Off your knees and on your feet

If you could jab Edmonton Oilers players like Steve MacIntyre and Zack Stortini in the ass with a shot of sodium pentothal, I wonder what they’d say about Dany Heatley?

Would MacIntyre, who thanks his lucky stars every time he pulls on an Oilers jersey after a decade of slugging it out in the minors, say Heatley has acted like a spoiled, petulant child in the last 48 hours or so? Would he talk about being sickened by Heatley’s sense of entitlement, how he has screwed over not only the Oilers but the Ottawa Senators?

Would Stortini, who has parlayed modest skills and a Herculean work ethic to a place at the bottom of the NHL pay scale, admit watching GM Steve Tambellini and Kevin Lowe essentially beg and grovel to get Heatley to accept a trade to Edmonton makes him want to puke? Would he allow that Heatley is the epitome of the me-first player who cares only about a pay cheque and having his own way, somebody who doesn’t have the faintest idea what it means to be a team guy?

Do they want him as a teammate? Is Heatley somebody they want to do the dirty work for as part of the job description they happily accept as part of what it takes to call themselves members of the Oilers?

I don’t know. But, after the last 48 hours — in which Heatley has rebuffed the Oilers, refused to waive his no-movement clause in a deal for Dustin Penner, Andrew Cogliano and Ladislav Smid after demanding the Senators trade him — is there any doubt Heatley is the last player the Oilers need?

You know where I stand on that. How about you?

Enough already

If Heatley hasn’t used up every shred of any benefit of the doubt Oilers fans have been willing to allow in order to add his 40 goals to their top line, then the faithful at Rexall Place truly are a masochistic lot.

Even now, after Ottawa GM Bryan Murray said today the deal that was on the table is dead because the Senators had to kick-in a $4-million bonus to Heatley last night, some die-hards are still in denial of the obvious.

Maybe the Oilers can take on a couple of contracts in the deal — those of Jason Smith and Christoph Schubert have been mentioned — to offset Ottawa’s financial hit and keep talks alive for the right to pay Heatley’s $7.5 million cap hit a season. Oh, wouldn’t that be something?

Maybe if Tambellini and Lowe, who have already taken the extraordinary step of flying to Kelowna to meet with Heatley, get on bended knee and kiss his Stanley Cup ring — wait, he doesn’t have one — Dany will re-think his desire to go anywhere but Edmonton and agree to make his millions here. Besides, he can always change his mind once next season begins.

Are Oilers fans that desperate? Sadly, some are, although I’m guessing the numbers who think an abusive relationship is better than no relationship at all are dwindling.

Move on

I admire the determination of Tambellini and Lowe to do whatever it takes to improve the Oilers after three straight years out of the playoffs. Given the well-documented challenges this city has in attracting marquee players and slights fans have endued in the past, they have to take extraordinary measures.

Lowe tried, without success, with Marian Hossa last summer. He threw out the welcome mat and the Oilers stopped just short of offering up a key to the city. Players called. Owner Daryl Katz waded in. No deal.

At some point, though, enough is enough. At some point, making a case for Edmonton and what it could mean to play for the Oilers, transcends a sales pitch and becomes begging. There is no dignity, 40 goals or not, in that.

At some point, fans have to admit welcoming a player like Heatley into the dressing room, despite his obvious on-ice ability, isn’t for the best. At some point, it becomes obvious somebody of Heatley’s ilk would be poison to a group of players that already has challenges in terms of cohesiveness.

Does it really take a shot of truth serum in the ass to admit we’re well past that point with Dany Heatley?

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

  • Poo Czar

    I desperately wanna see another Fire and Brimstone Tambo Press Conference, this time publically throwing 'ol Danny Boy under the bus.

    WG said it – this team needs some pride and swagger, two things you can't get whilst on your knees. You don't want us, we don't want you.

    I kinda like the idea of sending Smackintyre out for all future negotiations. If he's not satisfied that the incoming oplayer truly wants to be an Oiler, he vetos and/or punches.

  • Westcoastoil

    Good Riddance!! Sometimes the best trades are the ones you don't make. Unless you can pry Frolov out of LA as some kind of package involving Souray. Sign Malhotra, Kotalik save a little cap room and see what the new coaches can get out of your current squad. We've suffered through the growing pains, let's find out what exactly we have.

  • Doug

    Ultimately even if he does come here, I am convinced it would end badly. This is Edmonton, and we are a hockey town. Dany is easily one of the very best talents in the league and in a market like this I think your superstar has to be the face of your team, not just the LW who scores goals.

    Nothing about Heatley says he has the class or character to lead our team.

  • West Coast Oil

    Im in agreement time to move on. When you listen to the Chicago GM talking about how good it now feels to be a market that players want to come to, then you have to think the Blackhawk plan is the best one for the Oilers.
    Lets build through the draft and youth.

  • dumb

    TIM S wrote:

    Everything coming out late last night from guys you can trust at TSN, and Stauffer say that this is more about the Sens then about Edmonton

    Doesn't that kind of speak to Dany's character? Is that the kind of guy you'd want to go to war with?

  • TIM S

    I say stay with it. Keep the offer is the same, and give the Sens and Heatley a deadline to accept it or walk away. In my mind this is not that much different then waiting on a UFA. Do we have such little faith in Oilers managment that we don't think they know when to say enough is enough?

    Everything coming out late last night from guys you can trust at TSN, and Stauffer say that this is more about the Sens then about Edmonton. I have not heard him or his agents say no to Edmonton, they have not bad mouthed Edmonton at all. If the Oilers are still in on this thing then they heard something last night that gives them a reason to still be involved.

    Talking about how other Edmonton players feel about Heatley dragging his feet about coming to Edmonton, what if we asked them what they thought of Souray and it alleged trade request? Or what they thought of Smid and his desire to no longer play in Edmonton as was reported on this site? Or what they thought of Roloson 2 years ago suggesting the he would welcome a trade? All at one time or another allegedly wanted out of Edmonton for some reason yet they remained and still remain but we can't let this Heatley situation play out for a few days??

  • dumb

    This is like telling the pretty girl you love her 65 times before she finally says, "fine I love you too". Does she really love you?

    It's almost embarassing at this point that Tamblowe are still chasing this guy. I'm with you Robin, time to move on.

  • equinox

    Not only would it be benfecial to the Oilers to publically state their newly developed lack of interest in continuing with this debacle in terms of a team identity and self respect; but it might actually speed the process along should they secretly still wish Dany Heatley into the fold.

    Should there truly be no other offers on the table and Ottawa finally just says "to hell with this and Dany Heatley", Edmonton is likely able to complete this trade offering less in return.

    This is now a matter of the lesser of three evils. Would Heatley rather play in Ottowa or Edmonton? Would Murray rather keep a disgruntled player or move him for magic beans or would Tambellini rather search for other options than have a player who obviously is not enthused to be an Oiler?