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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#101 hatecrime
July 06 2009, 07:00PM
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@ Phil: amen brother amen!they could trade penner for half a box of pucks and i would be happy

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#102 Mark
July 06 2009, 07:03PM
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If the Kovalev signing putrs them over the cap how long do they have to reduce their cap numbers? If Heatley honestly is trying to put the screws to Ottawa, I couuld see him still making it difficult to move him.

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#103 RossCreek
July 06 2009, 07:06PM
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@ Mark. I believe they have until the start of the season. Teams can go a certain percentage over the cap until them if I'm not mistaken.

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#104 confused
July 06 2009, 07:08PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

@ confused: What, are you friggin’ retarded? I keed. I keed. Ottawa had paid the bonus. Murray has already said that changes the deal.

Sorry, thought it wasn't a bonus, but salary upfront and Ottawa had the option to file and greivance and the thought was that the NHL powers that be wouldn't stand in the way of the receiving team paying Ottawa. How many other teams have offered anything acceptable to our first deal. If we are the only ones interested, doesn't that give us the power, even more so after their latest signing? That's what is confusing me. Thx for the gentleness....hardly felt a thing!

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#105 Dyckster
July 06 2009, 07:10PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Ottawa had paid the bonus. Murray has already said that changes the deal.

Robin, isn't there still potential for the NHL to allow the team who receives DH to repay the Sens the $4 million. I thought it was up for discussion as per Bill Daly?

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#106 Mark
July 06 2009, 07:11PM
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RossCreek wrote:

@ Mark. I believe they have until the start of the season. Teams can go a certain percentage over the cap until them if I’m not mistaken.

Thanks RossCreek, I thought it was a 24 or 48 hour window.

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#107 Rabbot
July 06 2009, 07:15PM
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I hope this doesn't happen. After all, do YOU want a disgruntled dany heatley here? Roll down the shutters on the liquor stores and stay off the streets.

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#108 Jason Gregor
July 06 2009, 07:19PM
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RossCreek wrote:

@ Mark. I believe they have until the start of the season. Teams can go a certain percentage over the cap until them if I’m not mistaken.

Teams can be over the cap by 10% until the start of the season. They have to be at the cap then, excluding injured players.

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#109 The Menace
July 06 2009, 07:22PM
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RossCreek wrote:

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?

Don't pull a muscle patting yourself on the back! ;)

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#110 Harry Merkin
July 06 2009, 07:24PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

RossCreek wrote: @ Mark. I believe they have until the start of the season. Teams can go a certain percentage over the cap until them if I’m not mistaken. Teams can be over the cap by 10% until the start of the season. They have to be at the cap then, excluding injured players.

Hey Gregor do not think Ottawa signing Kovalev hurts Murray in that now they have to trade Heatley to be under the cap? If Heatley refuses to waive his NMC to come here Murray will have no choice but to accept a lesser offer from a team Heatley wants to go to.

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#111 Prop Jay
July 06 2009, 07:31PM
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now another one of him going to blue jackets.

It is coming from that guy with a blog tho

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#112 Garett
July 06 2009, 07:34PM
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That f'n Eklund is getting on my nerves, "E4 on Heatley to Columbus for Huselius, Brassard and Filatov". Does this not seem absolutely absured for the BJ's to do? Brassard and Filatov are absolute top notch prospects. Seems to me that Howsen is not even close to being this stupid, especially after signing Nash for 7.8 per year. Filatov still gas 3 years of rookie money, Brassard has 2, maybe 3 because he was injured so early in the season! I am just worried he will go somewhere else, we won't have a sniper and the worst thing of all we will be stuck with Penner! I'm ready to crap myself, I've had a knot in my stomach since all this Heatley talk started! I want it to happen more than I did wanting a Sega Genesis on my 13th birthday only to get a black and white Gameboy, worst birthday ever!

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#113 jt in Oilertown
July 06 2009, 07:36PM
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I know the likelihood of a Toronto-Ottawa trade would be just as likely as an Edmonton-Calgary trade, but what about Kaberle as part of a package for Heatley?

1. Toronto has the cap space. 2. Ottawa could definitely use a talented puck-mover. 3. Burke certainly isn't afraid to make the big move.

Just sayin'...

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#114 The Menace
July 06 2009, 07:37PM
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@ Garett: The best thing we have going for us is Ek's record on these matters. If history is on our side, this should seal the deal for the Oilers.

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#115 Jack Bauer
July 06 2009, 07:37PM
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I believe we should have a no Eklund posting rule. Weve established countless times how much of a sham he is.

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#116 The Menace
July 06 2009, 07:38PM
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@ jt in Oilertown: ~But Burke would never trade for a player that requested a trade out of the city he's in - I mean, he said so himself!

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#117 Jason Gregor
July 06 2009, 07:38PM
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Harry Merkin wrote:

Hey Gregor do not think Ottawa signing Kovalev hurts Murray in that now they have to trade Heatley to be under the cap? If Heatley refuses to waive his NMC to come here Murray will have no choice but to accept a lesser offer from a team Heatley wants to go to.

They don't have to trade him to be under the cap, they could get rid of a few others or bury someone, not Heatley, in the minors.

I do see this signing as an unofficial end to Heatley in Ottawa though. I could see the original trade still going through with an extra part like Brownlee mentioned coming along with Heatley, but Murray's claim that the price went up after they $4 million pay out on July 1st probably won't happen.

I don't see the Kovalev signing handcuffing Murray either. I think he just protected himself for when he inevitably deals Heatley.

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#118 jt in Oilertown
July 06 2009, 07:39PM
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Garett wrote:

That f’n Eklund is getting on my nerves, “E4 on Heatley to Columbus for Huselius, Brassard and Filatov”. Does this not seem absolutely absured for the BJ’s to do? Brassard and Filatov are absolute top notch prospects. Seems to me that Howsen is not even close to being this stupid, especially after signing Nash for 7.8 per year. Filatov still gas 3 years of rookie money, Brassard has 2, maybe 3 because he was injured so early in the season! I am just worried he will go somewhere else, we won’t have a sniper and the worst thing of all we will be stuck with Penner! I’m ready to crap myself, I’ve had a knot in my stomach since all this Heatley talk started! I want it to happen more than I did wanting a Sega Genesis on my 13th birthday only to get a black and white Gameboy, worst birthday ever!

Howson did pay Nash $7.8m, so maybe he is losing his mind. That would be $15m tied up on your top two LW's....we all know from the Erik Cole experiment that NHL players can't play out of position.

/sarcasm

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#119 Boundz
July 06 2009, 07:40PM
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Interesting - but torn. Would like to see how the Oil perform as is, with new coaches, one year more mature and with more aggressive systems, but really, aside from being a douchbag, it is difficult to turn down a deal that brings in a 50 goal scorer while not impacting the Cap too negatively..

If/when it comes out, I am not sure what I will feel...

B

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#120 RossCreek
July 06 2009, 07:41PM
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@ jt. Did Burke not say he had no respect for Heatley's antics and no interest in trading for him just a couple weeks ago?

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#121 jt in Oilertown
July 06 2009, 07:41PM
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The Menace wrote:

@ jt in Oilertown: ~But Burke would never trade for a player that requested a trade out of the city he’s in - I mean, he said so himself!

Yep, once is his limit...

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#122 BigE57
July 06 2009, 07:42PM
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@ jt in Oilertown: Except that Burke came out in public and stated that he was of a higher moral fibre and wouldn't be dealing with a lowlife like Heatley.

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#123 Harry Merkin
July 06 2009, 07:44PM
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@ Jason Gregor:

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.

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#124 heavyd
July 06 2009, 07:46PM
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The Towel Boy wrote:

The Million Dollar Safeway Score and Win contest on Sportsnet may finally have something to worry about if this deal goes down. *hopes and waits*

Not really my buddy works at safeway and the way it works is befroe each game they choose one random player so that player has to score the 5 goals.

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#125 jt in Oilertown
July 06 2009, 07:56PM
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@RossCreek @BigE57

Didn't stop him from acquiring Pronger.

A few other thoughts from my ten-cent-head:

1. I'm pretty sure he'd recognize that this is an asset whose value is declining in the market, and that he can get at a discount 2. As a businessman and former lawyer, I'm sure he'd have no trouble spinning a counter-response to his earlier statement. 3. OK, I'll say it - a chance to (in some small way) extract some revenge on the Oil for the Penner signing.

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#126 Robin Brownlee
July 06 2009, 08:04PM
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THE COLUMBUS RUMOUR IS BOGUS Nothing to this E4 with Heatley going to the Blue Jackets, and that's right from the top.

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#127 Bob Stauffer
July 06 2009, 08:06PM
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I just communicated with Scott Howson. Their is absolutely no truth to the rumored Columbus trade offer for Heatley.

Bob Stauffer Oilers Radio Network

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#128 jt in Oilertown
July 06 2009, 08:07PM
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Thanks to the big guys for confirming that.

Eklund's magic 8-ball REALLY let him down on that one.

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#129 99thoilerfan
July 06 2009, 08:08PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

THE COLUMBUS RUMOUR IS BOGUS

Well, consider the source...

Robin, How about a tree way?

... er.. did not come out right....

Heatley to Oil, then to Sharks or Kings?

Maybe then he will waive his no trade...

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#130 99thoilerfan
July 06 2009, 08:10PM
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Tonight's guest speaker, ladies & Gents..

Bob Stauffer Oilers Radio Network

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#131 The Towel Boy
July 06 2009, 08:12PM
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heavyd wrote:

Not really my buddy works at safeway and the way it works is befroe each game they choose one random player so that player has to score the 5 goals.

Really? Then why does Gene Principe say every game that "if any Oiler player scores 5 goals or more....blah blah blah fugettaboutit blah blah blah"?

I present to you Exhibit 1A: The Safeway Score and Win Rules and Regs, Rule #4:

hxxp://www.safewayscoreandwin.com/rules%20and%20regulations.html

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#132 The Towel Boy
July 06 2009, 08:13PM
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@ Bob Stauffer:

Thanks Bob.

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#133 99thoilerfan
July 06 2009, 08:15PM
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The Towel Boy wrote:

@ Bob Stauffer: Thanks Bob.

Ditto

( It is so nice to have company ! )

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#134 leftwinger9
July 06 2009, 08:15PM
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First Tencer, now Stauffer! Even the rights holders can't resist the power of the Nation!

As for Heatley, warts and all, 50 goals is 50 goals. This is the true test for Hemsky that the faithful have waited for.

A room full of ~character guys~ hasn't got us much in the last couple years. The only time we made an impact is when a superstar was in the lineup. Time for another one!

*goes back to obsessively refreshing ON every 3 mins waiting for Heatley news*

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#135 Thorn
July 06 2009, 08:19PM
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I've had dreams of Heatley becoming an Oiler but is sure as eff wasn't under these circumstances! This deal has been way too messed up for a lot of us fans to forget about it. I've heard the Sens locker room had problems...maybe he played a role?

I hope Tambo's been tossing a line out to Atl. Would you make the same trade for Kovalchuk? If not, I have a feeling we're going to see a different Dustin under Quinn's reign.

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#136 HollaHollaHo'sFoADolla
July 06 2009, 08:25PM
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If its soooo close why is it still not done? Thats what I would like to know.

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#137 Archaeologuy
July 06 2009, 08:27PM
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@ HollaHollaHo'sFoADolla: because the GMs already agreed to everything and its out of their hands now. The teams are held hostage by Dany Heatley's indecisiveness.

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#138 RossCreek
July 06 2009, 08:32PM
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Thanks Bobby and Robin. I saw Bob out at Millenium this mornin, Robin, where were you? So do sources F with Eklund for fun or does he just throw out wacky rumors out of his brain?

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#139 HollaHollaHo'sFoADolla
July 06 2009, 08:32PM
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No, I'm WELL aware of that, but even Lowetide had the inckling that that this thing was damn near dad. There's nowhere else for him to go.

I hate to say it but the Oilers may have finally got their superstar by cornering him. Bidniss be bidniss.

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#140 HollaHollaHo'sFoADolla
July 06 2009, 08:33PM
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RossCreek wrote:

Thanks Bobby and Robin. I saw Bob out at Millenium this mornin, Robin, where were you? So do sources F with Eklund for fun or does he just throw out wacky rumors out of his brain?

He's just retarded, my mom's a social worker and she hired the guy that changes his diapers.

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#141 heavyd
July 06 2009, 08:34PM
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The Towel Boy wrote:

heavyd wrote: Not really my buddy works at safeway and the way it works is befroe each game they choose one random player so that player has to score the 5 goals. Really? Then why does Gene Principe say every game that “if any Oiler player scores 5 goals or more….blah blah blah fugettaboutit blah blah blah”? I present to you Exhibit 1A: The Safeway Score and Win Rules and Regs, Rule #4: hxxp://www.safewayscoreandwin.com/rules%20and%20regulations.html

that's why it says potential million dollar winner

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#142 The Towel Boy
July 06 2009, 08:36PM
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@ heavyd:

umm...ok.

Is Heatley here yet?

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#143 Ogden Brother
July 06 2009, 08:37PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

@ Archaeologuy: No. It’s the $4 million bonus that’s changed the deal.

That scares me, Tambo better not cave and give them even more.

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#144 pustin fenner
July 06 2009, 08:38PM
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Overlooked in all of this. What if? What if Penner + Quinn = Penner living up to expectations?

Who wants Heatley when it's almost guaranteed he'll pull a Pronger a year down the road. Why are so many so desperate for a quick fix?

Let's rebuild from scratch. Do it properly and have a team that is worth keeping for many years.

Penner + Quinn? Hmmm

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#145 RossCreek
July 06 2009, 08:38PM
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@ Thorn. All reports that I've heard coming out of Ottawa indicate that Dany was actually well liked and good in the room. Maybe we can get AJ Jakubec commenting on here.

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#146 99thoilerfan
July 06 2009, 08:38PM
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Dany! Dany!

Come on and play !

We will have some laughs, play lots, even on PP!

*Come on, you know you wanna...*

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#147 The Menace
July 06 2009, 08:40PM
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@ 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. ;)

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#148 99thoilerfan
July 06 2009, 08:42PM
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Hey ! I think I saw that one Coming!!!

Do I get a prize, or a way to go, or something?!

The more I think of it, the more I am sure...

I did I really did see this one coming!

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#149 Archaeologuy
July 06 2009, 08:45PM
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@ 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.

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#150 HollaHollaHo'sFoADolla
July 06 2009, 08:47PM
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They won't be adding, we'd be taking Smith back apparently. Yay.

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