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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#1 Cam
June 09 2009, 04:27PM
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Robin, If they pick up Heatley and sign a Goalie and make another move to get some grit... what else do you think they really need int he offseason?

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#2 Jonathan Willis
June 09 2009, 04:28PM
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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.

Bless you, Brownlee. That's just a great sentence.

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#3 OvenChicken8
June 09 2009, 04:30PM
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With their sights set on either player, it looks like Gilbert won't be wearing Oiler silks next year.

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#4 humantorch
June 09 2009, 04:37PM
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OvenChicken8 wrote:

With their sights set on either player, it looks like Gilbert won’t be wearing Oiler silks next year.

I'd drive him to the airport if I lived in the right continent.

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#5 Chester Copperpot
June 09 2009, 04:37PM
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We go from saddness over the fact that Souary's house is up for sale to excitement because there are rumours that Edmonton is looking at J-Bo, Heatley and teh #2 pick.

This place is up and down more than a [insert something witty] at a [insert something witty].

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#6 surshot
June 09 2009, 04:38PM
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If its one or the other well you would have to pick Heater given what this team really needs.

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#7 Wanye Gretz
June 09 2009, 04:40PM
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Chester Copperpot wrote:

This place is up and down more than a [insert something witty] at a [insert something witty].

BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Well played Sir/Madam

*imagines words in spaces that are so hilarious time briefly stops while the world laughs in unison*

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#8 Mowzie
June 09 2009, 04:49PM
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Assuming we can get both Heater and JBO at a 7.5 cap hit.

We've got to move about 12-14 million to make it work.

-Gilbert (4) -Souray (5.4) -Roloson (3.7) -Penner (4.25- waived or traded) -Moreau (2)

That's over 19 million freed up. Bring in Zanon/Mara to fill out the defense.

Bouwmeester-Smid Visnovsky-Grebeshkov Mara-Staios Peckam

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#9 Rick
June 09 2009, 04:51PM
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This Bouwmeester thing has me a little worried? Is Tambellini taking a KLowe approach and just throwing gobs of cash at whatever comes in range?

I really hope that come September we don't hear Tambellini trott out that famous line "holy cow, we have a lot of defencemen!"

I get the Heatley thing, if they can grab him he fills a hole that's been obvious for a long time but Robin, please tell us that this Bouwmeester thing is part of some master plan and series of moves that are already stoking in the fire.

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#10 Mark
June 09 2009, 04:54PM
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has anyone bothered to ask if either player really wants to play in Edmonton? is this not a consideration? and how the hell are the Oilers hitting the cap with such a young team?

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#11 Ogden Brother
June 09 2009, 04:56PM
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Heatly hands down.

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#12 Mark
June 09 2009, 04:57PM
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@ Mowzie:

once again - you're making the mistake of thinking that anyone will want some of those players for that money (penner and roloson comes to mind first)

they've got the best chance of moving souray and gilbert, but where does that leave the oilers defense core if they pick up heater?

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#13 Mowzie
June 09 2009, 04:59PM
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Mark wrote:

@ Mowzie: once again - you’re making the mistake of thinking that anyone will want some of those players for that money (penner and roloson comes to mind first) they’ve got the best chance of moving souray and gilbert, but where does that leave the oilers defense core if they pick up heater?

We won't have to find a partner for Roloson, I mean by not re-signing him, he will come off the books. Penner, I put in parenthesis waived or traded, because I know he might need to be waived or demoted to make room.

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#14 swany
June 09 2009, 05:05PM
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I would offer Gilbert, Cogs our 10th pick for Heatly, that adds around 1.5 to our cap, then look at trading Souray to the sun belt for a prospect and pick and sign Jay-Bo at a cap hit of 6 mil just strech out the term alla Detroit. So you could get both guys if you didn't get any salary back in the Souray trade (insert laugh here) for an extra 2 mil cap hit that gives you Jay-Bo Grebs Vish Steve, Smid Peckhan, Struds signed CHEAP on the back end and you have the Triple H line with Gagner centering Penner and Patty O

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#15 Robin Brownlee
June 09 2009, 05:08PM
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Mark wrote:

@ Mowzie: once again - you’re making the mistake of thinking that anyone will want some of those players for that money (penner and roloson comes to mind first) they’ve got the best chance of moving souray and gilbert, but where does that leave the oilers defense core if they pick up heater?

Not so fast on Souray. He's got a NMC. Do you think he wants to be farher away from his daughters in California?

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#16 DBO
June 09 2009, 05:22PM
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just for fun, since robin knows everyone is doing it (and let's be honest, it's the speculation we love as oil fans. Armchair GM's that we all are at heart), but what would it take to fit both under our cap?

Souray to San jose for Clowe and SJ 1st round pick

Gilbert, Penner, Eberle, oil 1st round pick to Ottawa for Heatley and Jason Smith (take Smith to get them to take Penner)

Nilsson and SJ 1st rd pick to florida for Jaybo's rights

Cap leaving = $15.85m

Cap coming = $19.6m

Puts us at $50.5 m. add extra $2 m for grebeshkov deal and we are tied in to a lot of money long term. Man it would have been nice, but as brownlee pointed out, no chance to get both when you factor in a goalie and another forward to round out our roster.

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#17 smytty777
June 09 2009, 05:23PM
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I don't think either guy is coming to Edmonton.

/Reality off

Plan for J-Bo and Heater assuming 56M cap (completely fictional and should not be taken seriously):

1. Trade Souray (5.4), Nilsson (2M), Eberle and a second rounder for Heatley. Net result +0.1M in cap space 50M total.

2. Trade Staios (2.7M) for a third round pick, bring Peckham (0.7M) up from the minors. Net result -2.0M in cap space 48M total.

3. Sign J-Bo to replace Souray for 15 years 90M. Net result +6.0M in cap space 54M total.

4. Trade POS (2.9M) for Harding, sign Harding for 1.9M. Net result -1.0M in cap space 53M total.

5. Sign Smid (1.5), Grebs (3.0) and Brodz (1.5) for approximately 6M total. Net result +6.0M in cap space 59M total.

6. Trade Penner (4.25) for whatever can be gotten or waive him and replace him with Gilbert Brule (1M). Net result -3.25M in cap space 55.75M total.

Heater-Horc-Hemmer Brule-Gagner-Cogs Moreau-Brodz-Pisani Storts-Pouliot-JFJ

J-Bo-Grebs Vish-Gilbert Smid-Peckham

Harding JDD

/Reality on

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#18 legion
June 09 2009, 05:24PM
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Are we forgettingboth these guys are seasoned drunk drivers and will hurt the oil in the long run?

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#19 Dustin Penner's 2nd Chin
June 09 2009, 05:25PM
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"Heatley or Bouwmeester? You can’t have both."

But what about Hossa?

Robin didn't say anything about Heatley AND Hossa AND Bouwmeester. W00t. How amazing would it be if the Oilers could pick up both Heatley and Hossa? Superstars that were traded for each other way back when. Of course, we'd have no $$ left to sign a goalie, but who cares...the Powerplay would be amazing: Heatley-Horcoff-Hemský-Hossa Bouwmeester-Višňovský

4H line? Get 'er done TambeLoweni!

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#20 kris
June 09 2009, 05:27PM
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I think you can make Heatley and Bouwmeester work within the cap fairly easily.

In: Heatley (7.5 million) Bowmeester (7.5 est.)

Total Added: 15 million

Out: Penner (4.5) for an average 3rd line center (1 est.) Staios (2.7) for average-poor 3rd pairing D (1 est.) Hemsky (4.4) for Heatley Souray (5.5) for good young goaltender (2 est.) and good prospects

Total Savings: 13.1 Million

Forwards

O'Sullivan-Gagner-Heatley (softer minutes) Cogliano-Horcoff-Pisani (tough minutes) Moreau-Average Vet C-Pouliot JFJ-Brodziak-Stortini Reddox

Bowmeester-Grebeshkov Gilbert-Visnovsky Smid-Cheap 3rd Pairing Guy Peckham

Young 2 million Goalie Cheap Rolie or JDD

We might have to bury Nilson. Maybe we have to move Pisani (2.5) or Moreau (1.7) plus prospects for cheaper replacements. But it's doable. This team has salary that can be moved, IMO.

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#21 kris
June 09 2009, 05:32PM
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Of course, Smytty is right that it won't happen. But the cap isn't the problem. The weather is.

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#22 Jonathan Willis
June 09 2009, 05:32PM
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As for the question raised by the article, which does this team need more: a LW who can score 50 goals, or an elite defenseman?

I love Bouwmeester, but the answer is obvious, isn't it?

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#23 DBO
June 09 2009, 05:34PM
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JW: Agreed. We need Ryan Smyth! Did i get it right?

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#24 colin
June 09 2009, 05:47PM
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Why do morons keep mentioning trading Souray out east?

-HE WONT WAIVE HIS NO TRADE CLAUSE TO MOVE FURTHER AWAY FROM HIS KIDS IN LA.

I doubt either would come here but Heatley is far higher on the priority list hopefully. Scoring is the need our defense is ok.

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#25 OilDipper
June 09 2009, 05:50PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

As for the question raised by the article, which does this team need more: a LW who can score 50 goals, or an elite defenseman? I love Bouwmeester, but the answer is obvious, isn’t it?

Dude, Heatley hands down.

And they WILL get Harding :)

To EDM: Harding To Min: Nilsson, 2nd rounder

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#26 OilDipper
June 09 2009, 05:52PM
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@ OilDipper: OilDipper wrote:

Jonathan Willis wrote: As for the question raised by the article, which does this team need more: a LW who can score 50 goals, or an elite defenseman? I love Bouwmeester, but the answer is obvious, isn’t it? Dude, Heatley hands down. And they WILL get Harding To EDM: Harding To Min: Nilsson, 2nd rounder

They, I mean we...

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#27 Harry Merkin
June 09 2009, 05:56PM
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Do anybody know of an internet feed for the game tonight im stuck at work and would love to watch.

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#28 Hoodlum
June 09 2009, 06:03PM
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What about a possible 3 way trade packaging Souray to LA for Jack Johnson and then packaging Johnson to Tampa for Vinny and then potentially working on J-BO. Of course this is assuming Vinny is more valuable than Heater, which is another debate. Anyhoo, you can't blame a guy for dreaming.

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#29 Seans
June 09 2009, 06:10PM
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Harry Merkin wrote:

Do anybody know of an internet feed for the game tonight im stuck at work and would love to watch.

Wow, You know you are thinking about the Oilers to much when... I was about to ask for what thinking that the Oil is done so the playoffs must be too when it finally clicked in... lol

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#30 Austin Ayala
June 09 2009, 06:12PM
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The Oilers haven't had a player of Heatley's goal-scoring calibre since Mark Messier. I would put an emphasis on acquiring him rather than Bouwmeester. Gilbert's a poor man's Bouwmeester anyhow and we need scoring up front. The Oilers simply do not have a potential 40-50+ goal scoring threat out there.

As an aside... wow do i feel bad for the Sens. Tough...tough loss.

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#31 Wainwright Dan
June 09 2009, 06:16PM
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Would anyone else find the tragic comedy if Osgood gets hurt, the Wings throw in Conklin, who proceeds to turn up the suck and the Wings lose in 7?

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#32 Hoodlum
June 09 2009, 06:18PM
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@ Wainwright Dan: And Fleury also gets hurt only to see Garon come in.

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#33 Chris
June 09 2009, 06:19PM
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Heatly? J-Bow? 2nd Overall Pick? LeCavalier? Hossa? Sedins? AAAAAAH! Rumour overload.

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#34 Hoodlum
June 09 2009, 06:22PM
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@ Chris: we don't need the sisters!!!!

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#35 Jonathan Willis
June 09 2009, 06:25PM
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@ Hoodlum:

Basically every team in the league would benefit from having the Sedin twins. Greatly underrated tandem.

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#36 Hoodlum
June 09 2009, 06:26PM
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This reminds me of christmas 1987, when all I asked for was a nintendo and as fate would have it....recieved a sweater. Please Tambo.....don't give me a sweater!!!

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#37 Hoodlum
June 09 2009, 06:29PM
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@ Jonathan Willis: I agree...Fantastic together, but I don't think as we sit here addressing the problems with our team, that they are the answer. Great players TOGETHER, but in my opinion, not suited for us. Maybe I just hate Vancouver that much....I could be wrong

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#38 Chris
June 09 2009, 06:30PM
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Better to get a sweater than nothing at all... (A very real possibility).

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#39 Jason Gregor
June 09 2009, 06:31PM
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kris wrote:

This team has salary that can be moved, IMO.
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#40 Hoodlum
June 09 2009, 06:32PM
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@ Chris: We're here to dream....don't wake us. LOL

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#41 David S
June 09 2009, 06:32PM
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Harry Merkin wrote:

Do anybody know of an internet feed for the game tonight im stuck at work and would love to watch.

hxxp://atdhe.net/

x = t, you know the drill.

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#42 Jason Gregor
June 09 2009, 06:37PM
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kris wrote:

This team has salary that can be moved, IMO.

Of course, Smytty is right that it won’t happen. But the cap isn’t the problem. The weather is.

Yeah they have salary that can be moved for nothing. Give your head a shake. First of all Penner is a 4.25 cap hit, and Hemsky is 4.1..

And which team will just take Penner and his contract for a 3rd line centre??? Or Staios and his for a 5th D-man, which is what he is??

Saying the weather is the problem more than the cap is also mistaken. Heatley played in Ottawa, it snows there in case you didn't know. He also grew up in Calgary so I think he understands it can get cold in the winter.

Making three big time deals/signings in one summer isn't realistic. It doesn't happen very often, and while Tambellini has made some big strides, I agree with Robin, this team will make one major move and then some tweaks.

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#43 myteammytown
June 09 2009, 06:49PM
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@ legion:

im surprised you were able to stop thumping your bible long enough to attempt a post....

well done

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#44 ShaunDoe
June 09 2009, 06:53PM
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After bypassing what everyone else has said I will make my statement: Its a no brainer, you make everyone you have expendable to get the Heater and yes that means even Hemsky. I am sorry but he brings everything to the table that you want and replaces Ales. He can change the game by himself or elevate the play of others. 'Nuff said.

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#45 matt
June 09 2009, 07:06PM
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Heatley for the love of God

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#46 Wainwright Dan
June 09 2009, 07:09PM
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ShaunDoe wrote:

After bypassing what everyone else has said I will make my statement: Its a no brainer, you make everyone you have expendable to get the Heater and yes that means even Hemsky. I am sorry but he brings everything to the table that you want and replaces Ales. He can change the game by himself or elevate the play of others. ‘Nuff said.

He also solves world hunger, has a solution to global warming, and knows how to bring peace to the middle east .... pfffft.

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#47 Ogden Brother
June 09 2009, 07:09PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

kris wrote: This team has salary that can be moved, IMO. Of course, Smytty is right that it won’t happen. But the cap isn’t the problem. The weather is. Yeah they have salary that can be moved for nothing. Give your head a shake. First of all Penner is a 4.25 cap hit, and Hemsky is 4.1.. And which team will just take Penner and his contract for a 3rd line centre??? Or Staios and his for a 5th D-man, which is what he is?? Saying the weather is the problem more than the cap is also mistaken. Heatley played in Ottawa, it snows there in case you didn’t know. He also grew up in Calgary so I think he understands it can get cold in the winter. Making three big time deals/signings in one summer isn’t realistic. It doesn’t happen very often, and while Tambellini has made some big strides, I agree with Robin, this team will make one major move and then some tweaks.

You have to admit that the salary cap is only one of many hurdles in aquiring elite players.

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#48 Jonathan Willis
June 09 2009, 07:12PM
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@ ShaunDoe:

If you move Hemsky, you're robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Moving from being a team without a first line LW to a team without a first line RW is not progress. Particularly if you need to pay 3.4 MM more in salary per year to do it.

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#49 legion
June 09 2009, 07:23PM
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@ myteammytown: First off LOL that made me laugh Secondly it was a joke similar to I just saved a ton of money on my car Insurance by trading laraque And yeah heatley killed a guy

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#50 ShaunDoe
June 09 2009, 07:23PM
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@ Jonathan Willis:

I see what you are saying Willis but I also see it as relieving the team of that constant persuit of finding a winger to play with Player X scenario we have been in whith Hemsky. I think that with Heatly on the top line you can fill that right wing void with a player we already have or can aquire. I just think Heatly is an easier player to pair off than Hemsky has proved to be. That being said if Tambi goes out and aquires an A class LW then the point is moot.

Add to that the eloquent quote from Wainright Dan and I think your decision is made for you. That is unless you are against solving world hunger. Are you against solving world Hunger Willis... are you?

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