The Dany Heatley rumours are really firing up as Sens GM Bryan Murray tries to get a deal done sooner rather than later.
Updated at 545pm EST – The NY Rangers are definitely inquiring about Heatley again after speaking with a few more sources. What I am told is that the Rangers want to get rid of Rosival at all costs in hopes of doing a couple things. One, acquire Heatley and then bury Redden's contract in the AHL to go after a 2nd line center. Glen Sather is very intersted in Mike Comrie as a 3rd line center and Sather plans on having Artem Anisimov as their 4th line center who played last year in Hartford. The Dallas Stars have been more than kicking tires on the Heatley scenario. The Stars are loaded on the left side and would trade James Neal or Loui Eriksson along with Brad Richards. Murray desperately wants to unload Chris Kelly and the Stars have asked about Brian Lee's availability.
NYI update – Garth Snow is 4 million from the cap floor and that includes the buyouts of Yashin and Shawn Bates. He is going hard after Alex Tanguay as he knows they need some experience at the forward position. Look for Snow to sign Andrew Peters too as the Isles have little in the way of toughness up front.
Now keep this in mind, all of what I am writing is what I am being told from various sources and I am trying to piece this together like everyone else during these last 6 weeks of crazy Heatley talk. With the Edmonton Oilers officially out of the Heatley trade talks, everyone is onto the possible three way deal involving the SJ Sharks and Montreal Canadiens. A three way deal is extremely tough to complete in the salary cap era especially when all 3 teams mentioned are up against the cap. Personally, I feel that the chances of Heatley ending up in SJ are in the 25-40% range. I have spoken to two sources very close to the situation in SJ and the belief is the Sharks don't believe they can complete this type of complicated three way deal, too much has to happen.
With the arbitrator's ruling on Nikolai Zherdev a few days ago, as first reported at this site before the NHL Entry Draft, the NY Rangers want nothing to do with Zherdev and will most likely away from his ruling. That leaves Brandon Dubinsky as the only key re-signing left for the Rangers. Many close to the situation wonder if Murray would take Dubinsky back in a trade with Heatley as he originally declined taking Dubinsky back in June. Murray also wants no part of Rosival's contract, but all of that could change if he feels the Sharks can't pull off the three team deal. Would Murray get desparate and take back more salary than he wants to? Murray wants a top prospect and I am told he absolutely needs Ryan McDonaugh to be part of any deal, McDonaugh was acquired in the Scott Gomez deal with Montreal. Still, it is very intriguing that the NY Rangers are trying to be quiet in resuming their talks with the Sens about Heatley. Heatley was extremely close to being dealt to NY before the draft and if not for Murray leaking the potential Oilers names, the deal was all but done. Now the question is would Edmonton sign Zherdev so the Rangers could go after Heatley? Trust me, all of this could very well happen. Murray wants this Heatley saga to end so he can focus on where he stands with his cap space. He could possibly sign Mike Comrie to a two year deal and finalize his roster but it all hinges on Heatley, although the Columbus Blue Jackets have recently showed interest in Comrie.
The other twist is that the Dallas Stars have entered the fray when it comes to the Heatley talks. The Stars have inquired before and have a ton of cap space although I am told they still would like to unload the contract of Brad Richards. I first reported this before free agency began but Richards would have to waive his NTC for any deal to occur. In talking to two people tonight close to Richards out in PEI, both confirmed that Richards has recently been approached by Stars management about possibly waiving his NTC. If Murray was to trade Heatley to Dallas, he would be taking back alot of salary unless he could unload another contract to get under the cap and the name of Chris Kelly has come up. Dallas would still have Mike Ribeiro and Mike Modano up the middle but Modano has one year left on his deal and this will most likely be his last year playing before retiring. So the Stars would want a little depth at Center and Kelly fits the bill.
So does Heatley end up in Dallas along with Kelly for Richards and James Neal along with a top defensive prospect? Or does he somehow end up in SJ if Montreal can pull off a trade with the Sharks? Or will Heatley somehow find his way to his first destination of choice that his agents orginally orchestrated, the NYR?
One thing is for sure, there is more than one team after Heatley unlike what you are hearing from most writers. Murray has options and is holding his cards very close to his vest. This is one of the reason's the Oilers pulled out, they heard 2 other teams were going to re-enter the possibility of acquiring Heatley and weren't about to wait around any longer.
I will be back late this afternoon with a quick update on the Heatley to NYR rumours after I talk to 2 major sources. Yes, the 2 sources who gave me the Derek Morris and Nik Antropov trades to the NYR at the deadline before everyone which includes TV Networks or newspaper/hockey sites on the net. If anything breaks earlier I will be sure to update the blog.
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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.