If any NHL team is willing to pay $7.5 million for the next five years for a one-dimensional (albeit an important dimension) winger, the line for Ottawa forward Dany Heatley is forming now.
Of course, at that price in a salary-cap league — and with the player coming off his lowest point total for a full NHL season since his rookie year — the number of teams with serious interest will be able to fit in a phone booth. But that hasn’t stopped Heatley from asking out of Ottawa because of his disenchantment with head coach Cory Clouston, according to the Ottawa Sun. Clouston, who helped the Senators salvage their dignity during the second half of their horrible season, cut Heatley’s minutes and demoted the star to the second power-play unit.
As Don Brennan of The Sun points out, this move reveals Heatley as selfish. But unfortunately, he’ll get his way because he’s a selfish person with an uncanny ability to score goals when given the proper amount of minutes and a high-caliber center to set him up.
There’s no telling what the Sens will be able to get in return for Heatley, but it’s doubtful they’ll be able to match his scoring ability with what they get back. And as far as the Boston Bruins are concerned, they should be more than pleased to say good riddance to Heatley from the division. In 39 career games against the Bruins with Ottawa and Atlanta, Heatley has put up 18-21-39 totals, including 1-5-6 last winter.
In a way this might be the best thing for Ottawa in the long run because it’ll help the Sens accelerate their rebuilding program. But for the short term the Sens will probably be a less formidable foe for the Bruins and the rest of the division.