What Heatley Costs Now

Jonathan Willis
July 02 2009 11:39AM

murray

Bryan Murray is talking tough, but the Dany Heatley situation isn't quite as intransigent as he imagines it is.

From the Ottawa Citizen:

Now that the Ottawa Senators have given Dany Heatley his $4 million signing bonus, any deal for the disgruntled winger will have to offer the Senators a bigger return to reflect the payment, general manager Bryan Murray said Thursday morning. That means the tentative deal he had with the Oilers, even if Heatley were to accept a trade to Edmonton, would have to be rewritten. That deal would have brought Dustin Penner, Ladislav Smid, and Andrew Cogliano to the Senators.  Murray said he now needs more in return.

A couple of points, if I may:

  1. Whoever gets Heatley will assume his full cap hit; the Ottawa Senators are not going to be on the hook for that 4-million from a cap perspective.  In other words, Murray's not in a situation where he suddenly needs to send out 4-million worth of contracts (which was Bob McKenzie's insane suggestion last night) to the Oilers.  In other words, if the Oilers are going to kick more into this deal, it should be in the form of assets (a draft pick, or a prospect) rather than taking on more cap hit - which they already would be doing with the proposed package.
  2. Heatley's value is not improving as this situation goes on.  The Senators' pay to him just increased by 4-million, but if anything Heatley's value has diminished over the last week.  Murray needs to be very careful in how he handles this - assuming that at this point he is even interested in moving Heatley.
  3. Ottawa may not be on the hook for that four million dollars.  Bill Daly told Mark Spector in an email this morning that he believes Ottawa has strong grounds to file a greivance, which would see the four million transferred from Edmonton.  It's also entirely possible that the NHLPA would not stand in the way of such a greivance, as Heatley would still be getting his money.

With that in mind, I'd be fine with the Oilers offering Ottawa a conditional addition - if the greivance goes well, the initial package of Penner, Cogliano, and Smid is accepted by the Senators; if the greivance fails, Edmonton sends out a prospect or draft pick.

Regardless, the Oilers should not pay more money for an asset whose value just diminished.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 mattmarcin
July 02 2009, 11:42AM
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WTF GIVE IT UP!@

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#2 Jonathan Willis
July 02 2009, 11:44AM
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@ mattmarcin:

When Tambellini does, Matt. Because until he does, this is still something we need to know about.

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#3 mattmarcin
July 02 2009, 11:46AM
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I completely agree but I mean this is getting ridiculous, we all know Heatley told Murray he clearly will not waive his no trade clause to E-Town. Away from the media I would make a bet that Heater told Murray he will not play in Edmonton.

His ego is huge and he thinks that he needs to be in Cali or NY.

My opinion.

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#4 Greg MC
July 02 2009, 11:47AM
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Patience, we will end u0p with our douche lw.

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#5 Chris.
July 02 2009, 11:47AM
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I kinda still want Heatley... If only to enjoy the presser upon his arrival.

Whatever Tambellini offers, however, should reflect Heatleys probable trade value next offseason after a 29 goal campaign.

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#6 Doug
July 02 2009, 11:48AM
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@ Jonathan Willis: Hopefully he gives it up soon. I think we all agree on that.

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#7 The Towel Boy
July 02 2009, 11:48AM
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Thank you for this Jonathan. I've spent the morning trying to wrap my head around WTF Bob McKenzie was saying last night about Ottawa sending more players out. It just didn't make sense to me.

It also didn't make sense to me that all of a sudden Heatley is worth more. Bonuses are bonuses...doesn't make him any better of a player. As you suggest, if anything, this whole debacle makes him less valuable.

I like the idea of a small conditional toss in. The transferable bonus makes sense too.

In the end, though...what is Heatley's hesitation? Is it to create some ripples towards the Sens for some reason? Or is it actually that he really doesn't want to come to Edmonton?

Either way...all this crap aside...I will welcome his goal scoring ability with open arms should he decide to come to town, providing the cost isn't too great.

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#8 mattmarcin
July 02 2009, 11:48AM
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I agree but it wont happen!

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#9 myteammytown
July 02 2009, 11:49AM
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@ Chris.:

agreed

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#10 mattmarcin
July 02 2009, 11:49AM
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If he ever was going to waive his no trade clause to E-Town it would of happened already.

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#11 TIM S
July 02 2009, 11:54AM
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The fact that the Oilers have not walked away means that Heatley is giving them hope. They need to stay with it as long as they still have their eyes on other options. Signing a UFA yesterday was not really an option cap wise, so this is still our best and maybe only hope to pick up a goal scoring winger. Heatley agents could have easily told the Oilers no go and then the Sens would be faced with the option of Keeping him or dealing him somewhere he is willing to go. There is more to this whole story then what we are hearing and I have enough faith in Tambellini as a GM or I guess even just as a man to know when it is time to step away.

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#12 mattmarcin
July 02 2009, 11:58AM
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Hes not saying no so they start a bidding war! This is all planned and he wont end up in E-Town.

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#13 cambosmash
July 02 2009, 12:02PM
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Can't Batman just offer to buy a $4M piece of land from Melnyk? It's good to have land...

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#14 The Menace
July 02 2009, 12:06PM
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@ mattmarcin: Why would Heatley care about a bidding war? he gets paid the same regardless. He will end up on a better team, if the trading team doesn't have to send all thier best players over. That would work against him. Let's just wait this out and find out the real story before we jump to any conclusions about why he hasn't agreed to the trade yet.

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#15 Jonathan Willis
July 02 2009, 12:08PM
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Actually, a bidding war hurts Heatley's value by forcing the team he is joining to give up more assets, thus a) increasing the pressure on the player and b) making the team less likely to win.

Not that he's smart enough to know that.

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#16 Victoria
July 02 2009, 12:12PM
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I need a paper bag. This is just embarrassing now.

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#17 RossCreek
July 02 2009, 12:18PM
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dantencer Latest update from Oilers: Not set in stone that we hear from the management team today. 4 minutes ago from web cambosmash wrote:

Can’t Batman just offer to buy a $4M piece of land from Melnyk? It’s good to have land…

LOL

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#18 Cam
July 02 2009, 12:22PM
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I still would like to see how good Penner could be with a coach combo like Quinn and Renney. Penner may be a little lazy, but everyone agrees he is a good guy.

With that being the case, maybe Quinn and Renney motivate him to hustle his donair eating a$$ and he pots 30 and everyone can shutup with their "woe is me" bull$hit. If half our kids live up to their potential this team could surprise everyone... most of all the wimpy whiny fans in this city.

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#19 dumb
July 02 2009, 12:33PM
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@ Jonathan Willis: Murray has kind of shot himself in the foot by claiming that the Edmonton offer was the only legitimate offer he would consider. Now that Heatley won't waive to come here, every team that has interest knows that his value is less than what we were offering up. If that makes any sense to you.

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#20 Gerald R. Ford
July 02 2009, 12:36PM
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So, now that sportsnet.ca is reporting that the NHL is basically nudging the Sens to file a grievance...

http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/2009/07/02/murray_heatley/

...does that mean that the original deal could be back on the table? I don't get that report. You can file a grievance to circumvent the CBA? I thought money as a component of player transactions was strictly a no-no? Isn't that what that would amount to?

Boy, what a mess.

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#21 Jon Kerber
July 02 2009, 12:51PM
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I fail to see why our offer should increase. If anything it should decrease since there are no other offers on the table. There is literally no competition to bid against.

The other offers were frankly atrocious and I can't see the other teams increasing their offers since they've spent their cap space on free agents.

Take Cogliano off the table and tell Murray he can have another asset that's reasonable, obviously meaning no Hemsky, Cogliano, Gagner, or recent high pick prospects.

If he doesn't want that then walk away.

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#22 Penner's 2nd Chin
July 02 2009, 01:17PM
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Bob McKenzie's comment last night was hilariously wrong.

Heatley's value has gone DOWN (and continues to go down) because all this drama is reveling his douchebag personality. A good, team-first personality is worth money.

The $4M bonus that the Sens paid has increased Murray's EXPECTATIONS, but it hasn't increased Heatley's VALUE.

The way I see it, Tamby has all the power. He knows that he's the only 1 that has fielded a serious offer. And this was BEFORE Heatley's value diminished (explained above). Instead of adding a prospect/pick, I personally feel that Tamby should UNSWEETEN the offer. Replace Cogs with the more expensive PattyO or throw some more salary back to Ottawa in the form of a Staios.

If Murray turns that down, then he can enjoy dealing with this mess during the season. It's not like we should even want Heatley anymore (I don't think we should've pursued him from the start).

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#23 RossCreek
July 02 2009, 01:42PM
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Offer a similar package for Spezza instead. Him n Hemsky would be dyn-o-mite together.

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#24 Steve
July 02 2009, 02:26PM
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@ Cam:

Well put! I can honestly say that Penner will be a completely different player this coming season as will Nilsson....pretty sure alot of Oiler faithful understand why!

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#25 EMAC
July 02 2009, 02:48PM
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@ Cam:

I agree. I think Penner will pot 30 goals under Quinn. He wont be in the doghouse and should get quality ice time with the top line. That being said, I'd rather have the spoiled Heatley, because at worst he'll have 30.

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#26 Harlie
July 02 2009, 03:39PM
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is it ironic..

that Heatley has been named on the Olympic Orientation Camp Roster and he doesn't want to play for a Canadian team?

or that Hockey Canada is willing to ignore his off ice issues and still want him on their team?

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#27 Librarian Mike
July 02 2009, 04:14PM
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Harlie wrote:

is it ironic.. that Heatley has been named on the Olympic Orientation Camp Roster and he doesn’t want to play for a Canadian team? or that Hockey Canada is willing to ignore his off ice issues and still want him on their team?

Well, I can't say I'm surprised. They did after all welcome Bertuzzi with open arms after he crippled Steve Moore. When it comes to the national team, it's 'just win baby'.

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#28 Hemmertime
July 02 2009, 04:57PM
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You cant punish players for what they do in the NHL for international. He is our highest international scoring FW ever and never rejects a WHC invite. He deserves to be there.

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#29 Archaeologuy
July 02 2009, 07:10PM
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Now that many of the teams looking to acquire a top flight forward have filled their positions with UFAs hasnt Heatley's value dropped? Why would Murray receive more? If anything he should get less. Who are the Oilers outbidding with their package? Not the Rangers. San Jose? I still havent heard who they offered. This whole thing is ridiculous and shouldnt be going forward at all. And Dany Heatley screwing over 2 Canadian teams and 2 sets of Canadian Fans SHOULD be at least considered before he is asked to wear the Maple Leaf again.

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#30 Dan
July 02 2009, 11:18PM
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@ The Towel Boy: The Towel Boy wrote:

Thank you for this Jonathan. I’ve spent the morning trying to wrap my head around WTF Bob McKenzie was saying last night about Ottawa sending more players out. It just didn’t make sense to me.

I took this to mean that Edmonton could take back Jason Smith to star on the second defensive pairing in Springfield. They pay his salary, but no cap hit.

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