My Guess? It's Down to NYR, Minnesota and Ottawa

Bryan Murray is about to go on record setting a deadline for a trade to take place for Dany Heatley, or he'll be a Senator. It sounds almost like punishment when you say it that way, but we're learning more and more that teams that may have had some interest or were at least rumored to are dropping out of the race officially or coming to the forefront.

After Hextall's comments, we all knew LA was unlikely. Many still seemed to think there was a chance even though signs like Ryan Smyth pointed away from it. With rumors starting to surface that Frolov might be headed out, Heatley to LA once again gained some steam. That is of course until LA Kings GM Dean Lombardi said in an earlier interview with the Los Angeles Times "Do I want to bring in a Dany Heatley with all that baggage? It might work," Lombardi told the paper. "But I don't think we're in a position where we can afford that. ... Maybe a change of environment and he grows up. But my point is, do we need to take that risk right now? It scares me."

So LA is out and we kind of always knew that.
San Jose started to look interesting when Wilson made some cap space available trading defenseman Christian Ehrhoff and Brad Lukowich to the Vancouver Canucks for center Patrick White and defenseman Daniel Rahimi. Signs started looking like they might be making move to finalize a Heatley deal. Of course that was until Brad Staubitz and Torrey Mitchell were added to the roster taking back just under $2 million of what Wilson had freed up.
San Jose now has just enough players to ice a team this season and even if the new signings aren't going to all play with the big team, any trade involving Heatley would mean either a) superstar for superstar b) equal quantity of players going both ways or c) Wilson is able to execute a preceding trade to facilitate the Heatley deal before this supposed Ottawa deadline comes due. All options are extremely unlikely thanks to no trade clauses and salary concerns as the Sharks are still less than $1 million from the salary cap.
I've always contended the deal to the Sharks unlikely, but now it looks more and more like San Jose is working its way to officially being out of the running as well.
The New York Rangers, if you ask Sather were always out. However, no one seemed to believe him because the Rangers tend to find their way into every trade rumor for a superstar in the NHL regardless of how absurd it seems. Heatley would qualify. Sather has the pieces to make this move and in fact a few options should Ottawa feel the need to desperately move Heatley.
For me, I think it possible only because regardless of how Sather overpays players, he seems to find a way to trade the garbage. Doing it again wouldn't surprise me at all and if Ottawa is hurting, they'll take something they don't really want just to move Heatley elsewhere.
While Sather signed Gaborik, Kotalik and Prospal, and in doing so used a lot of his available cap space, he has one big piece in Rosival who makes a big salary and Ottawa may have some interest (even though it's not their first choice).
Minnesota is now my pick as the sleeper team to watch as this Ottawa deadline moves closer, especially with the news that Tanguay is headed to Tampa. Rumors are that an offer has been made, and while the proposed deal does not include stud defenceman Brent Bruns, it does apparently include Mikko Koivu, Nick Schultz and Tyler Cuma. There may be other pieces involved both on Ottawa's end as well as Minnesota's and it sounds like the swap could include a salary dump on Ottawa's end which is what makes this trade somewhat believable.
Adding a little steam that I find far fetched, is the news that Ottawa is trying to see if they can include Martin Havlat in the package. Let's just say at the very least, Minnesota is unlikely to say yes if the deal hinges on Havlat.
The real long shot here would be a three-way trade between Ottawa, Minnesota and San Jose which would see Heatley with the Sharks, Cheechoo with the Wild and Koivu with Ottawa.
That said, I still contend that in all likelihood, Heatley will be back in Ottawa to start the year. Trades are just too difficult to facilitate and every time we see a team do something to suggest movement on the Heatley front, they do something else to back away from him.
If a trade could have been done or the teams still left were going to step-up, they'd have done so already. Perhaps this is a waiting game and Murray with his latest comments is trying to make one final effort to up the bids, but I just don't see Heatley being moved before camp. If he is, you can bet it's either a complicated swap or a flurry of action comes right before and/or after the deal is reported.


Post a Comment

More To Read