The 2009 NHL Draft, Edmonton, and Dany Heatley: Links From My Favourite Dying Industry

Jonathan Willis
June 24 2009 02:33PM

tambellini

It was a fairly good day for news coverage of the Oilers, with plenty of relevant coverage in the Edmonton Journal and Edmonton Sun on the upcoming draft, some thoughts about pending UFA's, and of course Dany Heatley.

Let's start with the article that had everyone here talking this morning, Jim Matheson's piece on Dany Heatley, featuring this quote from the ever-popular anonymous source:

"The Oilers aren't close," said a source.

While not overly encouraging, we can get a more rounded view of the situation from Allan Panzeri (an Ottawa-based reporter with Canwest):

Several league executives contacted Tuesday said they've heard that a number of teams interested in Heatley will not make an offer until after July 1 to avoid paying the bonus.... The Edmonton Oilers are thought to be interested in Heatley, though the word is that haven't yet approached the Senators.

As eager as fans are to spend Daryl Katz's money, it doesn't surprise me that he'd like to avoid paying the 4MM signing bonus.  If the Oilers are interested, I'll imagine we'll find out about it after the draft, since Bryan Murray's recent statements seem to indicate that he has a deal in place that he'll make before July 1st.

Meanwhile, both Tychowski and Ireland have articles up about the coming draft, featuring many quotes from Steve Tambellini which are also available on the Oilers official site.  Without any disrespect, I think it's fair to say that the preview Robin Brownlee put together for OilersNation yesterday was not only more in-depth but also gave us a far better picture of the Oilers' intentions in Montreal.

Moving on, Steve Tambellini was pretty cavalier about signing free agents Dwayne Roloson and Ales Kotalik - particularly the former, shrugging off concerns that the Oilers wouldn't have a goaltender:

"At the end of the day, we want to make sure we have a strong goaltending team, but if it doesn't happen right now, I'm not worried about it," Tambellini said. "If we don't have something in place a week from now, we'll have time to make sure we have a strong goaltending team by the time we start our season."

That article also discusses the decision to put Rob Daum in charge of Springfield.  It's a one-year contract only, so this is really a zero-risk move for Tambellini and should finally give us a chance to see what an experienced AHL coach can do with the Oilers' prospect group.  Daum garnered a lot of public sympathy for being unceremoniously dumped from Craig MacTavish's coaching staff; now, we'll see what he can do with a group of underachievers and a thin roster.

Speaking of which, assistant G.M. Kevin Prendergast (who may or may not be on thin ice himself) is going to be tasked with overhauling Springfield's disappointing roster - a roster which had been put together by him in the first place:

"We have to replenish the players in Springfield, too," said assistant general manager Kevin Prendergast. "We have a lot of important things to do in the next two to three weeks."

With a new G.M. in place here in Edmonton, I'd imagine that Prendergast needs to show something here if he's going to be in the management mix going forward.

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Jonathan Willis is Managing Editor of the Nation Network. He also currently writes for the Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey, Grantland, and Hockey Prospectus. His work has appeared at theScore, ESPN and Puck Daddy. He was previously founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue. Contact him at jonathan (dot) willis (at) live (dot) ca.
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#1 Chris
June 24 2009, 04:38PM
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First AGAIN!

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#2 Antony Ta
June 24 2009, 04:51PM
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If Heatley isn't on the Oilers radar... who is? I'd rather have Gaborik than Hossa.

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#3 Jorge
June 24 2009, 04:56PM
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Could anyone see tampa bay trading Leclavier for the 1st round pick and getting both tavares and hedman?

that would be crazy!

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#4 Samwise
June 24 2009, 05:02PM
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crazy is right... highly unlikely and definitely crazy... Why would NYI even consider making this kind of trade?

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#5 TonyT
June 24 2009, 05:09PM
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Antony Ta wrote:

If Heatley isn’t on the Oilers radar… who is? I’d rather have Gaborik than Hossa.

I'd have to agree, if Hossa's shown us anything it's that he's a great complimentary player (OTT, ATL, PIT, & DET), Gaborik (while risky) can carry an offense on his back.

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#6 NFINITEone
June 24 2009, 05:25PM
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All this back and forth speculation is killin' me. First I hear we're going hard after Heatley, then we're not. Then I read we are one of the 4 teams on the short list. Then I hear we haven't even approached the Sens. What is really going on here. Too many sources. Too many opinions. I just want it to end already.

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#7 Jorge
June 24 2009, 05:28PM
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@ Samwise: He is a proven +40 goal scorer who is at his prime. NYI have done crazier things

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#8 OILER86
June 24 2009, 05:32PM
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NFINITEone wrote:

All this back and forth speculation is killin’ me. First I hear we’re going hard after Heatley, then we’re not. Then I read we are one of the 4 teams on the short list. Then I hear we haven’t even approached the Sens. What is really going on here. Too many sources. Too many opinions. I just want it to end already.

Agreed. Speculation and gossip are great, but it does get tiresome reading completely conflicting reports on a seemingly daily basis. Ah well, it's part of the fun I suppose.

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#9 Oilersordeath
June 24 2009, 05:32PM
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I have this sick feeling the Oilers will not end up landing anyone worth going nuts about. Just the 10th pick ooooh yay Stanley here we come.

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#10 The Menace
June 24 2009, 05:33PM
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I love that picture of Tambo - he looks so devious.

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#11 Jonathan Willis
June 24 2009, 05:44PM
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@ The Menace:

Yeah, I'm pretty sure it's the best one I've seen.

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#12 toprightcorner
June 24 2009, 05:57PM
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I wouldn't put too much on Murray saying he has a team that is close to offering what he wants. That is the standard sales pitch, "I have a guy coming to look at this house later tonight that is very interested and plans to make an offer". This way, every team that has approached the Sens think "someone is close, but its not us, we better up our offer."

I also wouldn't make much of the comment that the Oil haven't contacted the Sens yet. I guarantee you that every team in the West, other that Detroit, has at least contacted Murray to see if they are on Heatly's list. Tambo has at least done that and then would work on a package. Murray will let this go to the 11th hour on June 30th to get as much as possible so the later you can put in a proposal, the easier it is to offer up a counter offer.

Like one of the articles said, wait until after the draft and the rumours will start to become more accurate. I can't see Murray wanting any significant draft pick this year for Heatly, he needs to replace him now, not 2 to 3 years from now. A deal will not be done before or at the draft.

The one thing that gives us the advantage is that I don't think Katz would have an issue paying the $4 mill bonus if thats they guy he wants. Not many other teams could say that, and the cap hit is still the same.

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#13 NFINITEone
June 24 2009, 05:58PM
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@ OILER86: True, but I'm done getting my hopes up only to have them change the VERY next day. Well, at least we should know in no longer than a week. Then we can have the same thing happen with Free Agency. It's rather stressful being an Oilers fan. Here's hoping for the best!!!

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#14 Jonathan Willis
June 24 2009, 06:13PM
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toprightcorner wrote:

I guarantee you that every team in the West, other that Detroit, has at least contacted Murray to see if they are on Heatly’s list.

Well, let's review it.

Anaheim and L.A. have publicly stated that they aren't interested (they could be lying).

Colorado is rebuilding, and looking to move salary.

Columbus, Nashville, Phoenix all presumably don't have the money. That's six teams, plus Detroit, out of it.

I agree with the general point (teams are going to check) but the field isn't quite as wide as people generally think.

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#15 Maverick
June 24 2009, 06:28PM
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I don't see us landing Heatley just because of his cap hit and the fact we have tooo many over payed contracts. Lets say Horcoff was a million less, Moreau was gone and Staios or Souray then I would say go after Heatley full speed. However, getting rid of the higher cap hit players will not be easy or just not possible so I think they need to go with plan B or C. A younger player with less cap hit, or a risky pick. I suggest, Kessel (BOS), Gaborik (Min), Hossa (DET) or maybe someone else. I just have a bad feeling with the whole Heatley situation.

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#16 RossCreek
June 24 2009, 07:07PM
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Oilersordeath wrote:

I have this sick feeling the Oilers will not end up landing anyone worth going nuts about. Just the 10th pick ooooh yay Stanley here we come.

Patrick Marleau?

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#17 RossCreek
June 24 2009, 07:10PM
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FROM ANDY STRICKLAND: Sources tell me the Wild and their new GM Chuck Fletcher are concerned about possible offer sheets coming their way for Harding. The Wild have already committed long-term to Niklas Backstrom and if you’re Harding it probably doesn’t make a lot of sense for you to be there. Harding is a strong asset for Minnesota and they aren’t looking to give him away. The club is likely to match any offer that’s below $2 million. Minnesota can get more than just a draft pick in a trade for a player many teams feel has number one goalie potential.

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#18 BMyhres74/33
June 24 2009, 07:13PM
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The more I think about it, the more I think we should back away slowly. He is a wonderful goal scorer, and I would love him in Oiler silks I'm sure.

Its like going to the car dealership with a $10,000 budget and coming out driving a new car with Nav and leather. You wake up the next morning feeling like you over shot your budget a touch.

I've had a chance to get cold feet.

I'm bailing.

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#19 David S
June 24 2009, 07:36PM
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"now, we’ll see what he can do with a group of underachievers and a thin roster."

Jonathan, are you talking about the Falcons or the Oilers?

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#20 Jamie
June 24 2009, 07:47PM
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Anyone listen to Gregor's show today? Ryan Rishaug (who's in Montreal) seemed to think the Oilers were cooling somewhat on Heatley due to the "red flags" raised as they did their research. Things like the fact that Heatley wasn't in very good shape at the end of the season and questions about his dedication on and off the ice. I still want him, but it's going to be really interesting to see what Ottawa ends up getting for him.

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#21 Samwise
June 24 2009, 08:04PM
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Jamie wrote:

Anyone listen to Gregor’s show today? Ryan Rishaug (who’s in Montreal) seemed to think the Oilers were cooling somewhat on Heatley due to the “red flags” raised as they did their research. Things like the fact that Heatley wasn’t in very good shape at the end of the season and questions about his dedication on and off the ice. I still want him, but it’s going to be really interesting to see what Ottawa ends up getting for him.

I see this as a ploy to get other teams to think they aren't interested when in fact they are... maybe the asking price drops a bit if no one is interested

I was at a silent auction fundriaser for the Stollery (great place - they saved the life of my nephew, so they will always have a special place in my heart) and I was looking at an item to bid on when someone else came up and told me 'Don't bid on that, it's no good, and too expensive' etc etc. So I walked away. Later on that night, that guy who told me all the negatives bought the item! I see this report as a way to try and get a lower price for Heatley

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#22 Jonathan Willis
June 24 2009, 08:11PM
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RossCreek wrote:

FROM ANDY STRICKLAND: Sources tell me the Wild and their new GM Chuck Fletcher are concerned about possible offer sheets coming their way for Harding. The Wild have already committed long-term to Niklas Backstrom and if you’re Harding it probably doesn’t make a lot of sense for you to be there. Harding is a strong asset for Minnesota and they aren’t looking to give him away. The club is likely to match any offer that’s below $2 million. Minnesota can get more than just a draft pick in a trade for a player many teams feel has number one goalie potential.

I wonder if those were the same guys who told him "Pronger to LA" :0

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#23 Hockey Gods
June 24 2009, 09:39PM
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@ Jamie: I did hear all of that and it made me think twice about bringing Heatly in. And if the Oil are turned off by him that's fine they must have a plan B.

Then I get home and read Jay Onrait's twitter: JayOnrait Heard Darren Dreger on the radio today say that 3 teams are currently in the hunt for Dany Heatley: The Rangers, The Sharks and The Oilers. about 4 hours ago from web

So I decided not to believe anything until Brownlee or Gregor posts here, until then is all just guesses.

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#24 toprightcorner
June 24 2009, 11:20PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

toprightcorner wrote: I guarantee you that every team in the West, other that Detroit, has at least contacted Murray to see if they are on Heatly’s list. Well, let’s review it. Anaheim and L.A. have publicly stated that they aren’t interested (they could be lying). Colorado is rebuilding, and looking to move salary. Columbus, Nashville, Phoenix all presumably don’t have the money. That’s six teams, plus Detroit, out of it. I agree with the general point (teams are going to check) but the field isn’t quite as wide as people generally think.

I totally agree, my point was that anyone who had the ability would at least check. That being said, you would be very safe betting the farm that Tambo has made contact with Murray at least once.

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#25 toprightcorner
June 24 2009, 11:25PM
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RossCreek wrote:

FROM ANDY STRICKLAND: Sources tell me the Wild and their new GM Chuck Fletcher are concerned about possible offer sheets coming their way for Harding. The Wild have already committed long-term to Niklas Backstrom and if you’re Harding it probably doesn’t make a lot of sense for you to be there. Harding is a strong asset for Minnesota and they aren’t looking to give him away. The club is likely to match any offer that’s below $2 million. Minnesota can get more than just a draft pick in a trade for a player many teams feel has number one goalie potential.

Talk about seeing what sticks to the wall. Why on God's green earth would anyone throw an offer sheet for Harding? If the offer is a reasonable price, the Wild match and then they don't have to trad him because of a low cap hit. If you throw in an offer that is too high for them to match, you are likely over paying.

With so many goalies available, I don't see an offer going to any of them. Lowe proved that you have to over pay a lot in order to actually get the player you make an offer to. Not happening with the future drop in cap.

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#26 Ogden Brother
June 24 2009, 11:26PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

RossCreek wrote: FROM ANDY STRICKLAND: Sources tell me the Wild and their new GM Chuck Fletcher are concerned about possible offer sheets coming their way for Harding. The Wild have already committed long-term to Niklas Backstrom and if you’re Harding it probably doesn’t make a lot of sense for you to be there. Harding is a strong asset for Minnesota and they aren’t looking to give him away. The club is likely to match any offer that’s below $2 million. Minnesota can get more than just a draft pick in a trade for a player many teams feel has number one goalie potential. I wonder if those were the same guys who told him “Pronger to LA” :0

I know you are joking around... but in spite of where he blogs at, Strickland does excellent work. I'd take him at his word every time.

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#27 BigE57
June 24 2009, 11:31PM
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I wonder how outlandish the rumors will get before they peak on Friday night when all the wheeling and dealing is supposed to take place????

Anyone else think the Oilers snub Heatly, Gaborik and the rest and do something totally off the radar?

IMO prying a guy like Boyes out of St. Louis would be something totally off the map. And yes highly unlikely but basically everything being written pre draft is rumor and innuendo.

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#28 Jonathan Willis
June 24 2009, 11:47PM
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@ Ogden Brother:

Usually Strickland does excellent work. I trusted him on Pronger.

I won't trust him again so readily.

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#29 RossCreek
June 25 2009, 12:19AM
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If the best deal the Oil have a chance of making revolves around Marleau for Souray (with other components possible), who here pulls the trigger?

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#30 Ogden Brother
June 25 2009, 12:24AM
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RossCreek wrote:

If the best deal the Oil have a chance of making revolves around Marleau for Souray (with other components possible), who here pulls the trigger?

Raises hand

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#31 Mowzie
June 25 2009, 02:11AM
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I know we've been conditioned to give our hopes up only for nothing to happen. But, I really think this is the year.

There seems to be too much good players available and too little teams with the right mix of cap room, assets, and real dollars to work with.

I just hope it's the right deal, and that Hemsky, Gagner, Smid and Grebeshkov are still Oilers at the end of it.

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#32 Jonathan Willis
June 25 2009, 08:27AM
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RossCreek wrote:

If the best deal the Oil have a chance of making revolves around Marleau for Souray (with other components possible), who here pulls the trigger?

Depends what the extra components are. Let's all keep in mind that as much as we bash Horcoff for his 53-point season, Marleau's only one year removed from a 48-point season.

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#33 scorecoff hemmercules
June 25 2009, 08:34AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

RossCreek wrote: If the best deal the Oil have a chance of making revolves around Marleau for Souray (with other components possible), who here pulls the trigger? Depends what the extra components are. Let’s all keep in mind that as much as we bash Horcoff for his 53-point season, Marleau’s only one year removed from a 48-point season.

What the hell happened to Marleau that year?? He seemed to be back to form last season but pulled his usual disapearing act in the playoffs.

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#34 Ogden Brother
June 25 2009, 09:08AM
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scorecoff hemmercules wrote:

Jonathan Willis wrote: RossCreek wrote: If the best deal the Oil have a chance of making revolves around Marleau for Souray (with other components possible), who here pulls the trigger? Depends what the extra components are. Let’s all keep in mind that as much as we bash Horcoff for his 53-point season, Marleau’s only one year removed from a 48-point season. What the hell happened to Marleau that year?? He seemed to be back to form last season but pulled his usual disapearing act in the playoffs.

He's 29 and has really only had 3 decent years, one of the most overated players in the league IMO. That said, I think Souray has one... maybe 2 good years left in him, so I'd be all for cashing him in for something that would likely give us that one good year... without sticking us with him for 1-2 crappy years.

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#35 Wainwright Dan
June 25 2009, 09:22AM
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Jorge wrote:

Could anyone see tampa bay trading Leclavier for the 1st round pick and getting both tavares and hedman? that would be crazy!

That just blew my mind.

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#36 Jamie
June 25 2009, 09:33AM
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@ BigE57: I vote Kessel.

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#37 Ducey
June 25 2009, 09:52AM
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I like Tambi's approach to the goalie situation. He likely knows Roli won't get much interest on the open market. With the glut of goalies and tight budgets, he can likely get a pretty good goalie signed to a decent deal in August.

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#38 RossCreek
June 25 2009, 10:26AM
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scorecoff hemmercules wrote:

He seemed to be back to form last season but pulled his usual disapearing act in the playoffs.

One of the stat guys can check this out, but I believe PATRICK MARLEAU HAS THE MOST PLAYOFF GOALS SINCE THE LOCKOUT. (This may have been prior to this seasons playoffs, I can't recall)

Also, a Souray-Marleau swap would create some cap room after next season. That cap room could still be used on a Marleau extension or it could be used elsewhere.

I could see Marleau playing LW with Hemsky, and with a prescence like him you wouldn't be pigeon-holed into playing Horcoff on the 1st line. For instance, Marleau's a solid enough player that he could become the conscience of a Marleau-Gagner-Hemsky line. He could help out in the faceoff circle as well, and if need be, could be used as a center in the case of injury.

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#39 Chris
June 25 2009, 11:02AM
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@ RossCreek:

Marleau would fit wonderfully into the Oiler depth chart; as he is comfortable playing either on the left wing or at center... The question is: would he want to play here? Patrick's lovely wife Christina is a San Jose native and may not appreciate Edmonton winters, or living so far from her family with her baby son.

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#40 RossCreek
June 25 2009, 11:16AM
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@ Chris: 1. Does he have a no-trade? 2. He only has 1 year left anyways, so it gives both sides 1 year to see if thet're comfortable with things. 3. Marleau's from Sask. and if I'm not mistaken, has family in the Edmonton area and in Alberta. His parents may even be near by, but my memory's a little foggy.

@ Jamie: The issues with picking up Kessel are the $$ he wants ( >3.75, but not sure how high so it could become a problem), and the fact that he's coming off of shoulder surgery and is likely to miss the beginning of the season. Other than that, he'd be a good pickup. I bet Minnesota would love to land him.

Maybe we see a 3-way with Ott(youngsters)/Min(Kessel)/Bos(Heatley).

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