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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#151 OilersFan4Life
July 01 2009, 01:34PM
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hmmmmm the blog from the flames fan seems to have gone away....thank you to whomever is protecting our house!

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#152 oilboy76
July 01 2009, 01:34PM
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Sweet Jimmy K wrote:

Surprisingly Pierre McGuire has not made me want to knock him out yet today. That SI guy though…

Just the sound of him makes my skin crawl! I would rather listen too Mark "nails on a chalk board" Crawford all day then Pierre for one minute!

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#153 socaldave
July 01 2009, 01:35PM
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with the advent of modern PR posturing, IF the deal with Crash (too soon?) goes through, I think it becomes pretty easy to put a positive spin on his arrival.

Give Katz a whole summer to pump up a guy, and he might, come training camp time, have us all drinking the Kool-aid.

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#154 oilboy76
July 01 2009, 01:36PM
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I wish we would pull the trigger on a goalie sooner than later! I'm thinking Biron make the one, sadly, as my hope was we got Anderson! Dam Colorado!

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#155 Robin Brownlee
July 01 2009, 01:38PM
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socaldave wrote:

with the advent of modern PR posturing, IF the deal with Crash (too soon?) goes through, I think it becomes pretty easy to put a positive spin on his arrival. Give Katz a whole summer to pump up a guy, and he might, come training camp time, have us all drinking the Kool-aid.

Drink deeply, then. I'll be staying thirsty.

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#156 socaldave
July 01 2009, 01:39PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

socaldave wrote: Give Katz a whole summer to pump up a guy, and he might, come training camp time, have us all drinking the Kool-aid. Drink deeply, then. I’ll be staying thirsty.

I know... I'm just another lemming but I can't get past the idea of an Edmonton freaking Oiler potting 50+, y'know?

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#157 Sandra
July 01 2009, 01:39PM
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Robin Is it the damage that Lowe did to the organization that players don't want to come here? or is it the city?

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#158 ronaldo
July 01 2009, 01:44PM
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@ Sandra

Its the city. But if this was a winning team, some players would "tuff it out" for a chance to win. IMHO.

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#159 Hemmertime
July 01 2009, 01:46PM
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socaldave wrote:

I think it becomes pretty easy to put a positive spin on his arrival...but I can’t get past the idea of an Edmonton freaking Oiler potting 50+, y’know?

Ya, positive spin = "We have our 50 goal scorer". I would take a coked up Ray Emery, or a Sean Avery to make our team better. The dressing room is the Coaches problem not the general managers. Our feelings may be hurt by Heatley - but he is exactly what we have been trying to have for the last decade.

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#160 Robin Brownlee
July 01 2009, 01:46PM
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Sandra wrote:

Robin Is it the damage that Lowe did to the organization that players don’t want to come here? or is it the city?

Loaded question. I don't know what players who don't come here are thinking. There's so many considerations. How competitive is the team? What's the lifestyle for a single player or a family guy? There's travel. There's options with teams where friends, be they coaches or players, are. Who is coaching? What style of game does the team play? Does the city itself factor in? Sure. Does Lowe and any past dealings? Absolutely. But to boil it down to the city or Lowe is simplifying things too much.

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#161 RossCreek
July 01 2009, 01:51PM
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DarrenDreger Boston Globe is reporting Spacek to Mtl. 3 years, $11.5 mil. Ouch! 2 minutes ago from mobile web

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#162 Sandra
July 01 2009, 01:52PM
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Oilers offer CHris Niel a 4 yr contract

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#163 Mark
July 01 2009, 01:53PM
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oilerzz wrote:

Oilerguyforlife wrote: Me thinks the oil may as well stand pat and hope for Taylor hall I heard he might be better than tavares they might not have a choice

Finally someone who has a brain - look at some of the cup winners and strong contenders since the last major NHL expansion in the early 90's - Sens, Avs, Ducks, TB, Carolina, Pens, sharks now chicago.... these teams all have something in common - they blew for years and got great draft picks. their marquee talent and "cornerstone" players you speak of played there because they had no choice. (minus Lindros). If you want a cup contender you have to DRAFT for it. I'm not talking getting a first rounder - i'm talking first OVERALL. Crosby, Tavares, Ovechkin types. Not Gagne or Hemmer (even tho I love the guys).

There's a reason we don't see Canadian teams bringing the cup home year after year... it's because they just can't suck up their pride and s*%t the bed for a few years to get the picks they need to be champions. Sure teams get hot, go on streaks and take a barely 8th seed to the finals, but that's not what we should be shooting for here.

Wake up and smell the reality - no one WANTS TO PLAY HERE. Stop whining about it and being pussies, suck up your pride and take a few bad seasons for some real cornerstone talent in the draft (if they haven't pimped all of our top picks away for mediocre players already).

At the end of the day you're doing the same thing over and over trying to get a different result. If you want a championship team (a mean a real contender championship team rather than a streak hot 8th seed outlier) you have to draft for it. Especially in a salary capped NHL. Simple as that. You can argue all you want, but at the end of the day you're going to be back here bitching when the oil finish 4 points out of the playoffs or in the first round while spending the cap limit year after year after year.

I can hear it now - Fire Mac T!! Fire Tambi!! Trade hemmer!! whaaaaa whaaaa whhaaaaaaaaa

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#164 Oilerguyforlife
July 01 2009, 01:53PM
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I heard word San jose is right in on the running for heatley now I'm really starting to think we don't have a hope in hell

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#165 Hocknee Fann
July 01 2009, 01:54PM
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So long Rollie!

You know, us in Oilers Nation are proud of our team and city. We like that the Oilers organization trumpet - "One an Oiler, Always an Oiler," which brings people to think that this is a class-act organization that draws fans and players alike to want to be a part of it. We talk of loyalty and get upset when guys display an act of disloyalty against the team and the city.

Yet we listened to local call-in shows and read local blogs of people throwing Rollie under the bus at various times he has been here in Edmonton.

Where is the loyalty shown to a guy who has been nothing more than a class act during his time here. A guy who didn't complain when he lost his starting position, and stepped in with no grandstanding to take it back from the young guns who couldn't step it up.

Lets face it, there were many a night this season that the Oilers were horrible - but Rollie saved them from looking nothing less than mediocre. And had the guts at times to step up and face the media to take the blame, when in fact he did not play any part of the lackluster performance his teammates in front of him put in - but the supposed leaders stood silent. He's a big reason behind the team's cup run in 06.

But our fans cut him for his age, and the team doesn't show a hint of loyalty by adding a second year at 2.5 mil. Perhaps the appearance of the club's (and fans) lack of loyalty and respect to some of its veterans (i.e. Smitty and now Rollie), is why some don't look to the Oilers as being that temple of hockey we want it to be seen as.

I know, people will say - "Hey, hockey is a business!" But drop the loyal statements of once an Oiler always an Oiler."

I guess that's how Heatley is looking at it - but we are looking at on loyal terms.

Good luck Rollie - you were a professional!

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#166 Hemmertime
July 01 2009, 01:56PM
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@ Mark: You sir, are a retard. Start cheering for NYI. They blow all the time, must be your favorite!

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#167 socaldave
July 01 2009, 01:56PM
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Roli himself (go to TSN and watch the video clip) said money wasn't an issue - so by that, I assume we offered him a fair deal. He didn't like it and went elsewhere - how is that the OILERS fault???

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#168 Blair
July 01 2009, 01:57PM
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Doug Maclean said on Sportsnet that Heatley and his dad were saying he expected to be in Edmonton. Not sure what the hold up is?

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#169 socaldave
July 01 2009, 01:59PM
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Hemmertime wrote:

@ Mark: You sir, are a retard. Start cheering for NYI. They blow all the time, must be your favorite!

dude, have read something so funny you snorted your iced chai tea out your nose? Thanks, man - I appreciate it! ;)

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#170 Blair
July 01 2009, 02:01PM
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Khabby to the oilers

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#171 Sandra
July 01 2009, 02:01PM
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Khabibulin an Oiler

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#172 OilersFan4Life
July 01 2009, 02:01PM
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Khabibulin is an Oiler now??

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#173 Vic Oiler
July 01 2009, 02:01PM
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TSN: Khabby to the Oil

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#174 Mark
July 01 2009, 02:01PM
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@ Hemmertime:

instead of calling me a retard, why don't you refute with a real argument. name me a few players in the show (top marquee free agents) that would come to edmonton. Name me an organization other than Detroit or NJ that can command top players to take salary cuts over long term contracts to come play in a shit hole. You, sir, are the retard.

And there will always be franchises that are piss poorly run and shit the bed all the time. NYI has always had turd from the ownership down. Not a strong argument by any means. Last but not least, the NYI were actually a dynasty in the 80's and only supplanted by edmonton's dynasty there downie.

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#175 Chris
July 01 2009, 02:02PM
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The `Buhlin Wall!

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#176 idrinkPilsner
July 01 2009, 02:02PM
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Khabibullen or how ever you spell it? Sounds better than JDD

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#177 West Coast Oil
July 01 2009, 02:02PM
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If Heatley does come here I can only imagine the questions he will be asked by the media at the presser. "Dany is it the cold weather" "Was it the Pronger situation" etc etc you know the same questions they ask every person ever signed or drafted by Edmonton... Sigh

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#178 Hocknee Fann
July 01 2009, 02:03PM
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socaldave wrote:

Roli himself (go to TSN and watch the video clip) said money wasn’t an issue - so by that, I assume we offered him a fair deal. He didn’t like it and went elsewhere - how is that the OILERS fault???

He wanted a two year deal - and said that's the only reason he signed with the Isles. The Oilers would only offer him 1-year. When TSN asked him if he had hard feelings after what he gave to the Oilers organization, he said no - I have no hard feelings and said he loved his time here and met a lot of great people.

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#179 Harlie
July 01 2009, 02:03PM
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Khabibulin rumored to the Oilers...TSN blog

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#180 ronaldo
July 01 2009, 02:04PM
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@ Hocknee Fan With all due respect. Blah, blah, blah, oilers didn't show loyalty and respect to roli. What do you call his last contract. Also, you see every team in the league casting off veterans, its a business and its life. Should classy old detroit play chelios until he's 60 out of loyalty. The league is getting younger and teams need to think about the future. Get over, I'm sure roli has.

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#181 Blair
July 01 2009, 02:04PM
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Depending on Khabby's money, can we still afford heatley?

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#182 Harlie
July 01 2009, 02:05PM
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we got a tender boys!!

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#183 Smokin' Ray
July 01 2009, 02:05PM
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Nikolai Khabibulin the next Oiler goalie??? Better than nothing I suppose.

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#184 Hocknee Fann
July 01 2009, 02:06PM
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ronaldo wrote:

@ Hocknee Fan With all due respect. Blah, blah, blah, oilers didn’t show loyalty and respect to roli. What do you call his last contract. Also, you see every team in the league casting off veterans, its a business and its life. Should classy old detroit play chelios until he’s 60 out of loyalty. The league is getting younger and teams need to think about the future. Get over, I’m sure roli has.

Then why is everybody crying over Heatley wanting to sleep on it? I agree, its a business.

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#185 Vic Oiler
July 01 2009, 02:08PM
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TSN: 4 years 15 million

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#186 Harlie
July 01 2009, 02:08PM
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4 year 15 million for Khabi...reportedly

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#187 Robin Brownlee
July 01 2009, 02:08PM
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Nothing from the Oilers, but my best guess is Khabibulin will be a $5-million cap hit over three years. Even at that, he's taking a pay cut.

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#188 Naz
July 01 2009, 02:08PM
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La3oo saleh

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#189 Vic Oiler
July 01 2009, 02:08PM
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3.75 Cap hit not bad.

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#190 Oilerguyforlife
July 01 2009, 02:08PM
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Tsn has not confirmed it yet he may pull a nylander but all joking aside how old is he

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#191 Naz
July 01 2009, 02:09PM
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ooops wrong box

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#192 Hocknee Fann
July 01 2009, 02:09PM
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Hocknee Fann wrote:

ronaldo wrote: @ Hocknee Fan With all due respect. Blah, blah, blah, oilers didn’t show loyalty and respect to roli. What do you call his last contract. Also, you see every team in the league casting off veterans, its a business and its life. Should classy old detroit play chelios until he’s 60 out of loyalty. The league is getting younger and teams need to think about the future. Get over, I’m sure roli has. We just picked up Chicago's old veteran cast off!
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#193 Robin Brownlee
July 01 2009, 02:10PM
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If $3.75 million over four years is right as the cap hit, then this is the best the Oilers could possibllty do.

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#194 Naz
July 01 2009, 02:10PM
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Bulin 3.75 mill cap hit over 4 yrs

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#195 idrinkPilsner
July 01 2009, 02:10PM
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Just watching tsn, and i m not a flames fan, but Daryl Sutter looks like the kind of guy that I could go to cattle sale in Clyde or a farm auction and have a few coffees/whiskey's with. It's nice to see a farm boy do good. Hopefully he can run the flames like most farms around here... UNSUCCESSFUL! ha ha.

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#196 Naz
July 01 2009, 02:11PM
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LOVE IT!!!

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#197 Harlie
July 01 2009, 02:11PM
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Oilerguyforlife wrote:

Tsn has not confirmed it yet he may pull a nylander but all joking aside how old is he

36...he was born in 73'

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#198 ronaldo
July 01 2009, 02:11PM
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@ Hocknee Fan

The situation with heatley is much different due to the way it went down. If he had let ottawa management know off the hop that no way was he coming to edmonton, then we wouldn't have gone though this cluster f over the last 24 hours. Roli was a free agent and can go or not go where he wants. You could make the argument HE is not being loyal to the team that gave him a great shot at being the #1 goaly, and gave him his best contract of his career.

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#199 Word
July 01 2009, 02:12PM
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The whole Heatley thing weirds me out. I have a hard time believing that he's the one stone-walling the trade. It just doesn't make sense for a player to request a trade, say they'll go to a particular place, then suddenly rely on the no-trade to kybosh the deal.

If that's the case, I'm with RB and we shouldn't even consider the bum... but the whole thing stinks of posturing and I can't help but wonder if it's actually Murray's doing.

I have a weird feeling that Murray was the one who shat the bed on when Heatley's bonus was due, then after discovering it, went to Heatley and said, "Will you go to the Oilersh? Don't need to deshide right away. Turnsh out we have another day and you might get other optionsh."

If that's the case, I can't blame Heatley for saying "Ok. Let's wait it out". Murray gets to shop around while making Heatley look like the villain. I don't think it's too fart fetched that Murray would pull something like that after the position Heatley put him in.

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#200 Tedley
July 01 2009, 02:14PM
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Bulin wall to the mighty Oil.

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