July 01 2009 02:01AM
What an interesting unofficial start to the Free Agent Frenzy.
I will state for the record that I still stand by my source, because in the time I’ve known him he has never misled me before. If it turns out that Heatley doesn’t come here, then my apologies for getting your hopes up. But know this - the Dany Heatley situation seems fishy on many levels.
For weeks and especially the last few days leading up to today it seemed many felt that his $4 million bonus/lump sum payment was due at midnight on July 1st. Now it turns out it isn’t due until the end of July 1st at 11:59:59. His contract says payment is due on July 1st, but doesn’t specify which day part. I just find it funny that for the past three weeks it has been reported in many places, including TSN, RDS, Sportsnet and both radio broadcast rights holders, as well as non-rights holders, and blogs that the deadline was at midnight Tuesday. Why would the league let their partners report this without quietly correcting them?
It seems that Heatley hasn’t completely said NO to Edmonton; rather that he’d liked to sleep on it. Reading, hearing and being directly told this explanation leads me to believe that he never thought Edmonton was a realistic destination, and that another team would step up, so he never gave it a lot of thought. Then the realization comes that Edmonton is the most interested and offers the best package, so he says yes, albeit briefly, and then decides he needs to think about it.
If that is the case and he wakes up in the morning and feels Edmonton is a good fit, then Oiler fans won’t care. They have been through much worse in recent memory. But if he decides he isn’t interested in coming here, then Senators Fans will suddenly find a great many Citizens of the OilersNation in the refund line at the Dany Heatley fan club. Perhaps Heatley didn't believe Edmonton would be his only choice?
A short memo to Dany Heatley
Why list the Oilers as a team you would go to in the first place? When you submitted the list didn’t you realize then, that everyone one of those teams could be your next team. Shouldn’t you have prepared yourself for that?
No one wins if he decides to veto the deal.
The Senators will be left scrambling trying to find a partner, especially if he doesn’t decide by 10 a.m. MST when free agency begins. The Oilers will have three players who knew they were on the verge of being dealt, but they will remain and play for an organization that was willing to part with them. And the Oilers will have to decide by 10 a.m. if they will pursue a UFA or wait for Heatley to decide if he’d like to play for them.
Oiler fans will be feeling rejected once again and wondering why?
Even if Heatley gets dealt to another team that he prefers, he will still be looked upon as a selfish guy who quit on one team and then refused to go to one that really wanted him. If he wakes up tomorrow and decides E-town is not right for him, I’ll take my lumps from those who will question my accuracy, that is part of the job, but this deal seemed too close to evaporate at the last minute.
Bob McKenzie, who is more connected than anyone, and extremely accurate had the names in a PROJECTED deal earlier than anyone. Normally when he makes a projection it comes true. Bob never once CONFIRMED this deal, but he isn’t one to toss out names and then not have something pan out very often. I know of a great many deals that have supposedly fallen apart at the last second, but in most of those cases the names of people involved were never reported.
Why did all the names get out this time?
And if it wasn’t almost a done deal how come no one from the Oilers denied it?
If everyone thought the deadline was tonight, and there was never a report of a trade with the Rangers before the deadline, if they get a deal done on Wednesday how will that make the NHL look? And what if Heatley sleeps on it and decides he wants to be an Oiler, will Oiler fans still be upset?
It was an interesting and for me an educational start to the free agent frenzy. Things might not always seem as they appear, even when you are certain of it.