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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#1 DBO
July 01 2009, 10:35AM
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here here Robin. Gregor is solid, manned up when it went south and reported from a trusted source who has never steered him worng that it was done. I mean the Oil thought it was done so much that they told Penner adn Cogliano they were dealt. Walk away tambellini, just walk away.

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#2 Fiveandagame
July 01 2009, 10:39AM
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Dany Boy oh Dany boy...

You gotta think this sours his league reputation and possibly his olympic team spot?

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#3 RobInALab
July 01 2009, 10:40AM
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I liked that summary, Robin.

Here's my current wish:

The league investigates, finding out that the Sens did not bargain in good faith, and hands the Oilers the Sens 2010 1st round draft pick in compensation. It's time this underhanded crap gets stopped through repercussions.

I'm mad at Heatley, but I'm infinitely more angry at the Sens and the NHL. As far as Jason goes, I don't shoot the messenger.

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#4 RT26
July 01 2009, 10:43AM
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What's saddest of all to me is that Edmonton, the city, once again looks terrible in this. Players act like they are being sent to Siberia.

Run the other way. If we DO land him, chances are he'll ask for another trade in 18 to 24 months anyways. Besides, if Heatley doesn't like pressure and wants the anonymity of NY, he likely won't be what we need anyways.

Maybe we need to start over, draft strong and bring up players who are happy to be here.

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#5 RossCreek
July 01 2009, 10:43AM
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Hossa is close to signing in Chicago...says TSN.

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#6 Coles
July 01 2009, 10:46AM
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This situation is definitely a "cluster blank" as Gregor described it last night. Heatley asks for a trade and has a list of teams that he is willing to go to. Why would Ottawa not make him sign on some dotted line that says, "If I am traded to one of the teams listed below, consider my no trade clause waived." At that point, Ottawa is free to go get the best deal possible. To make a deal and then go back to the player seems ludicrous. If that sort of arrangement was in existence and now Heatley has backed out by "sleeping on it" shame on him. The NHLPA needs to reign their players in regarding situations like this. As a result of his actions, Heatley has left three of his association brothers (Penner, Cogliano, and Smid) twisting in the wind. If this is the case, Oiler brass and Oiler fans be thankful. Do we really want someone of that kind of make up on our team? It makes for great reading and listening but will not be productive for the team on the ice.

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#7 Librarian Mike
July 01 2009, 10:46AM
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Who would have guessed that at the end of the day, Alexi Yashin is the SECOND most selfish and greedy player that has ever played for the Senators. I agree with you Robin that the last thing we want to be is a star player's (thanks for the quote, Sean) sloppy seconds.

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#8 Archaeologuy
July 01 2009, 10:51AM
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I hope that Tambi can add somebody via free agency and he an pull the plug on the deal.

If he decides he wants to be an Oiler then fine. See you in Camp Heatley, try not to pout too much. The damage is already done, but if he gets here raving about how much he loves Edmonton and scores between 40 and 50 goals i will conveniently forget this whole problem.

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#9 Factotum
July 01 2009, 10:52AM
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Agreed on all counts, Robin. Thank you for being a voice of reason.

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#10 Ogden Brother
July 01 2009, 10:55AM
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Agreed on all accounts.

Oiler mngt: Back away from the trade, make a few small moves and continue to build through the draft

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#11 OilersFan4Life
July 01 2009, 10:55AM
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This whole thing is a mess and i do not blame Gregor in any way shape or form. If we do land Heatley, great! lets welcome him and watch him thrive with Hemmer having a sniper he can feed pucks to. But The Oilers need an answer now or run away so they can focus on Cammalleri or Havlat and get something done. This is going to be interesting to see how this unfolds.....

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#12 freeze
July 01 2009, 10:55AM
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We are all way too emotional about all this. I'm as sick as anyone of the free agent drama but whatever. Let's trade all the vets and do a proper rebuild.

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#13 Hemmertime
July 01 2009, 10:59AM
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I feel dirty and used, I need a shower.

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#14 DonDon
July 01 2009, 11:00AM
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It may be others outside the organization that are to blame for the Heatley screw-up; however,the Oilers franchise and the City of Edmonton once again have their reputations tarnished as both are seen to represent the Siberia of the NHL. In the meantime, the Calgary Flames sign Boumeester, an Edmontonian, without any complications and will find a way to fit him into their very tight salary cap by unloading extraneous salaries. Doesn't seem fair. And looking ahead, Tambellini has the challenge of making the Oilers a contender for the playoffs through free agency this season. Hanging over his head are an array of soft players, toxic contracts and a definite reduction in the salary cap for 2010-2011! What a tough job. I wonder what Darryl Katz is thinking right now.

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#15 Milli
July 01 2009, 11:02AM
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Another kick in the nuts. I say walk away from this little whiner. I want a no trade, i want 7 mil, now i want a trade, but not there, or there, maybe there. Makes you wonder what is wrong with these PRIMADONNA athletes.

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#16 Hemmertime
July 01 2009, 11:04AM
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*Raises my hand

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#17 Archaeologuy
July 01 2009, 11:04AM
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DonDon wrote:

I wonder what Darryl Katz is thinking right now.

I think it goes a little like this... "Ok, settle down Katzy we can do this. Just text Bob Stauffer and wait for confirmation that I'm the greatest owner in the world."

or

"I wonder, if i buy all the season tickets in Phoenix will the Cap go up next year?"

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#18 Hemmertime
July 01 2009, 11:07AM
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IF Heatley comes here, and IF he demands a trade in 2 years we are not bound by his NMC. Do the deal

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#19 RossCreek
July 01 2009, 11:08AM
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@ Coles: Did Grefor really say 'clusterf*ck' last night. Ooops ;-)

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#20 RossCreek
July 01 2009, 11:10AM
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Biron to Oil?

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#21 OilersFan4Life
July 01 2009, 11:12AM
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*really needs to get out of my Oilers jammies and get out and enjoy Canada Day, but cant seem to tear myself away from the computer and TSN and feeling trapped in the drama*

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#22 RossCreek
July 01 2009, 11:14AM
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If I'm the Oil, I'd be calling Philli up about Simon Gagne right about now.

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#23 RossCreek
July 01 2009, 11:15AM
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Anyone know if/how to get tsn2 on internet?

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#24 RossCreek
July 01 2009, 11:15AM
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TSN reporting Colton Orr has agreed to a 4 year deal with the Leafs. 4 years/ 4 mil

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#25 Smokin' Ray
July 01 2009, 11:17AM
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let me check for you RossCreek

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#26 Smokin' Ray
July 01 2009, 11:18AM
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No. I have one site I go to. But it's not on there. Sorry.

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#27 Librarian Mike
July 01 2009, 11:19AM
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RossCreek wrote:

TSN reporting Colton Orr has agreed to a 4 year deal with the Leafs. 4 years/ 4 mil

Way to make the big splash there, Jurkie. I know we're not in any position to judge, but lashing out at Toronto dulls the embarrassment and pain.

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#28 Jodes
July 01 2009, 11:19AM
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Yes another kick in the nuts by far.

What I'm most concerned about are the holes in this team that haven't been filled in years, and its looking like they won't be filled anytime soon.

Its going to be a long, long summer..

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#29 rob
July 01 2009, 11:22AM
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Hour and a half in and nothing from us, suprise suprise!

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#30 patty
July 01 2009, 11:22AM
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@ RossCreek: here's a low quality feed, its the only one I've found so far: hxxp://www.ustream.tv/channel/leafs-nation-live

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#31 Dean
July 01 2009, 11:23AM
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RossCreek wrote:

@ Coles: Did Grefor really say ‘clusterf*ck’ last night. Ooops

No he actually said "it is a cluster Blank right now" ..was pretty funny...

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#32 RossCreek
July 01 2009, 11:26AM
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@ patty: thanks @ Smokin' Ray: thanks to you to

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#33 nickxero
July 01 2009, 11:28AM
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I thought the "embarassed of being an Oiler fan" days were supposed to be behind me....

Sigh. We HAVE the money. Nobody wants to come here.

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#34 Archaeologuy
July 01 2009, 11:28AM
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I really appreciate the way Heatley also was non commital about making his decision before Free Agency began. Really awesome.

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#35 Sweet Jimmy K
July 01 2009, 11:31AM
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Sportsnet:

Toronto Star reporting that Toronto GM Brian Burke flew to Sweden today to present an offer to the Sedin twins

BWAAAAAHAHAHAHA, that is awesome, It would be funny if he landed and got a message on his Blackberry, telling him the news. No return flights for a couple hours, and he would just be swearing about how he is missing out on the fun.

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#36 patty
July 01 2009, 11:34AM
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Dean wrote:

RossCreek wrote: @ Coles: Did Grefor really say ‘clusterf*ck’ last night. Ooops No he actually said “it is a cluster Blank right now” ..was pretty funny…

During the confusion, he said there was some 'clerical shit' tying up the trade and sounded super fired up about the whole mess. It sounds like JP Barry said that Heater would waive it, then he didn't actually waive it and left his agent and some of the media hanging. Fun drama.

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#37 Chris
July 01 2009, 11:35AM
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Sweet Jimmy K wrote:

Toronto Star reporting that Toronto GM Brian Burke flew to Sweden today to present an offer to the Sedin twins

LOL!

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#38 Smokin' Ray
July 01 2009, 11:37AM
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Would the Oilers take back Erik Cole?

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#39 Milli
July 01 2009, 11:38AM
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thanks for the feed

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#40 Hemmertime
July 01 2009, 11:39AM
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Smokin' Ray wrote:

Would the Oilers take back Erik Cole?

I wouldnt mind him if he took a big pay cut

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#41 SierraRacs
July 01 2009, 11:39AM
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I think we need to take the long road on rebuilding and stop looking for the quick (and expensive) fix. The big complaint from the 90's was that we could never keep the players we developed. Now we have an owner who can step up and ensure that the players we develop will stay here. Look at what some of teams are doing today, signing players to home town discounts. How are they able to do this? They developed them and did everything to make them happy (ala Sedin twins in Vancouver and most of the Detroit Red Wings).

A couple of years back (summer of '07) agent Rich Winter, was discussing the pros and cons of a single owner for the Oilers. He made a couple of arguments for a single owner for the Oilers as that person would be able to convince players to stay here. Key was not to bring players here, but to start with keeping players. He directly referenced the Red Wings and owner Mike Ilitch as the role model for a single owner and what this person can do to have a positive effect with player personel.

Winter commented that Ilitch was able to take a player/family out to play a round of golf, dinner, etc. This would make the player and their family feel so comfortable working for the organization that they would do anything to stay.

What was the hallmark of the player's who had to leave the Oilers in the 90's? 'This is such a great organization and I don't want to leave but they can't afford me.' We had a single owner, Peter Pocklington, who was very popular with the players and management. They would do just about anything for him. (Slats recently posted a million dollar bond for Pocklington)

Rich Winter was commenting that having so many owners made it impossible for the players to make any connections with them. They would never know if they were talking to someone who had a say within the group.

Winter also referenced that with the cap the Oilers would now be able to get players, Pronger/Peca, but unless there was a face that these players could connect with as an owner they would be prone to leave.

I always thought it interesting that a player agent was openly discussing clients not maximizing their value to stay with a good thing.

All in all, I really think we need to develop what we have, bring in reasonably priced players who want to play and then keep these players happy.

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#42 Robin Brownlee
July 01 2009, 11:39AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

I really appreciate the way Heatley also was non commital about making his decision before Free Agency began. Really awesome.

Exactly. It's all about Dany. Like I said, I've got my fingers crossed that Tambellni is working the phones today looking to make other deals. I'd be stunned if he isn't, but I'm not able to get much from anybody who could say for sure. if Tambellini can strike another deal while Heatley bides his time, then he has to decide whether to pull the trigger on it knowing that Heatley might later agree to come to Edmonton and that any deal he's made in the meantime could be impacted. If it's me, I make a deal and then phone Murray and tell him the offer is off the table. Have a nice day.

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#43 Oilersordeath
July 01 2009, 11:40AM
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Good news is that Sedin girlies sign for 5 years in Van = no Cup for Van for at least 5 years!

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#44 Oilerguyforlife
July 01 2009, 11:40AM
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This just in the oilers have traded horcoff and penner for heatley and spezza oh no wait they both nixed the deal saying they would rather play in Nashville so they can listen to I like I love it I want some more of it every time they score a goal lmao

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#45 RossCreek
July 01 2009, 11:42AM
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darenmillard TWiTTER it was reported by tsn that ohlunds money was 24.5, but it's 26.25.. front loaded.. that cash and breakdown on the way..

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#46 RossCreek
July 01 2009, 11:48AM
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Dreger reporting Hossa to Chicago done.

Burke is in Sweden to talk with Jonas Gustavsson.

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#47 Mike76
July 01 2009, 11:49AM
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Time to ochestrate a 3 three way deal with San Jose or NYR getting Heatley, Ottawa getting our three guys and a package to Edmonton that includes a top six forward and a goalie.

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#48 socaldave
July 01 2009, 11:50AM
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@ Robin Brownlee:

good call Robin! I'm hoping the other 28 GM's not involved in this Heatley saga are seeing what the Oilers are willing to part with (Cogs and Smid good, Pens kinda bad), and calling Tambo with offers.

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#49 RossCreek
July 01 2009, 11:50AM
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Daren Millard reporting Craig Anderson to Colorado done.

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#50 Librarian Mike
July 01 2009, 11:52AM
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@ Robin Brownlee:

I wonder if Heatley realizes that he is jeapordizing his entire career with this garbage. I suppose there's the 'greater fool theory' to fall back on, but based on what I've been hearing GMs are avoiding him like swine flu. How much longer before Heatley invites the media to his driveway to watch him work out?

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