Update 945am EST – Florida and Columbus are trying to put together packages for Heatley. Any starting point with the Panthers would be either Nathan Horton or Keith Ballard I am told. For the Jackets, it would have to be Brassard as a starting point. Question is would Heatley accept a trade to either team.
The last two days have been filled with rumours, some false and others with some substance.
I have held off in posting anything until I knew for sure that any of the reported rumours had legs to them. First off, I can tell you that San Jose refuses to include Milan Michalek as part of the 2 deals they have tabled to Ottawa over the last few days. In both instances they have wanted Ottawa to take Jonathon Cheechoo as part of any package. One of the offers had Christian Erhoff with Cheechoo and prospect Jamie McGinn. The second offer had Marc-Edouard Vlasic, prospect Logan Couture and once again Cheechoo. In both instances, Sens GM Bryan Murray has requested Michalek as part of any Heatley deal. So as it stands now, both sides aren't talking and the chances for a press conference tomorrow at 1pm EST are dwindling!
The NY Rangers have re-entered the possibility of acquiring Heatley as first reported here. Plus all along from everyone I have talked to, they have been not only the preferred destination for Heatley as his agents orchestrated the first deal back before the entry draft that had both sides extremley close to finalizing a deal, but have also been the team in which Murray has felt it would be the right for the Sens. It could be the perfect trade partner for Murray because he wouldn't have to take back the same amount of salary going the other way. Murray has been extremely high on top prospect Ryan McDonaugh and got Rangers GM Glen Sather to include him in the Scott Gomez deal back on draft day. I am still waiting on confirmation of what the Rangers offer was but I am told any deal would include Brandon Dubinsky.
There has been one team out there that have flown under radar quite nicely and that is the Dallas Stars. In talking to sources close to the Stars organization, Dallas might be even a better fit for Heatley and more importantly Ottawa. The Stars have over 10 million in cap space while having an abundance of LW's on their NHL roster which just happens to be the Sens weakest position as they lack alot of depth on the left side. As mentioned in my blog two days ago, Loui Eriksson or James Neal would be great additions here in Ottawa. The question remains, would Brad Richards be willing to waive his NTC? Would the Stars take back Chris Kelly with Heatley? A few things need to happen from the Stars standpoint, but regardless it would be a great trading partner for Murray.
If you were to ask me right now where Heatley ends up, I would say the NYR or Dallas Stars. But that can change in a hurry, especially if SJ smartens up and tables a proper offer to Murray instead of low-balling him.
As always, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.