Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Time Has Come to Trade Dany Heatley

[Editor's Note: Darren Coslov chimes in on the frustrating summer Ottawa Senators' fans have experienced following superstar forward Dany Heatley's trade demand in June...and July, and August]

Let’s take a second and realize how great of a job Ottawa Senators GM Brian Murray is doing by not moving the disgruntled Dany Heatley for the sake of just meeting his ridiculous demand.

In October 2007, Heatley signed a 6-year $45-million extension to stay with the team. After coming out of the gates fast in the 07-08 season, the Senators completely flopped in the second half of the year and were swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Pittsburgh Penguins. Last season was no better as the team limped through the year and eventually brought in Head Coach Cory Clouston to take over the reigns and right the ship. Heatley and Clouston clashed as the forward's role was slowly reduced, leading to a career-low 72 points and an eventual trade demand. When it comes to Heatley, I wonder at what point is he going to skate away from his own drama he finds ways to create?

Brian Murray knows what he has in Dany Heatley as a player, but also knows what he has in Dany Heatley as a person. There's a big difference between the two, the latter being the ultimate reason he must be dealt prior to opening night.

GM Dean Lombardi of the Los Angeles Kings knows quite well what Heatley could do in Southern California with the crop of young talent he has gathered, but realized the potential consequences far sooner than the Ottawa Senators did prior to the Heatley for Marian Hossa swap in 2005. GM Doug Wilson of the San Jose Sharks promised big changes and needs to clear necessary cap space to make a Heatley move happen, although moving certain assets for a liability might be the reason this deal has not happened by now.

Patience is the key when negotiating a trade involving a prolific player such as Heatley. Brian Murray must get a return that will not only help out now, but also add youth to their not-so-impressive depth chart. Murray's trade leverage is understandably minimal at this point and the bridges have been burned with teammates. This isn’t about assisting Heatley with his immaturity. This is not about Dany Heatley period. This is all about owner Eugene Melnyk and the Ottawa Senators. It’s time to move bad baggage for the sole purpose of improving the big picture and the Sens ridding themselves of a player who no longer wants to wear the sweater in the Nation’s Capital. With training camp merely weeks away, it’s time for Brian Murray to part ways with Dany Heatley.

- Darren Coslov

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