Northeast Division: Sens’ Heatley even has his preferrences

Heatley

Heatley

It turns out that not only does Ottawa Senators star forward Dany Heatley want a trade, he also has one or two preferred destinations on his list. That’s what Allan Panzeri of the Ottawa Citizen reports today.

As Panzeri writes, it takes real gall to not only demand a deal but also narrow the locations you’d wave your no-trade clause for to just a couple cities. But this is Dany Heatley after all.

One team with piqued interest in Heatley is reportedly Edmonton. But there’s no sign yet that the Oilers are one of Heatley’s preferred destinations. San Jose might also get into the mix. To me, the Sharks make the most sense for a number of reasons. San Jose is a solid organization, they have a perfect set-up man (Joe Thornton) and they have a player with a comparable salary and similar skill level (Patrick Marleau) to satisfy the Sens.

Panzeri’s piece mentions the Bruins, but points out that any deal would have to start with Phil Kessel and Patrice Bergeron just to make the salaries work. Adding Heatley and subtracting the necessary talent to make the deal work under the cap would in no way make the Bruins a better team, and I doubt they’d even consider such a swap. Ottawa would have to really sweeten the pot for the Bruins to take Heatley off the Sens’ hands.

Whichever team decides to go hard after Heatley, Robert Tychkowski of Sun Media has a warning:

We’re not talking about Henrik Zetterberg. We’re talking about one of the lead dogs on one of the biggest, softest underachievers of the last 20 years. The Senators were supposed to be Stanley Cup champions two times over by now, but they gagged and folded and got outworked.

Tychkowski is writing specifically about the Oilers, but he could plug in any of 18 or 20 teams’ names into his thesis. The fact is, for what Heatley makes and counts against the cap he doesn’t make a lot of contending teams — ones that he’d OK a trade to — better. This could turn out to be a gamble Heatley will regret, as he might have to accept a deal to a place like Long Island or Tampa Bay or begrudgingly return to Ottawa.

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