How Do We Approach NHL Free Agency?

As of 9:10 am and the start of this article, while an offer is still on the table; no word has come from Dany Heatley, his agents or the Edmonton Oilers on the status of whether or not Heatley is willing to waive his no movement clause to come to the Edmonton Oilers.

With free agency set to kick off in less than an hour, the question becomes what do you do if you are the Edmonton Oilers? If you recall the Michael Nylander mess, the Oilers felt as though their lack of ability to react with the proper information hurt their ability that year to be more active in the UFA and trade market. Sure, the inability to sign Nylander worked out better than anyone could have expected, but do the Oilers really want to take that chance again?

As long as Steve Tambellini and the Edmonton Oilers have to sit out of the negotiations with 29 other teams starting a 12 noon eastern time; they run the risk that other forwards they may be interested in -- namely Marian Hossa or Marian Gaborik make decisions and not wait for the Oilers to sort out their Heatley related issues.

With that in mind, is it business as usual? Can the Oilers move on holes they need to fill like a starting goaltender? It is the feeling of this writer, that the only logical way to do so is to contact the Ottowa Senators and pull their offer indicating their need to address other issues while Heatley takes his sweet time.

With trades involving Souray rumoured, or decisions on where to go with the goaltending, an understanding by GM Tambellini of the situation the Oilers find themselves in relative to the cap is critical. How can we offer money to UFA's if we don't know where we sit? With Heately here, the cap goes up almost $2 million for an Oilers team already lacking the cap space and financial freedom.

Even worse, knowing the Oilers have some serious holes in their line up, how do they fill those holes if they have no idea who is or is not on the roster?

This situation is far from solved as long as the Oilers choose to keep control in the hands of Dany Heatley. Perhaps they'll be better off knowing that he is not an Edmonton Oiler and conducting business as usual on the basis they have not filled their need for a top line LW scorer. Should he make a gesture towards wanting to come to Edmonton, the Oilers may be able to reshape the deal to their benefit.


Post a Comment

More To Read