WTF? The Dany Edition

Robin Brownlee
July 01 2009 11:04PM

If you're asking me, let's hope the done deal for Dany Heatley that came undone last night stays that way. The Edmonton Oilers will be better off without him.

The best thing the Oilers and GM Steve Tambellini can do today with the free agency season officially underway -- unless that deadline has been reported incorrectly without clarification by the NHL as well -- is yank their offer to the Ottawa Senators off the table and move on.

Let's review . . .

-- Heatley and his agents demand a trade out of Ottawa because Dany Boy is unhappy with the way he's been handled by new coach Cory Clouston. Instead of going to GM Bryan Murray on the down-low, Heatley and his agents go public, forcing Murray's hand.

-- In the days since, Heatley, through his agents, make it known that the Oilers would be one of the teams he'd waive his no-trade clause to go to and it's widely reported by MSM outlets, including TSN, that's the case. Oiler fans work themselves into a lather about landing Heatley.

-- Murray fields offers leading up to the NHL Entry Draft. In the wake of the draft, the Oilers step to the front of the line Tuesday with an offer that includes Dustin Penner, Andrew Cogliano and Ladislav Smid. Dump PDP as part of a Heatley deal? Oilers fans are in a frenzy.

-- Late Tuesday afternoon, with a midnight deadline for a $4-million bonus payment to Heatley looming (or so everybody thought), several MSM media outlets, including Sportsnet, TEAM 1260 and The Score, report that the Oilers and Senators have completed the Heatley swap for Penner, Cogliano and Smid. Done deal. Oilers fans rejoice.

-- Other media outlets, notably TSN and Bob McKenzie, say, "Not so fast." Heatley has yet to approve the deal by waiving his no-trade clause. The done deal starts to unravel. Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reports that Heatley has killed the deal. Heatley's agents later clarify Heatley has not killed the deal. He hasn't said no but he hasn't said yes. He wants to "sleep on it." Shunned again, Oiler fans are outraged.

Is that about right?

THE MORNING AFTER

So, as Oilers fans awoke this morning with teeth and fists clenched and cursing Heatley and everybody who reported the done deal, delivering a kick in the collective nuts the way Chris Pronger, Michael Nylander and countless others have done, we're led to believe there's still a chance Heatley might yet give Edmonton his blessing.

Sure, there's still a chance -- if Heatley and his camp can't orchestrate a deal with the New York Rangers before the REAL deadline for the bonus payment ticks by at 11:59 tonight.

Tell me this: how is it that nobody with the Senators or the Oilers had the actual deadline locked down? How is it that the NHL never clarified when the deadline fell? How did everybody get it wrong? Kind of an important detail, don't you think?

That said, and knowing what we think we know today, does the possibility of landing a 40-50 goal player of Heatley's stature trump the red flags that surround him?

While I'm not into the "Dany Heatley's mom wears army boots and dresses him funny" venom that was spewed in Ottawa when he went public with his trade request, for me the answer is no. Not a chance.

The way I see it, the boondoggle that infolded late Tuesday gives the Oilers a chance to reconsider their position, withdraw their offer and run the hell the other way as fast as they can. They should take it.

Ask yourself this: Is Heatley a cornerstone player Tambellini can build his team around for years to come? At $7.5 million per season in a salary cap world, he'd damn sure better be. Are you thinking, "maybe" or are you thinking "no?" Anybody thinking "yes" please raise your hands.

The best thing for the Oilers is that this deal stays undone. Heatley isn't the answer.

RANDOM THOUGHTS

-- It's been suggested that Murray knew the deadline actually fell at 11:59 tonight, but didn't disclose it. The reasoning behind that train of thought is that Murray was using the Oilers to leverage better offers, most notably from the Rangers.

It's also been offered Murray screwed with Tambellini and the Oilers as payback for the Mike Comrie deal that came undone during his days as Anaheim GM -- when Kevin Lowe queered a trade involving Cory Perry with a late stipulation Comrie cough up $2.5 million to complete the swap. In other words, karma is biting the Oilers on the backside.

I'd bet on the former. That, or Murray is grossly incompetent.

-- There's plenty of consternation among Oilers fans that Tambellini now has a problem in the dressing room because Penner, Cogliano and Smid are going to feel unwanted because their names came out in the deal.

Too bad. Get over it. It's part of the gig and part of a business that makes players like Penner, Cogliano and Smid millionaires. The possibility of being traded is part of the package.

Did Penner feel bad because the Ducks didn't match Edmonton's offer sheet? No. He took the money. Still with the Ducks, it seems to me Perry has recovered nicely from being offered up in the Comrie deal that came undone. No?

-- When reporters push to break stories and announce that a deal is done and it goes sideways, they have to wear it. That, like trades for players, is part of the game.

In that regard, it's obvious Jason Gregor of the TEAM 1260, didn't have all of the bases covered in reporting the deal as done.

Fine. Gregor went with his best information and trusted a source and the story went bust. Wrong is wrong. No excuses, but it happens. Own it, as Gregor has, and move on.

That said, there's no excuse for some of the over-the-top crap written by fans and directed at Gregor over what unfolded Tuesday. None.

-- 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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#501 Harlie
July 01 2009, 06:18PM
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the Mayor of Edmonton was just on CTV news quoting Bowmister saying that he was concerned about going to Edmonton because of the voice of the fans and how they treated Jeffrey Lupul and Comrie.

(I spelt it that way cuz of how the Mayor pronounced the guys names on TV)

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#502 jeanshorts
July 01 2009, 06:19PM
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@ Hemmertime:

Oh I'm all for having way more people contributing to the conversation, but it just becomes less appealing, to me personally anyway, when those people contributing only chime in with things like "Eff Gregor, he's a P.O.S. He's the worst human being on the face of the planet" and really have nothing to back it up with. It's just crapping on people for the sake of crapping on people. If they had legitimate beef that's one thing, but when it's just name calling then it becomes stupid.

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#503 jeanshorts
July 01 2009, 06:20PM
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Harlie wrote:

Jeffrey Lupul

Gary Bettman is the mayor of Edmonton? How long have I been away for?????

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#504 patty
July 01 2009, 06:20PM
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HF oilers is almost at 4000 posts regarding Heatley. talk about bi-polar. some of them have really lost it.

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#505 Dino
July 01 2009, 06:21PM
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TSN is reporting Gaborik to the Rangers. 5 years x $5.75

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#506 GLoKz0r
July 01 2009, 06:21PM
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@ jt in Oilertown:

That sounds like a pretty risky move. There's absolutely no way what went down here is sitting well with Tambellini. What if Tambi pulled his offer in response?

I can't see Murray playing games like this unless he actually had a back up plan.

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#507 LOIL
July 01 2009, 06:21PM
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Harlie wrote:

Penner and Smid added size and grit on top.

Penner added grit ? Haha. Pure comedy. Trim.

LOIL

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#508 onehitwonder
July 01 2009, 06:22PM
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Am i the only one that thinks maybe a call WAS made from Katz to Slats? As soon as he dumped Gomez, i assumed Heater would be a Ranger. That's how Sather has kept his job there for so long, he plays on players desire to play for the rags.

Don't get me wrong, their offer doesn't have a Cogs in it obviously, but Murray has to be thinking 'I have to get this guy flogged by midnight'.

oops nevermind he got gabby

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#509 Jodes
July 01 2009, 06:23PM
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Harlie wrote:

the Mayor of Edmonton was just on CTV news quoting Bowmister saying that he was concerned about going to Edmonton because of the voice of the fans and how they treated Jeffrey Lupul and Comrie. (I spelt it that way cuz of how the Mayor pronounced the guys names on TV)

Just wait until he plays in Calgary and he has a few bad games, the Flames fans will turn on him just like they did everyone else shortly after they got eliminated.

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#510 rOILty
July 01 2009, 06:24PM
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HEATLY AGREES TO COME TO EDMONTON!!

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#511 Word
July 01 2009, 06:24PM
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@ Dino:

I'd take that deal for Gaborik. Risky, but a healthy Gaborik is worth more than 5.75.

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#512 mark
July 01 2009, 06:24PM
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Gaborik to nyr according to tsn

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#513 Word
July 01 2009, 06:25PM
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rOILty wrote:

HEATLY AGREES TO COME TO EDMONTON!!

He better hire some PR guys....

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#514 GLoKz0r
July 01 2009, 06:25PM
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@ rOILty:

Where are you seeing this?

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#515 West Coast Oil
July 01 2009, 06:25PM
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@Robin The more this Heatley situation goes on the more I have been thinking. Obviously Tambellini and I would assume Lowe and Katz have all spoken with Heatley and his agent. I would say they are all smart men so if the Heatley camp was saying Dany really doesn't want to play in Edmonton or he wil play there if all other options fail, I would think if that is the message they would pull the offer and move on. So I can only assume the Heatley camp is giving the right answers to the Oilers and if that is the case well something else smells fishy. You have worked around these guys long enough so I'm wondering if you have any theories

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#516 rOILty
July 01 2009, 06:26PM
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ok its ek, but he seems sure

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#517 Harlie
July 01 2009, 06:26PM
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@ LOIL:

i don't need to defend the guy cuz I had issues with his game too but Penner did use his size a few times last year and he was able to swing momentum in games when he did. Did you miss this game?

hxxp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nB6avCVSJ9c

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#518 Librarian Mike
July 01 2009, 06:27PM
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@ Harlie:

You don't want to get criticized, Jay? Try calling a cab next time you get hammered in this town.

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#519 Hemmertime
July 01 2009, 06:27PM
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Eklund reports heatley agrees to go to Edmonton. Dammit, and I was hoping we'd get him

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#520 jt in Oilertown
July 01 2009, 06:27PM
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rOILty wrote:

HEATLY AGREES TO COME TO EDMONTON!!

Tickets to the Indy?

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#521 patty
July 01 2009, 06:27PM
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@ rOILty: please dont use eklund as a source. is it somewhere else?

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#522 mark
July 01 2009, 06:28PM
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gaborik 5yrs 5.75 a year to the rangers

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#523 onehitwonder
July 01 2009, 06:28PM
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West Coast Oil wrote:

@Robin The more this Heatley situation goes on the more I have been thinking. Obviously Tambellini and I would assume Lowe and Katz have all spoken with Heatley and his agent. I would say they are all smart men so if the Heatley camp was saying Dany really doesn’t want to play in Edmonton or he wil play there if all other options fail, I would think if that is the message they would pull the offer and move on. So I can only assume the Heatley camp is giving the right answers to the Oilers and if that is the case well something else smells fishy. You have worked around these guys long enough so I’m wondering if you have any theories

Are they allowed to speak with him and/or his agent? If so, you have make a very good point.

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#524 Monday Guy
July 01 2009, 06:29PM
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mark wrote:

gaborik 5yrs 5.75 a year to the rangers

make that 7.5 / yr

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#525 Blair
July 01 2009, 06:30PM
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Gaborik is 5 yrs, 7.5 million

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#526 Harlie
July 01 2009, 06:30PM
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Gaborik 5 years 7.5 per? Pricey...

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#527 kingsblade
July 01 2009, 06:31PM
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Harlie wrote:

hitting the news may have made us jump the shark

Don't you mean nuke the fridge?

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#528 mark
July 01 2009, 06:31PM
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oops @ Monday Guy:

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#529 LOIL
July 01 2009, 06:31PM
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Hemmertime wrote:

Eklund reports heatley agrees to go to Edmonton. Dammit, and I was hoping we’d get him

Ha. I can admit funny when i read it.

LOIL

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#530 RossCreek
July 01 2009, 06:32PM
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Gaborik to Rangers

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#531 Word
July 01 2009, 06:32PM
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7.5 for 5 years? Wow. That's a ballsy move.

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#532 LOIL
July 01 2009, 06:32PM
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@ onehitwonder:

TSN reported that Tambi AND several oiler players had talked to Heatley personally today.

LOIL

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#533 Mac
July 01 2009, 06:33PM
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I am on the fence with this one. On one hand, I think that having the possibility of getting a legit 40 goal scorer would be a milestone for the organization, and I think the deal although I think highly of Cogliano and Smid is a well balanced one. But as everyone else must see at this point Heatly's so called character is definitely in question at this point. And is he the kind of guy I want on the Oilers? I honestly don't know. With that said I will still be happy to give him a shot if he decides to come here, but I would not be surprised if one or two seasons from now we are hearing he wants out of Edmonton as well.

As far as 1260 goes. I understand that it was not Gregor's fault, but i definitely think Gregor and 1260 should have owned up to their mistake more clearly than beating around the bush that it was not their fault. Because frankly it was, and Tencer at 630 ched did not make that same mistake and I doubt they have better sources than the boys at 1260 which I have faithfully listened too for their correct information. And to leave off on that point, I simply will be listening to CHED from now on not because of this latest debacle but because of IMO 1260's lack luster and consistently degrading programming. We are in a hockey market and I want to hear much more hockey than is currently provided and I am totally sick of the American programming. Rome and FOX news suck. Just my opinion.

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#534 kingsblade
July 01 2009, 06:33PM
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Can I assume I'm not the only one here who'd rather have Havlat than Heatley?

Why not push for that and deal with the money issue afterwards?

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#535 GLoKz0r
July 01 2009, 06:33PM
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Monday Guy wrote:

mark wrote: gaborik 5yrs 5.75 a year to the rangers make that 7.5 / yr

Ouch... 5.75 sounded like a steal, but 7.5? That's a bit steep for a player who's averaged ~51 games per season since the lock out.

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#536 Lofty
July 01 2009, 06:34PM
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rOILty wrote:

HEATLY AGREES TO COME TO EDMONTON!!

Here is my question if this is true...

So he saw that Gaborik went to the Rangers thus his options were the Oil or the Sens.

Does this make the Heater Gaboriks SLOPPY seconds????

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#537 darren
July 01 2009, 06:35PM
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So that leaves Havlat ... If San Jose, who have been really quiet, get him that kinda forces Heatley to the Oilers if he really wants out.

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#538 rOILty
July 01 2009, 06:35PM
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hmm if its true, will neil follow??

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#539 OvenChicken8
July 01 2009, 06:35PM
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rOILty wrote:

ok its ek, but he seems sure

/facepalm

that is all

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#540 Harlie
July 01 2009, 06:35PM
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@ kingsblade:

I hope they are working the Havlat angle too.

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#541 Monday Guy
July 01 2009, 06:37PM
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@ Harlie: For sure... i'd be happy with both

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#542 kingsblade
July 01 2009, 06:38PM
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Even if we paid Havlat 7 million, we could trade Penner for a bag of used tape and keep Cogliano and Smid. It wouldn't be that different capwise and we'd be better than the Heatley trade would make us.

I'm guessing Havlat could be had for even less making it even more superior to the Heatley trade.

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#543 RossCreek
July 01 2009, 06:39PM
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Kypreos says Gionta to Montreal. Yhe Oil don't look so small now.

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#544 kingsblade
July 01 2009, 06:40PM
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Harlie wrote:

@ kingsblade: I hope they are working the Havlat angle too.

Of course. I just mean that I wish they would make him the top priority instead of Heatley.

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#545 kingsblade
July 01 2009, 06:40PM
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...because if it is one or the other I'd way rather have Havlat.

sorry for double post

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#546 Mac
July 01 2009, 06:41PM
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Oh man Ek said that....? I guess Heatly is playing in Ott this season.

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#547 Word
July 01 2009, 06:41PM
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Wikipedia has Heatley in Edmonton.

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#548 jeanshorts
July 01 2009, 06:41PM
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Ottawa resigns Chris Neil. Good.

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#549 Harlie
July 01 2009, 06:42PM
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Word wrote:

Wikipedia has Heatley in Edmonton.

wikipedia reads eklund!?

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#550 Bryant
July 01 2009, 06:43PM
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Mac wrote:

I simply will be listening to CHED from now on not because of this latest debacle but because of IMO 1260’s lack luster and consistently degrading programming

Go ahead and listen to that collage grad who sits on the fence more then a elected offical. Sometimes when you step out infront you will be left holding a hot grenade.

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