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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#51 Jorge
July 06 2009, 04:40PM
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@ Archaeologuy: yeah I thought of that as soon as someone called me Eklund but then I was watching TSN and they already had clips of the Kovalev press conference so now I dont know whats going to happen

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#52 99thoilerfan
July 06 2009, 04:42PM
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Dam !

My heart is a flutter, just like the 1st time, I heard this news..

Hey Dany... Game On !

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#53 Archaeologuy
July 06 2009, 04:43PM
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Only Robin and his crystal ball knows what the future holds.

*goes outside and interprets bird flight patterns as signs from the gods*

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#54 swany
July 06 2009, 04:48PM
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I assume when you say he will be reminded of that say in the next 48 hours you have some inside info Mr. RB

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#55 swany
July 06 2009, 04:50PM
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Also sportsnet has stated that Murray spoke to the Oil again today? why are they still talking if no one has talked to Heatley?

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#56 Jonathan Willis
July 06 2009, 04:54PM
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@ misfit:

Right you are. That'll teach me to comment on the CBA.

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#57 dragon
July 06 2009, 05:06PM
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What are the chances someone else showed high interest (let's say Sharks or Avalanche...)

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#58 Archaeologuy
July 06 2009, 05:10PM
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@ dragon: the Avs are dropping Salary, not taking it on.

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#59 Robin Brownlee
July 06 2009, 05:10PM
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swany wrote:

I assume when you say he will be reminded of that say in the next 48 hours you have some inside info Mr. RB

I make calls. I get calls. That's playing cute. Look, people are going to start speculating again now that Kovalev has been signed and Heatley's options are evaporating -- Gregor and Rishaug are doing it right now on TEAM 1260. A discussion I had today, plus the circumstances of this situation, lead me to believe the deal can be done and the spin will begin.

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#60 BigE57
July 06 2009, 05:11PM
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@ Robin Brownlee:

Ya, the money wouldn't be the same but it would keep him out of Siberia..wait I mean Edmonton.

The other thing is a move like that could effectively end his NHL career, I would think.

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#61 Archaeologuy
July 06 2009, 05:13PM
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@ Robin Brownlee: Do you think it will be the same deal now that the Sens signed Kovalev?

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#62 Robin Brownlee
July 06 2009, 05:20PM
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@ Archaeologuy: No. It's the $4 million bonus that's changed the deal.

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#63 17
July 06 2009, 05:22PM
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Unrelated note: Does anyone know when the 2009/2010 NHL Schedule is going to be released? Brownlee? Gregor?

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#64 Worldo
July 06 2009, 05:23PM
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@ Robin Brownlee:

So in your opinion, what do you think the deal will look like?

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#65 Robin Brownlee
July 06 2009, 05:27PM
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Worldo wrote:

@ Robin Brownlee: So in your opinion, what do you think the deal will look like?

Best guess: Penner, Cogliano, Smid and a pick/prospect for Heatley and Christoph Schubert.

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#66 Dominoiler
July 06 2009, 05:30PM
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swany:

murray still has to try n bleed the oil for that 4M worth of 'grievances'... no chance he gets another drop, me hopes...

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#67 Greg MC
July 06 2009, 05:33PM
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Thanks, Robin. Strange days..

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#68 Jonathan Willis
July 06 2009, 05:34PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Best guess: Penner, Cogliano, Smid and a pick/prospect for Heatley and Christoph Schubert.

Thanks for playing along, Robin. That wouldn't be so bad, especially given that Schubert's contract expires soon, and given that he hits and blocks shots.

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#69 jeanshorts
July 06 2009, 05:36PM
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So if this deal does finally go through, what happens to all those people that wanted to burn down The Team 1260 after Gregor caused, what was made out to be, the most catastrophic error in the history of sports journalism, if not news in general? Can we raise enough money to sound Brownlee to each one of their houses so he can personally slap them in the dink?

Or do we just let them go on living their crappy lives as douchebags?

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#70 Wanye Gretz
July 06 2009, 05:41PM
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I love the fact that Heatley's choices are basically boiled down to:

Edmonton (like Siberia only colder) or Siberia's KHL Team (like Siberia only more Siberian)

hahahaha you moron Heatley

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#71 Robin Brownlee
July 06 2009, 05:45PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

So if this deal does finally go through, what happens to all those people that wanted to burn down The Team 1260 after Gregor caused, what was made out to be, the most catastrophic error in the history of sports journalism, if not news in general? Can we raise enough money to sound Brownlee to each one of their houses so he can personally slap them in the dink? Or do we just let them go on living their crappy lives as douchebags?

Gregor can slap dink for himself. If the deal unfolds now, it doesn't change the fact Gregor's source jumped the gun and he got burned. People who used that to jump all over Jason aren't going to change their opinions.

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#72 Worldo
July 06 2009, 05:51PM
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@ Robin Brownlee:

As mentioned above, thanks for playing along.

What do you think the hold up is at this point?

Do you think the Oilers' camp has any indication something might be happening soon?

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#73 Mark
July 06 2009, 05:54PM
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What is Ottawa's cap situation now that they have signed Kovalev? Does it put any pressure on them to deal Heatley any quicker?

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#74 RossCreek
July 06 2009, 05:55PM
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I guess I've got about 22 hours left, as yesterday I correctly(?) stated Heatley would be an Oiler within 48 hours. Did you mark my words people? What time was that at? 3 ish? I'd check and quote it here but i'm on my cel headin down to Drumheller. And I figured Jason Smith would be in the deal, but i now expect Robin's deal to go through. Swung by the prospect skate this morning. Nice to see the men, the myths, the legends. You know Stauf, Tencer, Millard, Matty, etc. Hey GREGOR, how is Gags? Did he have anything interesting to say? Why do I all of the sudden feel like a creep? I kid. Was gonna reveal myself Gregor, but I didn't wanna interrupt your convo with young Sam. No, actually I didn't want Sam to feel bad that I was gonna interrupt to say hey to you ;-) lol. Cheers.

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#75 Smokin' Ray
July 06 2009, 06:02PM
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@Robin Brownlee:

Is it possible that those three (Cogs, Smid and Penner) are not part of the deal anymore? Maybe Cogs is out annd insert a Nilsson or Brule? Or maybe a Grebs has his name tossed in instead of Smid? Say... Grebeshkov, Penner, Nilsson and a pick for Heatley and Schubert?

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#76 ScubaSteve
July 06 2009, 06:05PM
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Can anyone explain what type of player Schubert is, his stats look kinda sad, is he a defensive specialist or a banger or what?

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#77 Prop Jay
July 06 2009, 06:06PM
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@ Robin Brownlee: Have you heard the stupid rumour regarding the Isles? It was taken down quickly on HF because it wasnt verified but someone said they heard it on the fan 660 (NY radio station)

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#78 Space Moose
July 06 2009, 06:06PM
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@ Jonathan Willis: I agree with you on the big fish signing, Jonathan, and I do think it has some merit. Are we giving to get? Of course. Are were getting a guy that is top quality leaguewise? Yes!

In addition to the Oil, there is nothing better than cheering for an Oil when he plays for Canada. I have my tix for Canada-USA in Feb, and I can't say it wouldn't be cool to have AN Oiler there.

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#79 RossCreek
July 06 2009, 06:13PM
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@ Prop Jay. Whats the rumored rumor?

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#80 Archaeologuy
July 06 2009, 06:13PM
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Prop Jay wrote:

Have you heard the stupid rumour regarding the Isles?

I have all kinds of time in my day to listen to stupid rumours, what was it?

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#81 ShaunDoe
July 06 2009, 06:16PM
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99thoilerfan wrote:

Dam ! My heart is a flutter, just like the 1st time, I heard this news.. Hey Dany… Game On !

This post reminds me of the Haikus they send into the Rome show:

Heatley an oiler? on this day, could it be true? Doubt rocks my bowels.

I think poems make anything believable

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#82 Archaeologuy
July 06 2009, 06:17PM
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ScubaSteve wrote:

Can anyone explain what type of player Schubert is, his stats look kinda sad, is he a defensive specialist or a banger or what?

Well his 108 hits with an average of only 13+ minutes a night would rank him 3rd on the Oilers last season

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#83 ScubaSteve
July 06 2009, 06:19PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

ScubaSteve wrote: Can anyone explain what type of player Schubert is, his stats look kinda sad, is he a defensive specialist or a banger or what? Well his 108 hits with an average of only 13+ minutes a night would rank him 3rd on the Oilers last season

You think he has enough finish to play 2nd line LW, and bring some grit to that line with Sam?

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#84 Archaeologuy
July 06 2009, 06:22PM
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@ ScubaSteve: I would expect he would be a 3rd or 4th liner, or someone to plug into the minors if those spots are already taken.

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#85 William
July 06 2009, 06:25PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Gregor can slap dink for himself. If the deal unfolds now, it doesn’t change the fact Gregor’s source jumped the gun and he got burned. People who used that to jump all over Jason aren’t going to change their opinions.

But doesn't that make him right, just a bit early. He said that Heatley agreed and then changed his mind. So from where I sit if that happens, then he was bang on.

I'm all for Heatley coming, regardless of how this played out.

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#86 Prop Jay
July 06 2009, 06:25PM
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Rumor was Heatley and Campoli for Streit, Nielsen, 2010 1st, 2011 1st.

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#87 oilerzz
July 06 2009, 06:29PM
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my guess right now is he ends up with the sharks ... just a hunch ... they wanted to make changes and its one of sir heaters destinations ..

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#88 RossCreek
July 06 2009, 06:30PM
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@ Prop Jay. Well, seeing as how Campoli asked to be traded from there in the 1st place, I see why that rumor was taken down.

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#89 Prop Jay
July 06 2009, 06:31PM
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@ RossCreek: lol I was unaware

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#90 RossCreek
July 06 2009, 06:32PM
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@ Scuba Steve. Schubert is basically a small salary dump for Ottawa. He's a 4th line forward/6th defenseman. Kinda fell out of favor there last season.

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#91 Chris
July 06 2009, 06:37PM
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RossCreek wrote:

@ Scuba Steve. Schubert is basically a small salary dump for Ottawa. He’s a 4th line forward/6th defenseman. Kinda fell out of favor there last season.

Why Schubert? Didn't Tambo just sign Strudwick?

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#92 PaperDesigner
July 06 2009, 06:41PM
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Brownlee, we come down on different sides of this issue in terms of what we'd like to see the Oilers do, but I agree with you completely in terms of how this plays out.

People talk like Edmonton's his last choice; it isn't. It seems like Edmonton is an "okay" option in his mind, but there are cities he would rather play in, and he wants to be sure in his mind those places are not an option before he leaves.

I was speculating that Murray's comments about the asking price going up after the four million was paid were a bluff in order to get the best possible offer before his owner pays four million, and that he just did not anticipate that Heatley would not approve of a trade to a team that was, to his understanding, one of the ones he'd go to. If that's the case, I wonder if Murray isn't so much in a position to demand more, but trapped by his own bluff. But would an upgrade of a draft pick with Ottawa's third going for Edmonton's second, be enough for Murray to save face? Or will Murray want Cogliano to replaced by Gagner in that deal, or Smid replaced by Gilbert?

As for Heatley coming here, if you can get it done, you have to. This is an organization that has put too much emphasis on things like good character, grit and leadership. What is the end result? They're rarely laughing stocks, like the Islanders or Panthers, but they're never a team that matters. Frankly, if you're not willing to put up with anything and everything to get a player who makes a difference, then you're not a team that's going to win, because unlike other teams, you are not putting winning first.

As for the idea of Heatley being a one-dimensional player, that's a misrepresentation of the facts. In hockey, there are only two dimensions; offence and defence. Even things like face-offs and physical play are ultimately in service of these things. There are players in the league who are checkers who put up thirty points; why don't we ever criticize them for not getting more points? After all, that Ethan Moreau guy is a one-dimensional player.

I don't care about multi-dimensional players, I care about how good someone is at their job. I want Pisani on my team because I like him as a shutdown guy, and I want Heatley on my team because I like him as a goal-scorer. Calling either player one-dimensional is missing the point of a TEAM, where different players compensate for each other's weaknesses.

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#93 Phil
July 06 2009, 06:43PM
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Wanye Gretz wrote:

@ Penner’s 2nd Chin: This is all very possible. Consider if you will the alternate scenario: - Heatley arrives here, is a constant distraction, pisses off the other Oilers with his attitude and demands a trade after one season. How does that risk to an already injured image league wide compare to the upside of a prima donna player who has the skills to back it up?

Considering he does accept the trade to Edmonton and the deal subsequently goes through, how can he honestly request a trade after 1 season with Edmonton when his value has been severely diminished because of his rumoured "bad attitude" and stubborness? Not to mention the cap is expected to fall next season as well...

I understand why Edmonton fans are worried and rightfully so, but who in their right mind will want to trade for Heater with that salary after 2 years and 2 consecutive trade demands? It would be career suicide on Dany's party and I think alot of us are forgetting the passion he has for the game. Money and location are big parts of it but I don't think the guy is THAT selfish... he wears the Red & Whites with pride.. besides the point but what I'm saying is he still loves to play hockey and score goals.

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#94 RossCreek
July 06 2009, 06:44PM
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1. Cuz Ottawa says so. 2. Added depth, maybe even for the minors to take a contract off their books. Every salary dump out of Ottawa for the last 6 months has included Smith and Christoph (even tho he doesn't make much). They just want to get rid of the guy i guess.

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#95 Phil
July 06 2009, 06:47PM
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If he becomes an Edmonton Oiler and has success here with Hemmer and Horcoff (which I think would very well happen), there is no reason to believe he wouldn't enjoy his stay here, comfortably earn his 7.5 million dollar salary and enjoy helping the team win hockey games by scoring goals and playing with an exciting, up and coming hockey team.

I've been back and forth, forth and back on this Dany Heatley issue but it's come to the point for me where I just want to see Penner gone and this deal DONE. I want to see the guy in Oiler silks, I want to see a 40 goal scorer here in Edmonton and I finally want to see what Hemmer can do with a true blue LW sniper to feed it to.

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#96 hatecrime
July 06 2009, 06:54PM
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people can hate him if they want but i feel we need heatley bad.i said it before we don't have much up front and 50 goals plus someone talented to play with hemsky would be awesome.besides best part of all WE GET RID OF PYLON PENNER!!!

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#97 confused
July 06 2009, 06:54PM
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Its unclear to me why the Oilers should change the deal to either include more going Ottawa's way or take a salary dump from them. The $4mill could, according to a TSN post, be paid by the team receiving Heatley. So no change required. Granted, Ottawa has taken on more salary with their latest signing, but why is that our problem?

My first post, so be gentle!

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#98 99thoilerfan
July 06 2009, 06:56PM
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Phil wrote:

I want to see the guy in Oiler silks, I want to see a 40 goal scorer here in Edmonton and I finally want to see what Hemmer can do with a true blue LW sniper to feed it to.

SO SAY WE ALL!

Dany! Dany!

Grab your Gloves & stick, Let's Play!

*You Know You Wanna*

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#99 Robin Brownlee
July 06 2009, 06:58PM
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@ confused: What, are you friggin' retarded? I keed. I keed. Ottawa had paid the bonus. Murray has already said that changes the deal.

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#100 Harry Merkin
July 06 2009, 06:59PM
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Does anyone think Murray kind of handcuffed himself by signing kovalev? It seems to take out the chance Murray says screw you play here or sit, since they are now over the cap. Might this bring a few more teams into play with lesser offers that Murray might have to take if Heatley wont waive his NMC to come here.

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