Heatley or J-Bo? The Oilers can't have both

Robin Brownlee
June 09 2009 04:22PM

heatly-or-bouwmeester

This shouldn't come as a news flash, but the Edmonton Oilers are interested in Dany Heatley and will pick up the phone between now and the NHL Entry Draft and speak to Ottawa GM Bryan Murray about what it might take to pry him from the Senators.

That grasp of the obvious I do have after talking to somebody I trust this afternoon in the wake of reports that Heatley has informed the Senators he'd like to be traded.

That puts the Oilers in line with 13 or 14 other Western Conference teams -- Heatley has said he'd prefer to play in the west -- and probably a handful of Eastern Conference teams who'll make an offer regardless of the geography Heatley prefers.

The complicating factor when it comes to the Oilers is I'm told they are also interested in Jay Bouwmeester, who'll be the most sought-after unrestricted free agent of the summer after July 1.

Sought after enough you can bet there's a handful of teams, including the Oilers, willing to offer Florida something just for the right to negotiate with the big defenceman.

Heatley or Bouwmeester? You can't have both.

Big Money

Teams like the Oilers looking to get into the Heatley sweepstakes will have a $7.5 million cap hit to consider and will have to move some salary Ottawa's way in any deal.

With Bouwmeester, he'll also command the same kind of money on the open market, so that will obviously limit the number of teams who'll be able to bid for his services.

With $46.94 million committed to 18 players for 2009-10, the Oilers are going to have to move salary to be in the running for either player. Both? Nice thought, but absolutely out of the question. No chance. None.

Bet the farm, though, that GM Steve Tambellini will at some point be on the blower to Murray trying to find out what package of players makes sense for the Senators, who can use help on the blueline.

Of course, Murray would be a fool -- and he's not -- to make any kind of move before teams descend on Montreal for the Entry Draft. That'll be a feeding frenzy and Murray will have his pick of offers.

It's all about the package

There's already been the obligatory speculation about what kind of package Tambellini might put together to get Murray's attention, and you can fill in any name you'd like. Armchair GMs, and the guys in the big chair for real, are doing that in cities across the NHL about now.

When I said to the person I talked to today it would make sense to package anybody except Ales Hemsky and Sam Gagner, it was suggested that those are the two players Murray might ask for.

That's a massive overpay in my mind, even for a gifted goal-scorer in his prime like Heatley, but you get the drift -- he won't come cheap, even with the trade request out there.

Still, it's one or the other, so expect the Oilers to be pitching big-time in the days leading up to the draft for Heatley.

If they can't get anything done with Murray -- maybe he'll ask the Oilers to top up the deal with $2.5 million at the last second -- then it makes sense that Tambellini will turn his attention to Bouwmeester July 1.

-- Listen to Robin Brownlee every Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. on Just A Game with Jason Gregor on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#101 swany
June 10 2009, 10:18AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Interesting item from Ryan Rishaug at TSN this morning about Heatley being willing to lift his NMC to come to Edmonton. I’m guessing the source is agent JP Barry. A word of caution, though. Don’t get too carried away with this revelation. What else is Heatley going to say? It makes no sense for him to ask for a trade and then begin shooting down team after team as possibilities. If he and Barry have the final call, they’re going to want the longest line-up of teams they can get. Murray is going to get lots of action between now and the draft.

But isn't it funny that NO other teams were mentioned, did Ryan just ask if he was willing to go to the Oil or did they just offer the Oil as one of the teams, I like Ryan's reporting but if they gave a whole list of teams then he should have put that whole list out there. This just gets the fans hopes up for a guy to play with Hemmer my question is why just the Oilers in the TSN report.

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#102 oilerdiehard
June 10 2009, 11:44AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Interesting item from Ryan Rishaug at TSN this morning about Heatley being willing to lift his NMC to come to Edmonton. I’m guessing the source is agent JP Barry. A word of caution, though. Don’t get too carried away with this revelation. What else is Heatley going to say? It makes no sense for him to ask for a trade and then begin shooting down team after team as possibilities. If he and Barry have the final call, they’re going to want the longest line-up of teams they can get. Murray is going to get lots of action between now and the draft.

Yeah I see what you mean. Though you would think they would just say something like we are not going to name specific teams he will waive the NTC for. Beyond letting it leak they want to go somewhere in the west.

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#103 Hemsky_83
June 10 2009, 11:47AM
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If the asking price gets too high on Heatley, I think you make a huge move for Tavares at the draft. And then try to unload cash on Bouwmeester.

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#104 Tony
June 10 2009, 03:26PM
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Why is it when Dany Heatley wants to be traded the Oilers (I'm assuming that's Robin's source) tell us we'll have to give up a lot, and yet when Chris Pronger wanted to be traded we were told not to expect much back? To me they are similar quality players, and Pronger's "trade me or bust" stand is cancelled out by his cheap contract. If anything, with the cap likely going down this year, Heatley's contract should make him a tough trade. Sounds like an exercise in spin control by the Oilers.

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#105 TV
June 10 2009, 04:28PM
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While I have no issues with either player, does no-one else find it pretty ironic that there are certain Oil fans who loathed Darth Pronger for doing what he did to the Oil, now want another player who is doing exactly the same thing to his own Club...?

When Darth Pronger left all I heard & read was how much they HATED players of that kind of character & now those same fans are pulling a complete 180' & are begging off the Oil's best assets to obtain a player like Heater who just pulled a Pronger on his own Club & team-mates.

Oiler fans sure are a species all to themselves...

x6

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#106 Robin Brownlee
June 10 2009, 05:12PM
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TV wrote:

While I have no issues with either player, does no-one else find it pretty ironic that there are certain Oil fans who loathed Darth Pronger for doing what he did to the Oil, now want another player who is doing exactly the same thing to his own Club…? When Darth Pronger left all I heard & read was how much they HATED players of that kind of character & now those same fans are pulling a complete 180′ & are begging off the Oil’s best assets to obtain a player like Heater who just pulled a Pronger on his own Club & team-mates. Oiler fans sure are a species all to themselves… x6

I've been wondering about that myself. People talk about integrity, character and loyalty in pointing a finger at somebody like Pronger. But, if somebody bailing on his team early into a lucrative contract -- for whatever reason -- might behefit the outfit they cheer for, as is the case with Heatley, integrity gets knocked down a few pegs in a hurry. There's barely a mention of it.

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#107 swany
June 10 2009, 05:23PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

TV wrote: While I have no issues with either player, does no-one else find it pretty ironic that there are certain Oil fans who loathed Darth Pronger for doing what he did to the Oil, now want another player who is doing exactly the same thing to his own Club…? When Darth Pronger left all I heard & read was how much they HATED players of that kind of character & now those same fans are pulling a complete 180′ & are begging off the Oil’s best assets to obtain a player like Heater who just pulled a Pronger on his own Club & team-mates. Oiler fans sure are a species all to themselves… x6 I’ve been wondering about that myself. People talk about integrity, character and loyalty in pointing a finger at somebody like Pronger. But, if somebody bailing on his team early into a lucrative contract — for whatever reason — might behefit the outfit they cheer for, as is the case with Heatley, integrity gets knocked down a few pegs in a hurry. There’s barely a mention of it.

RB f~uck integrity if he could put half of Hemmer's passes away I won't lose any sleep over his LACK of character did the Ducks fans?

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#108 Robin Brownlee
June 10 2009, 05:55PM
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@ swany: So, you were one of the minority who thought it was fine that Pronger asked to be traded one year into a five-year contract?

And, no, it's not different. Bailing out because the wife nags about hating Edmonton or taking a walk because the new coach has the gall to ask you to play a different role gets you to the same bottom line.

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#109 myteammytown
June 10 2009, 06:44PM
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@ Robin Brownlee:

no, but how many DUIs does heatley have?

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#110 myteammytown
June 10 2009, 06:54PM
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@ myteammytown:

i should clarify

this

Are we forgettingboth these guys are seasoned drunk drivers and will hurt the oil in the long run?

was the quote i responded to.

I am in no way, at all, downplaying drinking and driving. At all. ever.

i do, however, take issue when a guy(s) get labelled with a rather serious accusation.

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#111 Hockey Gods
June 10 2009, 08:13PM
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@ myteammytown: I think you might want to check your fact's, or maybe I should, but I am pretty sure in Heatley's accident that killed Dan Snyder alcohol was NOT a factor. Not that I am downplaying the fact he killed a person goofing off in his Ferrai, but it wasn't drunk driving thing.

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#112 myteammytown
June 10 2009, 08:31PM
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@ Hockey Gods:

that was the point i was trying to make. the quote was from someone else

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#113 TV
June 10 2009, 08:55PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

@ swany: So, you were one of the minority who thought it was fine that Pronger asked to be traded one year into a five-year contract? And, no, it’s not different. Bailing out because the wife nags about hating Edmonton or taking a walk because the new coach has the gall to ask you to play a different role gets you to the same bottom line.

So do Oiler fans Boo Heatley when he signs with any other western based team than the Oilers next season..?

Excellent analogy Robin, in fact, Heater's version of "taking his ball & going home", is an even bigger knife in the back to the Sens franchise as he wanted & asked for a NTC & Darth Pronger left for family reasons only.

~How quicky they so easily forget simply to remember...~

x6

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#114 Milli
June 11 2009, 07:53AM
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I have to agree. A contract should be a binding contract no matter what. I'd love to see Heatley in an oilers uni, but I do question his character and integrity. What are his reasons for wanting out of Ottawa? Being demoted to the second PP unit, reduced ice time?? Well, Danny, I got an idea, first do whats best for your team, secondly, work your @SS off every shift and maybe you'll get more minutes and get back on the first PP, or maybe not, but your team may win...

Question for you smart guys? Could a GM in this situatuion tell the player, only way you get traded is if you sign away you NMC? If not, the GM is dealing from complete weakness and the player going public totally screws his team.

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#115 Rick
June 11 2009, 09:31AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

@ swany: So, you were one of the minority who thought it was fine that Pronger asked to be traded one year into a five-year contract? And, no, it’s not different. Bailing out because the wife nags about hating Edmonton or taking a walk because the new coach has the gall to ask you to play a different role gets you to the same bottom line.

Just speaking for myself here.

I thought Pronger was a douche before Edmonton picked him up (in my mind he was a poster child for all that was wrong in the pre-cap/lockout NHL that was crippling oraganizations like Edmonton).

Because of that I wasn't a fan of him specifically when he was here either but I was damned excited about what he brought as player and appreciated his talent.

When he left, my opinion of him still didn't change because I still thought he was a douche.

So am I a hypocrite for liking the talent he brought to the team even though I didn't care for him as a player?

I hope not, because although I think the stunt Heatley is pulling opens him up to critisisms of his character I sure as hell wouldn't turn his 40 or 50 goals away from coming through the front doors of Rexall.

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#116 Tackleberry
June 11 2009, 10:47AM
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Okay so here is my pipe dream and first kick at the can on this armchair GM thing. This is all merely a guess as I am not really up to par on player's value.

Heatley for the Gilbert/Cogliano/Eberle combo

Pursue Bouwmeester aggressively. Possibly offer up some Oilers or AHL players or mix of spare parts (Schremp and Pouliot?) to FLA for the rights to J-Bo since they know they aren't getting him back come July 1. Offer and sign Bouwmeester to a $6ish million a year for several years front loaded. Some bonus money if he meets some preset goals. (Honestly I really don't know what his worth is or what he is asking, I am just guessing here) Seeing as J-Bo is allegedly building a house here in EDM and his parents are here there is at least a reasonable chance that he would consider donning copper and blue.

If Bouwmeester signs you have already you asked Souray if he would wave his NTC to go to the Sunshine State. As far as the available intel and rumours say he wants to be there anyways, especially since he expressed that he doesn't like not seeing his daughters. Based on that Souray just might agree. Call up LA and offer Souray for their 5th draft pick (which is possibly Evander Kane or Brayden Schenn) and whatever other picks or prospects they add to the mix, even if undervalued slightly to Souray's net worth. Items that don't cost much in the way of cap space as Souray's salary is basically now going to J-Bo. LA has the cap space and the desire to rebuild. I doubt they would say no to getting a proven Top 2 D-man for picks/prospects especially if they feel they are getting the better of the deal.

Nilsson and possibly a draft pick to the MIN Wild for Harding.

So essentially this is the trade mix.

Heatley for Gilbert/Cogs/Eberle (Proven sniper for top 4 D-man and two smaller forwards) $7.5 million cap hit for $5.7 mil ($4 mil, $0.85 mil, $0.85 mil) = +$1.8mil

Bouwmeester signed for the cost of spare parts to FLA for his rights. $6ish million cap hit for lets say $1.7 mil = +$4.5ish mil

Souray to LA Kings for their 1st Round pick plus whatever else. $5.4mil vs entry level contract = -$4.5mil (Essentially you are trading Cogs and Eberle and getting a Evander Kane or Brayden Schenn plus extras.)

Nilsson/draft pick to MIN Wild for Harding. $2 mil for whatever $$ figure Harding would be signed for.

You lose Souray, Gilbert, and a mix of second/third liners and prospects for Heatley, Bouwmeester, Harding and the 5th draft pick plus extras.

Okay, so I am ready to be raked over the coals now. Comments??

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#117 swany
June 11 2009, 12:53PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

@ swany: So, you were one of the minority who thought it was fine that Pronger asked to be traded one year into a five-year contract? And, no, it’s not different. Bailing out because the wife nags about hating Edmonton or taking a walk because the new coach has the gall to ask you to play a different role gets you to the same bottom line.

RB if you look back I didn't care when he asked out and I don't care that Heatly asked out, fact is this is sports and alot of players ask for trades in every major sport so what move them and get on with it. I am a fan of the Oilers I loved Ryan Smyth but I didn't get all pissy at Klowe for trading him, and CFP wanted to leave move him if he doesn't want to be here get the Frack out. CP wanting out was the best thing for the Ducks and maybe Heatly wanting out could be the best thing for the Oilers. That was my point don't get me wrong I think it is a shame that players do this after signing a contract, but they do and that's the way it goes.

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#118 Robin Brownlee
June 11 2009, 12:57PM
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@ Tackleberry:

I trust you are wearing a condom while performing these acts upon the respective GMs . . .

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