Ottawa has finally dipped into the free agent market signing former Habs winger Alexei Kovalev to a 2 year contract worth 9-10 million. More details to come on terms of the deal.
UPDATE at 940pm EST – I was told in passing yesterrday that the Columbus Blue Jackets could be a team interested in Heatley. It appears now that all remains for this deal to be completed is for Heatley to give his almighty blessing. Will he or won't he waive his NTC? Derick Brassard and Nikita Filitov would definitely be coming back to Ottawa and the name of Kristian Huselius has come up as well. His 4.75 million cap hit might have to be included for Columbus to bite on this deal. I was also told that the Dallas Stars were getting serious on acquiring Heatley but that Brad Richards had to waive his NTC. James Neal could also be part of a Stars packages if they were to acquire Heatley.
In Sens management news, expect the announcement of Chris Schwarz the new conditioning coach and Dominique Nicoletta to be the new assistant therapist with the Ottawa Senators for the upcoming season by tomorrow. He will be promoted from his head position in Bingo.
Other rumblings with Sens upper management has to do with Asst. GM Tim Murray. Management in both Ottawa and Binghamton are extremely frustrated with Tim Murray and his lack of leadership. Murray went out of his way to say that he would be down in Binghamton to oversee player developement, etc…but he only showed his face twice all year with one of those visits being with Uncle Bryan Murray. That sort of incompetence can't be tolerated by either franchise along with a few other problems that occurred with the younger Murray during the season. His comments on XM Radio late in the season weren't received well by many in the organization when he said he didn't care if the Baby Sens made the playoffs. More to come on all of this plus a development camp breakdown in my blog tomorrow.>
The signing of Kovalev is definitely a sign of other things to come in Sens land. Regardless, I think Sens GM Bryan Murray will be regretting this signing at this time next summer, just as he is regretting the terrible signing of Jason Smith. Murray makes too many panic moves and this is another one of those.
Look for Bryan Murray to move 3 contracts on defense over the course of the summer. Jason Smith, Alex Picard and Christoph Schubert will almost certainly not be back with the club when the open training in September. Naturally alot of the movement on defense will be determined after Heatley is moved.
It is doubtful that Heatley ends up in Edmonton at this point. First off, how do you sell Heatley to your fans after he spurned your team a few times? Secondly, if you are upper management, why would you continue to go after a player with deep character problems and with his refusal to play in Edmonton, who knows if he will ever be happy with the Oilers? That is why at this point in time Colorado and Dallas are in play on Heatley. Plus Dallas is willing to trade Brad Richards for Heatley.
I will be back tomorrow with detailed analysis from the Sens development camp and a detailed story on Heatley and what went down with the possible NY Rangers trade.
About the Author
Written by Kevin Lee
Kevin has had an extensive career as a sports writer and radio show host for almost 10 years. Kevin has covered the NFL, NHL, MLB, NCAA College Football and Basketball. From covering the BCS Championship Game to the Final Four and the Stanley Cup Finals, he has done it all. He has been featured on numerous sports radio stations in Canada and the United States and often a weekly guest on numerous XM and Sirius Satellite radio shows. He has also had his work featured on FoxSports.com.