The Dany Heatley Saga: Marathon or Death March?

marathon

“Oil trade for Dany still alive” proclaims the Ottawa Sun, “but it could be slammed shut soon”.

Why (or perhaps “for the love of all that is good and holy why can’t this be over already”), you ask ? Because, according to journalist Chris Stevenson, “an NHL source indicated yesterday the Oilers’ patience is wearing thin to have Heatley agree to a deal and they could give up and move on perhaps as early as today.”

No doubt this would be welcome news to some – even many – Oilers fans, but I wouldn’t get too excited about it just yet, because of a Dan Barnes article we talked about a few days ago. Quoting Barnes:

The source also said the Oilers had not imposed an internal deadline for a firm resolution of this ridiculously untenable situation. Nor had they communicated such an ultimatum to the Senators or Heatley. That rumour had been floated last week by a TV analyst and at least one Internet site.
“Could be a week, could be a month,” said the source.

That was three days ago.

So, when two anonymous league sources are reported as saying two conflicting things, which is to be believed? It’s up to everyone individually of course, but given that it’s an Edmonton rumour I think it would be foolish not to trust the Edmonton-based (and Edmonton-connected) reporter on this one. It’s possible that the situation has drastically shifted over those three days, but Barnes’ source seems to rule out a sudden shift like that – certainly not one that would see the Oilers abandon the pursuit a few days later (“possibly as early as today”, according to Stevenson).

Stevenson also includes this factoid:

Rumours are there are at least two other teams which have recently held discussions with Senators GM Bryan Murray but have only offered bloated contracts and underachieving players in return.

Dan Barnes also mentioned two teams, so we can view this information as probably true. Barnes said they hadn’t finalized an offer, while Stevenson says that they aren’t offering much of value – which sounds to me like two different ways of saying the same thing.

The last part of Stevenson’s piece that I’d like to look at is not to criticize him, but just to highlight the difficulty of sorting through rumours in general. Here’s the quote:

Speculation is the Minnesota Wild remains a team looking for an offensive addition and the Columbus Blue Jackets have been named in connection with the unhappy winger.

Stevenson is careful to couch all of his paragraphs so that it’s clear he’s passing along speculation, and in this case we can be fairly certain that the speculation is inaccurate, because of what Columbus GM Scott Howson said to Dan Tencer a few days ago:

“We’re not involved in that scene. It’s an unfortunate situation for everybody involved.”

In other words, for better and worse, I continue to believe that the Oilers are ardent in their pursuit of Heatley, despite today’s conflicting report from Stevenson.

  • Hippy

    Guv wrote:

    oilersinsider wrote:
    I know Ek is Ek
    You might as well be referencing the Queen of Jordan. With respect to the Heatley situation alone (forget his sterling 0.0014% accuracy with everything else), he’s consistently been proved wrong from the outset. What does it take before people realize he’s a complete waste of time?

    Where is this Queen of Jordan rumours site? 🙂

  • Hippy

    oilersinsider wrote:

    I know Ek is Ek

    You might as well be referencing the Queen of Jordan. With respect to the Heatley situation alone (forget his sterling 0.0014% accuracy with everything else), he's consistently been proved wrong from the outset. What does it take before people realize he's a complete waste of time?

  • Hippy

    I'm hoping there is a deadline, if only for the players' named who, frankly, deserve better than to have this uncertainty hang over their summer. This organization better start coming to grips with the fact that our best shot at building a contender is going with guys on entry level contracts. Build a core around guys like Cogliano, the same way previous cores were built here around young and still hungry guys. Allow them to grow together and don't play it cheap when the time comes to ante up. Hopefully by that time those players will have formed enough ties with the community and their teammates that they will want to stay. For the love of god Tambo STOP pretending (as Lowe has for too long) that we're the New York Rangers when it comes to every overpriced big name guy that becomes available.

  • Hippy

    swany wrote:

    I think we need to give this guy a deadline, the Oilers are starting to look like a second rate team waiting on every word from the Heatley camp. Grab a set of balls and tell this guy it’s either yes or no. If yes great if no atleast we can move on and try differnt things, this is getting out of hand

    To be fair, it doesn't seem like the Oilers are doing this, as much as Oilers fans and Oilers media are doing this.

  • Hippy

    A lot can change. I know Ek is Ek, but his post the other day about the teams interested in Heatley, even if only accurate, could be something that people are starting to hear as true. If so, the Oilers need to post a deadline to have any shot at Heatley. The minute an acceptable offer gets tabled from another team, Heatley will go there.

    I also believe that it is realsitic to think a trade is out there for Tambo to get another LW. Those trades will only last so long and its probably with a team that needs to clear cap space. If so, they… unlike the Oilers won't wait forever to make whatever moves they need to.

  • Hippy

    The Oilers need to impose a deadline. They need to proceed without Heatley and make some other changes. The uncertainty has to be impacting Penner, Cogs and Smid in a negative way.

    I would love Tambellini to come out and say "This matter has gone on long enough. Ottawa and Mr Heatley have until noon Friday July 17 to accept our offer or we will consider the matter closed. While we respect Mr Heatley for his desire to do what he sees as right for himself and his family, and while we would like to see him as part of team, the continuing uncertainty is not fair to our players, their families, our organization, or our fans. We must move on and will do so after July 17 should our terms no be met."

  • Hippy

    This Heatley thing is getting worse than the Sundin fiasco, what happened to players that just want to play hockey?

    I used to think Ryan Smyth would play hockey for free, just because he loved it so much, but then he refused to sign a deal over $100K. Luckily I had already become completely disillusioned by the Oilers selling Gretzky that I was not even really surprised or disappointed when Smytty decided to go for the dough.

    Give me the Steve MacIntyre's of the world any day (just happy to be realizing a dream)**.

    **Note: this is not a good way to build a winning hockey team, but it makes for a happier story.

  • Hippy

    I think we need to give this guy a deadline, the Oilers are starting to look like a second rate team waiting on every word from the Heatley camp. Grab a set of balls and tell this guy it's either yes or no. If yes great if no atleast we can move on and try differnt things, this is getting out of hand

  • Hippy

    As a fan that is more interested in the long term health of the Oilers organization I hope the team can acquire a happy Heatley or no one at all.

    Worst case senario the oil play the young front 6 and hope someone plays well enough to increase their trade value and then make a moves that dont make the oils contracts look so heavy. Penner, Cogs, Gagner, Nilson or even Brule or Schremp could do some good things given the chance to. They didnt last year but they are still very young. Once they show some value ship them out and aquire a dangerous first line that can score.

    I know I will get critisized for saying this; but Ottawa built a first line and played damn well for several years. I would rather loose in the playoffs then not make them at all.

  • Hippy

    @ me:

    The only way we give him a deadline is if another move is in the works, lets hope Tambo is working something. Maybe if they pressure him he will make up his mind.

  • Hippy

    @ jayoilfan:
    There's been a hanful or articles not about Heatley in the last few days.

    Hasn't Howson denied this many times? The CBJ rumor was started by you-know-who and both Stauffer and Robin shot it down immediately.
    I still can't decide if I want Heater or not. I do like death marches, Cogs and our team dignity, but I also like Heatley's goals.

  • Hippy

    I wonder if GM's are thinking (not conspiring) that they are not going to trade for Heatley due to the circumstances surrounding this player, and he hasn't clued in yet that he doesn't have a lot of options..

  • Hippy

    Ugh,

    As much as I would still LOVE to see him here, I too am tired of the soap opera.

    Simon Gagne's name has been tossed around the blogosphere, any chance he'd be available?

    The optimist in me would still like to think when Lowe and Tambo met with Heatley in Kelowna, he told them some things that led them to wait this long. Not sure what exactly though, I guess I'm trying to justify to myself why they wouldn't have told him to go pound sand on July 2nd.

    Thanks for the update JW!

  • Hippy

    Thanks JW, my hopes for this to end have been shattered. Wouldn't it be nice if nothing was ever writen about this situation until it ends, only in a perfect world I guess. That would be pretty sweet if suddenly Tambo announced a nice trade or a UFA signing to put this s**t to rest.

  • Hippy

    The sudden change (last 3 days) may be a result of the possibility of another deal on the table for Tambo to consider rather than dicking about with Heatley camp.