Wherefore art thou, Dany Boy?


Well Dany Heatley certainly shed plenty of light on his reasons for not wanting to become an Edmonton Oiler when he finally addressed the media Friday, didn’t he?

Did you expect anything different from Dour Dany, really? Did you expect clarity? Closure? The straight goods?

Do you feel better now that he graced us with his reasons for stiffing the Ottawa Senators and the Oilers with his trade demand and subsequent refusal to waive his no movement clause after Steve Tambellini put together a package of Dustin Penner, Andrew Cogliano and Ladislav Smid for the right to pay him $7.5 million a season?

To hear Heatley tell it, his tale of woe and mistreatment comes down to feeling his role has been “diminished” in Ottawa. His limbo is a hardship that can only be remedied by having “options” when it comes to picking a new team to play for, as long as that option isn’t the Oilers.

Isn’t that about it?

What he said and what he meant

By now, we all know what Heatley said. Now, you can take it at face value or you can read between the lines. I’m going to take a swing at the latter, using my Spin Translation Tool, some software I got over the internet from the same company where I purchased a great set of steak knives.

WHAT HE SAID: “There’s nothing with Edmonton personally, I just think when we asked for a trade we wanted to go about it together and we wanted some options and to this date there has only one option.

“At the time the only option was Edmonton and I wasn’t ready to make a decision at that time and I’m still not ready to make a decision until there are other options.”

WHAT HE MEANT: “Edmonton isn’t an option. Look, boys, I’m no fool. I’m from Calgary. I know all about Alberta winters. Why should I freeze my lily white ass when I can play in San Jose or Los Angeles or Anaheim? You ever tried golfing in Edmonton the second week of April?

WHAT HE SAID: “I don’t feel I can make the right decision until there are a few options. (The Oilers) were not on my initial list of teams I gave the Senators to talk to. When that trade came up it came as a big surprise and I wasn’t ready at that time nor am I now to make that decision.”

WHAT HE MEANT: “Look, man, I’m Dany F*cking Heatley. Are you trying to tell me there aren’t six, seven or maybe eight teams out there dying to shove a stack of money my way? C’mon, Bryan, I’m calling BS on that one. I gave you a list of 28 teams. Edmonton was the only team NOT on that list. They’ve missed the playoffs, like, 13 years in a row.”

WHAT HE SAID: “It’s definitely not Cory solely. I think the main reason for me is when I signed in Ottawa two years ago I thought it was to be an integral part of the team over the last two years I feel my role has diminished and especially this past season it diminished a lot more. A diminished role is the biggest thing. I feel I’m a player who can play in a lot of different situations. I’m an offensive guy but I take pride in all aspects of the game and I don’t feel I was given that role on the team.”

WHAT HE MEANT: “Clouston’s an asshole for expecting me to play within a team concept. Do this, Dany. Do that. Check. WTF? Who is this spank-off, anyway? This guy waltzes in, turns the team around and just expects me to become his yes-man? How much money does Clouston have in the bank? How many times has he scored 50 goals? As many times as Pat Quinn and Tom Renney, that’s how many.”

WHAT HE SAID: “I have a contract and I’m going to honour that contract. If I’m still a Senator at training camp time I’ll be there ready to go. I’m a hockey player and I’ll play to the best of my ability wherever I am. At the same time, we know there are other teams interested and hopefully something can get done.”

WHAT HE MEANT: I don’t give a pinch of stool if my presence at training camp causes the Senators a problem or a distraction. Like I’m going to do anything to void my contract and kiss off $7.5 million. Think again.”

WHAT HE SAID: “I think anyone that has played with me knows I’m a team guy. The way this has gone this summer has been unfortunate, but as far as my reputation, anyone I have ever played with or played for has thought of me as a good teammate.”

WHAT HE MEANT: So I’m an self-centred jerk with an inflated sense of entitlement, there’s a news bulletin. Stop the presses, you know what I’m saying? Look, even if I’m a dick, I’ll get you 40 goals. That’s all that matters, right?

Tambellini and Kevin Lowe know that. Otherwise they wouldn’t have come sniffing around, puckering up and saying pretty please. Like I’m going play with Shane Horcoff and Alex Hemsky. Screw that. I’m Dany F*cking Heatley.”

— Listen to Robin Brownlee every Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. on Just A Game with Jason Gregor on Team 1260.

  • Ogden Brother

    oilersseasonticketholdersince99 wrote:

    @ Robin Brownlee:
    I think the team needs to give Tambalini at least 3-4 years to be fair to him and for the organization to see what he can do.Hiring Quinn and Renney was a good start I for one give him credit for not throwing his hands up in the air and quiting,from the outside looking in, he was really handed a bad situation.

    You thought this team had a really good shot at the division last year, didn't you?

  • Robin Brownlee

    Park Oil wrote:

    Really interesting theory on Heatley here:
    It certainly seems plausible considering how everything’s unfolded.

    Don't buy it.
    Heatley was going to get his money from somebody in the days before the economy tanked and the cap shrank. By taking the route the writer suggests, Heatley was accomplishing nothing except precluding some team — like the Oilers did with Souray — from stepping up with a big overpay offer. He's not hurting for money, but no way he'd walk away from the chance to have one team step forward and offer an extra $5-7 million over the term of a contract.

  • lickety split

    @ Brownlee –

    Are you saying someone was possibly considering to spend $8.5M on Heatley? If so that would have been the biggest contract in hockey at the time, or nearly anyway. One knee injury between the Ottawa offer and July 1 could also cut the 7.5 in half (see kariya, paul). its totally likely that his agent said, "Get it while you can" and your boy listened.

    Like the beautiful blonde at the mall, Heatley got that hockey playing way by not wasting time on educating his self. I don't think you can expect him to surmise fiscal strategy more than one move in advance. That a 24 year old kid maybe listened to his agent's sales job isn't so hard for me to believe, especially one that looks so nervous during every single presser he's ever had.

    Or did I miss what you're getting at?

  • Robin Brownlee

    @ lickety split:
    Briere, Gomez and Vanek (thanks to Edmonton's offer sheet) all got $10 million for 2007-08. Any doubt Heatley could have got as much as a UFA?

    By the way, Heatley's cap hit is $7.5, but he's making $10 million in 09-10 before his salary drops later in the final years of the contract. My point is he left money on the table if he did what the writer is suggesting.
    There is no gain to do what the author suggests he might have done. Not impossible, but not likely.

  • Pouzar

    Robin Brownlee wrote:

    @ lickety split:
    Briere, Gomez and Vanek (thanks to Edmonton’s offer sheet) all got $10 million for 2007-08. Any doubt Heatley could have got as much as a UFA?
    By the way, Heatley’s cap hit is $7.5, but he’s making $10 million in 09-10 before his salary drops later in the final years of the contract. My point is he left money on the table if he did what the writer is suggesting.
    There is no gain to do what the author suggests he might have done. Not impossible, but not likely.

    According to NHL numbers it says Heatley is due to make 8 million in actual salary (4 of which he has already received), but maybe I am probably wrong. Anyways, I agree RB the theory seems offbase. What Heatley is doing now is the same thing he has done his entire pro career – get out of contracts. He did it in Atlanta, he did it during the lockout when he left a club in the SEL to go to Omsk, and he's doing it now. It's hilarious that he thinks teams are begging for his services. He would likely pull the same stunt on them.

  • lickety split

    Briere Gomez and Vanek all signed after Heatley signed with Ottawa, I think, and at least one of us was totally surprised with every one of those contracts that summer. I don't think anyone was anticipating any of those happenings when Heatley signed in Ottawa, actually I remember one time laughing at Calgary for having Iggy at 7.

    If heater was then considering to seek 8 – 9, I don't think there was much precedent. Actually, I think I remember that heatley was the highest paid player in hockey there for a while. To seek more? I don't know. That was a kicking deal and he could have easily been the fool to walk.

  • lickety split

    Okay. If I could be so lucky to have it my way, tambo would trade moreau and staois for patrick marleau then I'd move cogs penner and gilbert for Dany F*king Heatley.

    Dany Heatley Shane Horcoff and Alex Hemsky
    Marleau Gagner Nilsson
    Sully MAP Fernando
    Storntini Brule Smack

    Souray Vish
    Grebs Smid
    Strudwick Peckham


    total cap hit: 55.2

    And while its about having it my way, the whole city would relax around these guys in the grocery stores and restaurants, you Brownlee would welcome danny boy like the prodigal son and then if hemmer couldn't fit with heatley or marleau I'd dump his ass for marc savard and steve sillinger or trade em all for taylor hall and try and get in the lottery for the next five years. Then threaten to move the team to Kansas City if I didn't get a new barn to hold 27 000 with a mall and airplane strip and dancing girls and dude this could go on.

    Love your stoic approach with gregor too. Great radio for the jobsite basically every time. Thanks ON. Good times all around.

  • Logan

    I think all you fools bashing Kevin Lowe tend to forget or ignore a few important facts to stoke your own ego and agruements:

    1) This city will accept some form of mediocratry for a short time, we want success, but we will never accept a absolute failure. What this means is that the ravenous open mount breaking fools out there would tear the organization a new a-hole if it tanked for 3 years to stock up on draft picks. It worked for Pittsburg and Washington pre-draft because the organizations didn't want to spend any money and few people cared much if they did, they were on life-support until a new CBA came around. With that said though you cannot field an AHL team masquerading as a NHL team because there is a cap minimum as well, something that benefited both Washington and Pittsburg pre-CBA. Most importantly you guys ignore the fact that it would never fly here. The fanbase is too fickle to accept losers.

    2) EIG needed revenue. I love the EIG for what they did, but lets not forget that they could never afford to allow the team to go "worst in the league for a rebuild" because they needed the revenue from sell-outs as well as the bonus revenue that comes from playoffs. Every year they made the playoffs the EIG breathed easier because they didn't feel the pinch in their pocketbooks. Once again we have another factor against tanking it and another factor that forced the team to stay barely competetive, squeeking into the playoffs but never in a great position to draft or build to be better, aka the 'status quo'.

    3) We only have had 1 year of Batman. Ya Katz is cool, getting us to spend to the cap limit, but he and the rest of the Oil management still have to deal with clearing out all the mess from the previous ownership mandates. Even Barrack Obama hasn't turned around the USA in his first year and we expect this to be a reality post-CBA NHL with Katz's money? The truth is that you won't ever see a change till the 3rd year, its just how things happen in business.

  • rhino9

    @ Logan:

    1. you can't be serious to think that it was the CBA that saved Pittsburg and Wasington. Crosby, Malkin and the chicken saved these franchises not the fact there was a new CBA in place.

    2.Why can other teams in a similar financial issues continue to ice a playoff team year in and out. Jersey and Detroit continually make the playoffs why because they draft well. When was the last time other than 2006 when DET and NJ drafted lower than Edmonton.

    3. Your kidding youself if previous owner mandates were to draft sh**ty players so we don't have to pay them big money. I would think untill the current ownership Katz realizes that the Director of Hockey opperations is still in charge of this team it will never be anything but mediocore.

  • Chris.

    @ Logan:

    I already said I gave a Lowe the benifit of the doubt pre-lockout. My beef with the man is that he never committed to one clear multi-season strategy/vision for the development of this team. This has been particularly evident by some of the conflicting moves he has made since Pronger left… IMO, Lowe flys by the seat of his pants; is ruled by emotion; and though he loves this franchise and has a strong desire to succeed: has been running the team in circles. It's a really good thing that Katz brought in Tambellini.

    While I think it's fair comment that a GM needs to react to changing circumstances; he shouldn't completely abandon all long term planning. I believe with the rich contracts offered to Hossa, Nylander, the signing of Souray, and the aquisition of Lubo, Lowe thought he was assembling a team to win now. Unfortunately, by overpaying vetrans, and filling too many roster spots with AHL players: his team has been a failure. Were we developing, or contending? Lowe never fully decided… and I don't think he did a great job of either. After a long three years this current group may still not be good enough to make the playoffs. With that in mind, I think Tambellini, like many of us, was onboard with the pursuit of Heatley simply because it's going to be several years before many of the bigger vetran contracts come off the books, and maybe several more before the development system starts to pump out enough suitable NHL ready talent… We might as well be entertained while we wait.

  • Robin Brownlee

    @ Chris.:

    On the money.
    Lowe always tried to fudge on the direction of the team. He never clearly committed to a complete rebuild, choosing instead to muddy the waters by signing veterans who would keep the team competitive now, but wouldn't be a part of any long-term plan.
    He got caught talking out of both sides of his mouth a couple of seasons ago — at one point saying the Oilers would compete now and then using the "we're rebuilding" crutch when things were tanking.
    His inability to plot a clear course and stick with it, plus the bad contracts he signed as a direct result of his indecision after the Cup run of 2006, are his biggest failures as GM.

  • Travis Dakin

    Robin Brownlee wrote:

    His inability to plot a clear course and stick with it, plus the bad contracts he signed as a direct result of his indecision after the Cup run of 2006, are his biggest failures as GM.

    I wonder how much of that can be put on Howson as well. They were working in tandem I assume.

  • Robin Brownlee

    Travis Dakin wrote:

    Robin Brownlee wrote:
    His inability to plot a clear course and stick with it, plus the bad contracts he signed as a direct result of his indecision after the Cup run of 2006, are his biggest failures as GM.
    I wonder how much of that can be put on Howson as well. They were working in tandem I assume.

    Not much at all. Lowe called the shots. Howson did some negotiating — within a framework set out for him — and handled the paperwork and cap stuff.