What A Heated Situation

First we have him, then we don't. What has come out officially now is that Dany Heatley was told about the possible trade but that this trade was never actually official, nor had it received his stamp of approval -- at least not yet.

When the trade was presented to Heatley's camp (as is required thanks to his no movement clause), his response was the he "wanted to sleep on it", a statement backed-up by Heatley's agent J.P. Barry.

So where does this leave all the parties involved?
As was reported by almost all news sources involved, the specifics of the trade involved Dany Heatley coming from Ottowa and Andrew Cogliano, Ladislav Smid and Dustin Penner from the Oilers.

As of now, we understand Heatley has all the control. It is his decision to make and that he has until at least midnight on Wednesday to make it. He may be deciding on spending his last 4 years in Edmonton or hoping another team presents a better offer. For all we know, Heatley could wake up, put his bunny slippers on, read the paper, drink his Sunny D and make a call to the Senators saying a) I've changed my mind and I'll stick around in Ottowa or b) I'll be ready to move, go ahead and sign me up.

But what about the current Oilers who were involved in what has turned out to be a bigger cluster poop than the Chris Pronger, Michael Nylander and Marian Hossa false hopes combined?

Bob Stauffer, a reporter and color analyst for the Edmonton Oilers has reported from his conversations with the players and their agents, that despite the mess, things are not being seen as the end of the world as far as the players are concerned. This can be nothing but good news for the fans and Oilers management who despite wanting to make the best business move for the team, must feel terrible in the way this all became public so quickly.

As Stauffer seemed to suggest, a player who often gets a bum rap in Edmonton - and we can all logically assume is Dustin Penner, has told Stauffer that "business is business". "I'll either play in Edmonton or not, but I'll be happy to play and I'll play hard".

Similar confirmation has come down that Smid's agent, while confirming that the Oilers had not jumped the gun and informed him that Smid had been traded nor had any contact with Smid himself, admitted the player "hears things", but understands.

In short, from all accounts, the players are more than understanding and hold no hard feelings. Sure, in this day and age it is safe to assume that all players involved were well aware of what unfolded, but seem to understand that if they are Oilers on July 2nd or Senators, they'll be playing professional hockey as best they can.

What do you think? Knowing that we really know very little about what is truly happening here, would you rather keep your current players that were involved in this possible trade, or still hope that Heatley says yes?

Or, would you go into free agency tomorrow thinking the Heatley trade is no longer an option and the Oilers look at something like Hossa or Gaborik? To me, the risk becomes another season of shooting for the big ticket, but landing only a speeding ticket and missing out yet again.

If there is no answer by 8am Edmonton time from the Heatley camp, I truly believe Tambellini needs to make a public statement that his trade offer stands only until the start of free agency. Any lack of Heatley or Ottowa to confirm or shoot down the trade, means it's not a viable options and the Edmonton Oilers will look at alternate arrangements. It might be nice to turn this back, at least a little towards the other side and let them feel a bit of pressure.

Should they not, is it reasonable to think the free agents will wait for the Edmonton Oilers to sort out their issues? Likely not and players will continue on with business as usual knowing only 29 teams and not 30 might be in the market. Waiting for Dany Heatley decision could be costly, especially if that decision is no.


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