The Heatley Bone's Connected to the Kovalev...

For the first time in a long time, the watch on Dany Heatley and where he was going to end up playing hockey had gone from a boil to a slow simmer. Sure the odd mention of his invite to Team Canada's 2010 Olympic tryout spawned some remarks from a few steadfast Oiler fans who want nothing to do with a player who seemingly rejected his chance to play for the Oil.

But now, things are moving again with the recent signing of Alexei Kovalev by Ottawa GM Bryan Murray. Is this a step to replace Heatley on the wing and play with Jason Spezza? Is it a move to fill the holes left should Heatley be forced to sit or play elsewhere? Is the beginning of a move that seems to be sending Heatley to Edmonton or another destination?

Of course the answer is,... we have no idea. No one from any camp has yet to go on record and publically say anything other than "he hasn't said no" or "at this time Dany Heatley is an Ottawa Senator". But that doesn't mean it isn't fun to speculate.

If I'm tempted to read between the lines as many Oiler fans are doing just hoping for stay positive in this messy situation; I logically say to myself, here's what we know. Ottawa spent $5 million per season to bring in Kovalev which puts them over the salary cap by $1.2 million. On the surface this would suggest that salary would be moved, that salary being Dany Heatley.

The question becomes, is it to Edmonton? Signing Kovalev doesn't mean the Oilers odds got any better. In fact, it might mean the opposite.

Bringing in another top 6 forward who can play either wing, allows Ottawa to move Heatley for a lesser return if he simply won't waive to play for the Oilers. If Murray can't get the forward he needs, Kovalev makes a lot of sense. If a team with cap space is only interested in taking on Heatley for spare parts, the deal looks a lot more attractive to Murray who despite his comments that the asking price has gone up thanks to the $4 million dollar bonus, knows he can't get fair value for Mr. Heatley and simply dumping his salary helps him get back to a better cap position and make more moves to fill holes in his line-up.

A team like L.A. who based on Ron Hextall's public comments wasn't interested, might now be if the asking price is a mid level roster and a propsect. The same holds true for a team like San Jose, who feeling that change is necessary might take a chance on a Dany Heatley if all they have to worry about is sending similar salary the other way.

This of course isn't to say that is what's going on in Ottawa. All we know, is that before bringing in Kovalev, Ottawa needed someone to effectively replace Heatley's position. Now perhaps they don't.

Is it still possible Heatley becomes an Oiler anytime this century? Yes -- it always was. Is it anymore likely that Heatley comes to Oil Country now that Kovalev is a Senator? Probably not. At first glance we'd like to say the dominoes would fall in order, that Heatley's value has gone down and that the Oilers stand a better chance for a lower price; but order might have made way for chaos and something from left field we never expected as an option could unfold for all of us just waiting to see what happens.

Or, Heatley stays an Ottawa Senator and we all look silly for getting so excited over nothing but a hockey player who can't seem to make up his mind.

Let the talking begin...


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