Limbo: spin to come?

Robin Brownlee
July 06 2009 03:43PM

heatleys-choice

By keeping quiet and not saying "no" to the Edmonton Oilers, Dany Heatley has left himself an out should he run out of options and end up having to shake hands with GM Steve Tambellini.

Having asked the Ottawa Senators for a trade, only to refuse to waive his no-movement clause in subsequent days after Tambellini and Ottawa GM Bryan Murray put together a package that would've shipped Dustin Penner, Andrew Cogliano and Ladislav Smid to the Sens, Heatley's taken his fair share of abuse.

Heatley did, after all, rebuff Tambellini and president of hockey operations Kevin Lowe when they jetted to Kelowna to meet with him. That inflamed Oilers fans and caused more than a few commentators, myself included, to suggest it's for the best. I stand by that.

But what Heatley hasn't done through any of this is unequivocally say, "No" to the Oilers, to the trade, to the city. He hasn't made any firm decision and has avoided any statement on the situation.

That's his out. Should Heatley realize he has no other options, and with a return to Ottawa not in the cards now that Alexei Kovalev has been signed by the Senators, I suspect we'll be reminded of that if, in the next, say, 48 hours, he reluctantly gives Tambellini's deal his blessing.

The spin will begin.

Let me sleep on it

I can envision the Heatley news conference now...

TAMBELLINI: "We're very happy to announce we've acquired Dany Heatley from the Ottawa Senators. Dany is a great player and his resume both in the NHL and international play is stellar. This wasn't an easy deal to get done, but trades of this magnitude take time. We're very happy."

HEATLEY: "I'm extremely happy to be a member of the Edmonton Oilers. This is a storied franchise with a proud and successful history and I can't say how thrilled I am to be a part of it."

REPORTER: "Dany, what took so damn long?"

HEATLEY: "Decisions of this scope take a lot of thought. I didn't want to rush into anything. I wanted to be sure. It wasn't so much looking at other options as it was a matter of making sure Edmonton would be right for me and I'd be right for Edmonton. Remember, I never said no to Mr. Tambellini, I just didn't say yes."

REPORTER: "So you weren't waiting for a trade offer from the New York Rangers or the Los Angeles Kings?"

HEATLEY: "Those are great cities and great franchises as well, but, in the end, Edmonton was the best option. I'm very happy to be an Oiler."

Moving on

You know my thoughts on Heatley, so there's no need to regurgitate them yet again. The more I think about the situation, especially with the signing of Kovalev, the more I can see it unfolding this way.

I don't see other options for Heatley, at least not options that will be acceptable to Murray. That leaves me with the sneaking suspicion we could very well see Heatley bite his lip and polish his spin in preparation for an announcement this deal is done.

Those who have wanted Heatley all along will rejoice. Those who've cast a wary glance Heatley's way since the trade was leaked will continue to give him the stink eye. Those who jumped on the "it's a bad idea" bandwagon later on? Who knows what side of the fence they'll come down on.

Say what you want about Heatley, he isn't stupid. While actions should speak louder than words, his silence has left him an out, and the benefit of the doubt, with the people who want him here.

"I'm happy to be an Oiler..."

-- 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 The Towel Boy
July 06 2009, 08:48PM
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@ The Menace: @ 99thoilerfan:

Look what we've been reduced to...arguing about the rules and regulations of Safeway's Million Dollar Score and Win contest.

HEATLEY!! LOOK AT WHAT YOU'VE DONE!!!

...just sign the papers man...sign them.

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#152 Archaeologuy
July 06 2009, 08:52PM
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@ The Towel Boy: Does anyone have any guesses as to what terrible puns Gene Principe will be using when he brings this situation up next season.

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#153 99thoilerfan
July 06 2009, 08:54PM
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The Towel Boy wrote:

@ The Menace: @ 99thoilerfan: Look what we’ve been reduced to…arguing about the rules and regulations of Safeway’s Million Dollar Score and Win contest. HEATLEY!! LOOK AT WHAT YOU’VE DONE!!! …just sign the papers man…sign them.

So I do have to tell you..

The Wife won one of those 47" Sharp Flat LCD units

The boys at work said it was nice to meet someone who ever won something from them. Very Nice Unit FREE!

*she even let's we watch games on it sometimes, when she is out of town, and such.

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#154 Ogden Brother
July 06 2009, 08:54PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

@ Ogden Brother: It doesnt make any sense to give him more. If anything the Oilers should be offering less. There are less potential suitors for Heatley, The Cap is hurting, Heatley’s character has been cut to shreds by the media and hockey insiders (eg. Hextall), and The Sens just picked up more salary with Kovalev. None of this points to adding more to the price of acquiring Dany Heatley. This has been my problem with the whole thing all along. The Oilers seem to be the only team willing to give up 3 roster players, 2 of which are very young and have lots of potential still. If they add to the package it would be ludicrous.

Yup

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#155 99thoilerfan
July 06 2009, 08:57PM
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..but if you see her, don't say I said that..ok?

Thanks brother

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#156 heavyd
July 06 2009, 08:58PM
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I think somewhere in Kelowna Heatly is laughing at this.

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#157 Ogden Brother
July 06 2009, 08:58PM
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99thoilerfan wrote:

..but if you see her, don’t say I said that..ok? Thanks brother

No worries

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#158 Duke
July 06 2009, 08:59PM
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@ Archaeologuy:

I look forward to hearing howLouie Debrusk fits in the Remax shpiel about "Dany Heatley finding Edmonton really is the Perfect Place".

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#159 Doug
July 06 2009, 09:00PM
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Well as much as I wish the Oilers had just pursued other options at left wing if Heatley ends up here and gives the type of press conference Brownlee envisions I will cheer the move.

But i wouldn't be surprised if in a year or two he's trying to sneak out of here on the next flight to New York.

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#160 Jason Gregor
July 06 2009, 09:06PM
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Harry Merkin wrote:

Thanks Gregor love the show and love hearing reading your stuff on the here. Has Wanye invited you to come golfing at the club yet? If he hasnt tell him you have an open invitation from Harry Merkin and see what he says.

Perfect. Part of my contract was that I don't have to associate with Wanye in public, except at his press conference when he announces that he has started a rival league for the NHL. That probably won't happen until 2019, so golfing it is.

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#161 The Towel Boy
July 06 2009, 09:07PM
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@ Archaeologuy:

Let me try...

Gene Principe: There's a new Dan in town and his arrival this past summer was of heated debate. yaddya yaddya yadda fugettaboutit blah blah blah.

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#162 99thoilerfan
July 06 2009, 09:11PM
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The Towel Boy wrote:

@ Archaeologuy: Let me try… Gene Principe: There’s a new Dan in town and his arrival this past summer was of heated debate. yaddya yaddya yadda fugettaboutit blah blah blah.

THE PROOF! It is true!

Towel Boy is really.....GENE PRINCIPE!

Of Course! It was right in front of us all the time !

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#163 The Towel Boy
July 06 2009, 09:13PM
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@ 99thoilerfan:

Your wife won the 47" Sharp Aquos 1080p HD LCD TV courtesy of Safeway's Million Dollar Score and Win contest™?

I thought it was cool when someone from my hometown won a 13 pc set of Jazz golfclubs...that's not cool anymore now that I know someone who's wife won the 47" Sharp Aquos 1080p HD LCD TV courtesy of Safeway's Million Dollar Score and Win contest™.

Dany, if you're reading this, I think I speak for everyone when I say that we would prefer to be discussing something other than the Safeway Million Dollar Score and Win contest™ so please, if you can find it in your heart...sign the papers or tell Tambo to eff off so we can move on. kthxbye.

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#164 oilersseasonticketholdersince99
July 06 2009, 09:16PM
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Robin,Gregor can you let us know what the problem is with this Oiler organization? Has K Lowe pissed off everyone with what he did to Comrie and then the offer sheets? Do we have have a bad rap? what is the difference between Calgary and Edmonton? How can they get the players they want and we cant get anyone to want to come and play here with out over paying,I thought by changing the GM and bringing in a new coaching staff it would help.what skeltons do we have in our closet? This was once a proud organization and we are a great hockey city, as a season seat holder it gets very frustrating when you see that players dont want to come here Hossa,Heatley etc, when will this all end? I dont buy the winning team theory, we are three years removed from the Stanley cup final, there must be more to this than that.

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#165 99thoilerfan
July 06 2009, 09:18PM
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@ The Towel Boy:

Er.. Maybe not the score and win itself...

It might of been the summer promo, the one with the Smart car ? So it might not have been Score and win..

But it was Fine Wonderful Experience all in all..

Great folks at Safeway, yep.... Get Air miles too..

Dany ! Come on Home now! It's getting late, and it is a School night! You can play with you friends tomorrow!

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#166 The Towel Boy
July 06 2009, 09:26PM
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@ 99thoilerfan:

...oh...

...I feel so used....

Dany? I feel used. Just want you to know that.

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#167 ronaldo
July 06 2009, 09:31PM
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Wow, log off for a few hours and we've all been sent back in time one week- minus the cool DeLorean. *mind wanders dreaming about taking DeLorean back to 1984.*

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#168 RossCreek
July 06 2009, 09:36PM
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Nice to see Perry Pearn back in the NHL mix. And Cam Barker signed rather than wait and see what happens? I mean, the other guys i could see, but Barker would've landed a bigger deal as a UFA, no?

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#169 Vaclav
July 06 2009, 09:49PM
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RossCreek wrote:

Nice to see Perry Pearn back in the NHL mix. And Cam Barker signed rather than wait and see what happens? I mean, the other guys i could see, but Barker would’ve landed a bigger deal as a UFA, no?

Hopefully Barker's contract sets the bar for Grebs. I'd be very happy if they got Denis inked for 3-years and $9.25M.

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#170 Hemmertime
July 06 2009, 09:51PM
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Poll up to 49% on wanting Heatley. Nice. This stuff happens all the time in the NHL - who knows if Big Joe was offered for Heatley but refused to waive his NTC? No one, you know why? SJ has quality management. I lay all of this crap firmly at Bryan Murrays feet. Was he playing us to increase NYR offer or vice versa? Why did our offer come out to the public - when the other player hadnt waived NMC and Murray knew it? So many questions, and with all of Murrays posturing and comments to the media vs relative silence from Heatleys camp who do you think is more likely to spill the beans?

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#171 Hemmertime
July 06 2009, 10:20PM
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@ Bob Stauffer: Dont see enough of you on here, quality stuff when we do.

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#172 MattL
July 06 2009, 10:20PM
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Most importantly, why can there only be ONE million dollar winner PER CONTEST PERIOD?!! Why are they trying to scam us like this?! When Pisani drops back to back five-goal-games, someone's gonna have some 'splainin' to do.

I'm looking at you, Safeway.

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#173 Hemmertime
July 06 2009, 10:22PM
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RossCreek wrote:

So do sources F with Eklund for fun or does he just throw out wacky rumors out of his brain?

I always thought this too, If I was Havlat and about to sign my Minnesota contract Id call up good ol Eklund and tell him Return to CHI Imminent!

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#174 oilerzz
July 06 2009, 10:31PM
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probably been asked but does anyone know if the oil have any other irons in the fire or a plan B or C when and if this goes sour again ? ... last year this team hitched itself to the shiny hossa i have a bad feeling they are doing the same thing this year with heatley... ok drinking game anytime anyone post heatley take a drink ... but go back to page 1

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#175 Ogden Brother
July 06 2009, 10:34PM
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oilersseasonticketholdersince99 wrote:

Robin,Gregor can you let us know what the problem is with this Oiler organization? Has K Lowe pissed off everyone with what he did to Comrie and then the offer sheets? Do we have have a bad rap? what is the difference between Calgary and Edmonton? How can they get the players they want and we cant get anyone to want to come and play here with out over paying,I thought by changing the GM and bringing in a new coaching staff it would help.what skeltons do we have in our closet? This was once a proud organization and we are a great hockey city, as a season seat holder it gets very frustrating when you see that players dont want to come here Hossa,Heatley etc, when will this all end? I dont buy the winning team theory, we are three years removed from the Stanley cup final, there must be more to this than that.

Always looking for every excuse in the book, out of 30 top cities in NA Edmonton is near the bottom of the list. Just face facts, the Oil will ALWAYS be a very tough sell for top end guys.

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#176 leftwinger9
July 06 2009, 10:56PM
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Gregor touched on this topic last week. If you were a multi-millionaire athlete, where would Edmonton be on your list of destinations?

Detroit has it figured out. Aside from its plush suburbs, it is a cesspool and the murder capitol of the western hemisphere. How do they attract top talent? THEY WIN, year after year after year (good drafting doesn't hurt either)!

The mighty Oil have to draft well, make smart mid-level personnel decisions, and YES, overpay for top-end talent until we create a winning culture.

Here's hoping Heatley in - Penner out is the 1st step!

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#177 David S
July 06 2009, 11:06PM
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The Menace wrote:

@ heavyd: @ The Towel Boy: Who Saw This Coming? After reading the rules and regs, I think the Towel Boy has you dead to rights on this one. Your friend the courtesy clerk might have been trying to pull a fast one on you.

The precedent for the correct response in a situation such as this has been set at: "YOU ARE WRONG".

Couldn't resist.

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#178 esa tikkanen
July 06 2009, 11:10PM
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Does anyone here know if Heatley kills penalties? Strange question considering he is not known to be good defensively, but he has averaged 20 minutes per night the last few seasons. How do you do that as a forward if you aren't killing penalties?

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#179 Reggie
July 06 2009, 11:15PM
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@ esa tikkanen: With 8 minutes a night of PP time ... :o)

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#180 Ogden Brother
July 06 2009, 11:34PM
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leftwinger9 wrote:

Gregor touched on this topic last week. If you were a multi-millionaire athlete, where would Edmonton be on your list of destinations? Detroit has it figured out. Aside from its plush suburbs, it is a cesspool and the murder capitol of the western hemisphere. How do they attract top talent? THEY WIN, year after year after year (good drafting doesn’t hurt either)! The mighty Oil have to draft well, make smart mid-level personnel decisions, and YES, overpay for top-end talent until we create a winning culture. Here’s hoping Heatley in - Penner out is the 1st step!

Agreed to a point, but you see way to many guys moving from solid teams to crap teams to simply think the consistant 10th - 7th place finishes are keeping the big fish away.

Also: to the Det point, it's not like they are getting thier top end players to take big discounts, Rafalski came for a healthy 6 million, Stuarts 3.75 is not cheap for a #3 guy and sure Hossa left some $$ on the table vs the Oiler offer, but he made roughly the same in Det that he was offerd in Pits, heck Hossa's salary was still in the top 10 last year, he's good but I don't think he's a top 10 player.

Lidstrom is second to only Chara for Defensive salary (by 50,000/year). Datsyuk signed a few years back when the cap was alot lower... I'm not sure where he ranked then, but he's still in the top 15 for forwards so I'm confident it was probably a top 10 salary when he signed. Even Zett and Franzen were more cap minipulation the "deals". Hank is making close to 8 million next year and Franzen is at 5.5.

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#181 Hemmertime
July 06 2009, 11:36PM
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leftwinger9 wrote:

Detroit has it figured out.

They are also very loyal to their players. Players know Detroit wont cast them aside

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#182 Jodes
July 07 2009, 12:10AM
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@ 99thoilerfan:

Nice..

I won one of them fancy $250 Bulova watches a few years back through one of them Safeway contests..

I guess they do have winners out west! lol

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#183 Phil
July 07 2009, 12:29AM
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The Towel Boy wrote:

@ Archaeologuy: Let me try… Gene Principe: There’s a new Dan in town and his arrival this past summer was of heated debate. yaddya yaddya yadda fugettaboutit blah blah blah.

LUHLZ.

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#184 Jason Gregor
July 07 2009, 12:41AM
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oilersseasonticketholdersince99 wrote:

I dont buy the winning team theory, we are three years removed from the Stanley cup final, there must be more to this than that.

There are many things, but if they had won division titles a few years in a row, then players might want to come here, but more importantly if they won a few titles they clearly would have good players, so they wouldn't have to go out and pray to land the big fish.

Any team that gets the big UFA's normally overpays. Briere, Gomez, Drury all get gross money a few years back. Guys like Gionta get $5 million on the open market.

Detroit pays the guys that produce big bucks, and the rest fall in line. Edmonton's problem is their big bucks are spent on Horcoff and Penner right now and that hurts. They did a good job of locking up Hemsky, Gilbert to long deals, and I suspect they will do the same with Gagner next summer.

The fact is they need to develop some stars. Calgary has Iginla, Phaneuf and Regehr. I know they traded for Iggy and Regehr, but they've only played in the show for the Flames.

And Calgary has traded for J-Bo and Jokinen, stole Kiprusoff, but have they landed a big free agent? I guess J-Bo on a technicality, but they haven't landed any other big ones.

Who has Vancouver landed? A fossil-like Mats Sundin?

The Sens biggest free agent in recent memory was Kovalev today. Is he any bigger than Souray or Khabibulin?

The Habs overpaid for some guys this year, and ate Gomez's horrible contract. All the canadian teams have a iffy record in free agency, the Oilers are no different.

It is hard to get bang for your buck in free agency, so a trade is better.

Souray comes here, Khabibulin comes here..Vanek agreed to the offer sheet to come...Penner came... It's not like Edmonton hasn't attracted any, it just seems that most only focus on the Human Rake (who did agree to come, and then an alleged wondering eye cost him) or now Heatley.

If the Oilers land Heatley, and then you include, Visnovsky, Souray and Khabibulin in the past three years. That isn't a bad track record, now if they could only win more than they lose.

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#185 kingsblade
July 07 2009, 01:15AM
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Just read this on Sportsnet:

Retarded capacity wrote:

the front line center is coming, Last report I heard is that Cogliano & Souray were names mentioned in a deal to the Kings for Kopitar & Johnson.
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#186 kingsblade
July 07 2009, 01:16AM
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where the hell do people get ideas like that?

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#187 Hemmertime
July 07 2009, 01:31AM
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GM Bryan Murray confirmed that he had another conversation with the Oilers on Monday, but he's not spoken with Heatley's agents in the past few days to see if his camp has changed their mind about playing in Edmonton.

"There's nothing new. I did talk to Edmonton one more time today. They are like we are - in a holding pattern," said Murray. "They still seem quite interested. Certainly I don't know if an acceptance to Edmonton is there or not."

hxxp://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/2009/07/06/mendes_oilers_heatley/

Me Thinks Mr.Brownlee is a god send to us meager bloggers.

Hear the words "Dany Heatley is now an Edmonton Oiler"...

You're a liar if you didnt smile*

*and your name is not Robin

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#188 DonovanMD
July 07 2009, 02:57AM
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Will people be wary of buying Heatley Oil jerseys if this goes down? Haha, he does have the contract, but history says...

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#189 Boundz
July 07 2009, 06:23AM
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I read this article and comments last night and had a flurry of Oilers/Heatly thoughts while I slept... does that mean I am sick in the head, or simply torn about the idea of giving up on Cogs/Smid?

Get Heatley. End the story. Move forward, and continue to groom the young guns. I need to sleep well this week.

B

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#190 Robin Brownlee
July 07 2009, 07:35AM
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Boundz wrote:

I read this article and comments last night and had a flurry of Oilers/Heatly thoughts while I slept… does that mean I am sick in the head

Depends what the thoughts were, sailor . . .

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#191 Boundz
July 07 2009, 07:39AM
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@ Robin Brownlee: LOL - touche! I guess I should have qualified my thoughts...

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#192 DanMan
July 07 2009, 07:54AM
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Robin, how often in the last, say, 15-18 years have we even had the OPPORTUNITY to trade for a former 50-goal man?

Most of the time I'm on board with you, you are probably my favourite media man in town, But on this situation I'm just cannot agree with you.

One year of Pronger is better than no years of Pronger. Same goes for #15.

This is an opportunity and I think we have to continue to aggressively pursue it.

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#193 Dave
July 07 2009, 08:02AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Souray comes here, Khabibulin comes here..Vanek agreed to the offer sheet to come…Penner came… It’s not like Edmonton hasn’t attracted any, it just seems that most only focus on the Human Rake (who did agree to come, and then an alleged wondering eye cost him) or now Heatley.

Are you saying the Rake rumblings were true?

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#194 Oilman
July 07 2009, 08:04AM
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alleged - nice catch!

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#195 Jason Gregor
July 07 2009, 08:07AM
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Dave wrote:

Are you saying the Rake rumblings were true?

Dave I don't know anyone who actually spoke with a girl that was pregnant. What I do know for sure is the Christy Chorley was NOT ever a part of it. That was the biggest false rumour.

We are not going to start gossip on here about that again. The point was players have come here.

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#196 Oilman
July 07 2009, 08:08AM
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Jodes wrote:

@ 99thoilerfan: Nice.. I won one of them fancy $250 Bulova watches a few years back through one of them Safeway contests.. I guess they do have winners out west! lol

I guess no one is seeing the big picture here - if Heatley came to Edmonton, there might be a ligit shot at someone winning the Safeway $1million "if any Oiler scores 5 goals in tonight's game"...bet they change the contest to 7 goals after the trade.

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#197 Robin Brownlee
July 07 2009, 08:16AM
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DanMan wrote:

Most of the time I’m on board with you, you are probably my favourite media man in town, But on this situation I’m just cannot agree with you.

That's fine. Where somebody stands on a situation like this and why is up to debate. And, let's face it, fans don't look at the situation with as cold and objective an eye as media folk do. Like I've said before, there's no denying what Heatley brings on the ice. The way I see it, a 40-50 goal guy like Heatley is the perfect addition to a team that's laden with veteran leadership and is already a contender, but that needs that one more piece to complete the puzzle. All a team in that position needs from Heatley is those 40-50 goals and nothing more. The Oilers aren't that team right now. Given questions about the leadership here and the number of young players, I have my doubts about the fit. There are lots of elite players who don't have the first clue about leadership and team-first. If they produce, that can be overlooked. If they don't, it's a different story. I'd rather have a 35-goal guy who'll go through the wall for his teammates than a 45-goal guy who doesn't give a crap about anybody but himself. The trick is finding that 35-goal guy, and that's not on the table right now.

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#198 Duke
July 07 2009, 08:21AM
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What about the thought that you get Heatley, just to get the asset, and flip him later for that 35 goal guy. Then you have what you need, and you got Penner off the books.

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#199 Librarian Mike
July 07 2009, 08:26AM
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Duke wrote:

What about the thought that you get Heatley, just to get the asset, and flip him later for that 35 goal guy. Then you have what you need, and you got Penner off the books.

I see where you're going, but if nobody else wants Heatley now, why would they want him if we had him?

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#200 DanMan
July 07 2009, 08:29AM
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Robin, we had that 35-goal guy who went through the proverbial wall, but K-Lo and Smytty played hardball and that ship has sailed.

We don't know whether Heatley will put the team first or not. My guess is that he does because his rep has taken quite a hit over the last little while. I say lets give it a year. Some guys fall in love with the city, Bill Guerin and Doug Weight seemed to love it here. With Pat Quinn and Tom Renney, maybe Heatley views this as a shot at redemption. I don't expect him to behave in October the was he behaves in the offseason.

Heatley obviously had issues with Clouston during the year, but he waited until the season was over before saying ONE WORD about it, through him or his agent. That is putting the team first.

Even if he pulls this stunt next year at the same time, as you have mentioned before as a possible scenario, I think this can help us. His asset value could be parlayed into something that can help the team short term and long term.

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