You can believe all the talk this afternoon the Edmonton Oilers are in hot pursuit of Ottawa Senators malcontent Dany Heatley because I’m hearing the very same words from a source close to the situation.
In the wake of a report by TSN’s Bob McKenzie that Oilers GM Steve Tambellini is pitching hard for Heatley, and with time ticking down until the Senators must pay him a $4-million bonus at midnight tonight, I’m hearing that Ottawa GM Bryan Murray is listening.
The names I’m getting as being in the mix are Dustin Penner, as was rumoured earlier today, and Ladislav Smid as part of a package for the talented Heatley.
“There’s definitely something going on with Edmonton,” a person I trust told me at 5 p.m. this afternoon.
THE NAME GAME
Of course, “something going on with Edmonton,” is open to pretty broad interpretation, but it’s the best information we’ve got with Murray and Tambellini staying tight-lipped — perhaps they’re too busy talking to each other to answer the telephone.
As much peril as there is in the Oilers taking on Heatley’s cap hit, you’d have to think there’s just as much risk for Murray with Penner, who has been mediocre in two seasons with the Oilers and packs a $4.25 million cap hit.
Penner broke into the NHL with Anaheim after Murray’s tenure as GM with the Ducks ended. Smid, who was drafted by Anaheim in 2004, didn’t turn pro until after Murray was gone. Still, Murray knows both players.
While I’m not willing to make a quantum leap that ongoing talks between Tambellini and Murray are headed to a done deal — there are indications Los Angeles and San Jose are also interested — there’s enough smoke here to believe there’s some fire.
If the Oilers come out on top in the Heatley sweepstakes — an outcome that could be finalized by the stroke of midnight, given the $4-million bonus — don’t be surprised if Penner and Smid are involved.
— Listen to Robin Brownlee every Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. on Just A Game with Jason Gregor on Team 1260.