.

Heatley however, has decided not to waive his NMC to come to Edmonton, leaving Ottawa on the hook for four-million dollars. The reason though seems to have little to do with Edmonton – this from Dan Tencer’s Twitter feed:

Source: Meeting went OK with the Oilers. It’s more about Heatley trying put the screws to Ottawa.

At this point, it’s anyones guess as to what eventually will happen. Ottawa’s in a bad situation, and the Oilers might be able to take advantage of it. Than again, maybe Bryan Murray will return the favour and refuse to deal the winger – which takes us to our final question:

Where Do They Go From Here?

Let’s assume that the Oilers are still interested in a left-winger to play on their top line. If Heatley doesn’t work out, I imagine that Tambellini’s backup plans go something like this:

  • Plan B – Sign Marian Hossa.
  • Plan C – Sign Martin Havlat.
  • Plan D – Sign Marian Gaborik.
  • Plan E – Sign Mike Cammalleri.

Unfortunately, while the Oilers were busy chasing Heatley, the Blackhawks, Wild, Rangers, and Canadiens decided to sign virtually every high-scoring left-winger on the market. Alex Tanguay is probably the next best thing available via free agency, while it’s possible that Alex Frolov or Simon Gagne are available via trade.

Regardless, the Oilers still have some options, but a) they aren’t in the same class as the three top-end guys who signed today and b) it’s anyone’s guess if they’ll still be available when the Heatley saga finally comes to a conclusion one way or the other.