WTF? The Dany Edition

If you’re asking me, let’s hope the done deal for Dany Heatley that came undone last night stays that way. The Edmonton Oilers will be better off without him.

The best thing the Oilers and GM Steve Tambellini can do today with the free agency season officially underway — unless that deadline has been reported incorrectly without clarification by the NHL as well — is yank their offer to the Ottawa Senators off the table and move on.

Let’s review . . .

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— Heatley and his agents demand a trade out of Ottawa because Dany Boy is unhappy with the way he’s been handled by new coach Cory Clouston. Instead of going to GM Bryan Murray on the down-low, Heatley and his agents go public, forcing Murray’s hand.

— In the days since, Heatley, through his agents, make it known that the Oilers would be one of the teams he’d waive his no-trade clause to go to and it’s widely reported by MSM outlets, including TSN, that’s the case. Oiler fans work themselves into a lather about landing Heatley.

— Murray fields offers leading up to the NHL Entry Draft. In the wake of the draft, the Oilers step to the front of the line Tuesday with an offer that includes Dustin Penner, Andrew Cogliano and Ladislav Smid. Dump PDP as part of a Heatley deal? Oilers fans are in a frenzy.

— Late Tuesday afternoon, with a midnight deadline for a $4-million bonus payment to Heatley looming (or so everybody thought), several MSM media outlets, including Sportsnet, TEAM 1260 and The Score, report that the Oilers and Senators have completed the Heatley swap for Penner, Cogliano and Smid. Done deal. Oilers fans rejoice.

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— Other media outlets, notably TSN and Bob McKenzie, say, “Not so fast.” Heatley has yet to approve the deal by waiving his no-trade clause. The done deal starts to unravel. Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reports that Heatley has killed the deal. Heatley’s agents later clarify Heatley has not killed the deal. He hasn’t said no but he hasn’t said yes. He wants to “sleep on it.” Shunned again, Oiler fans are outraged.

Is that about right?


So, as Oilers fans awoke this morning with teeth and fists clenched and cursing Heatley and everybody who reported the done deal, delivering a kick in the collective nuts the way Chris Pronger, Michael Nylander and countless others have done, we’re led to believe there’s still a chance Heatley might yet give Edmonton his blessing.

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Sure, there’s still a chance — if Heatley and his camp can’t orchestrate a deal with the New York Rangers before the REAL deadline for the bonus payment ticks by at 11:59 tonight.

Tell me this: how is it that nobody with the Senators or the Oilers had the actual deadline locked down? How is it that the NHL never clarified when the deadline fell? How did everybody get it wrong? Kind of an important detail, don’t you think?

That said, and knowing what we think we know today, does the possibility of landing a 40-50 goal player of Heatley’s stature trump the red flags that surround him?

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While I’m not into the “Dany Heatley’s mom wears army boots and dresses him funny” venom that was spewed in Ottawa when he went public with his trade request, for me the answer is no. Not a chance.

The way I see it, the boondoggle that infolded late Tuesday gives the Oilers a chance to reconsider their position, withdraw their offer and run the hell the other way as fast as they can. They should take it.

Ask yourself this: Is Heatley a cornerstone player Tambellini can build his team around for years to come? At $7.5 million per season in a salary cap world, he’d damn sure better be. Are you thinking, “maybe” or are you thinking “no?” Anybody thinking “yes” please raise your hands.

The best thing for the Oilers is that this deal stays undone. Heatley isn’t the answer.


— It’s been suggested that Murray knew the deadline actually fell at 11:59 tonight, but didn’t disclose it. The reasoning behind that train of thought is that Murray was using the Oilers to leverage better offers, most notably from the Rangers.

It’s also been offered Murray screwed with Tambellini and the Oilers as payback for the Mike Comrie deal that came undone during his days as Anaheim GM — when Kevin Lowe queered a trade involving Cory Perry with a late stipulation Comrie cough up $2.5 million to complete the swap. In other words, karma is biting the Oilers on the backside.

I’d bet on the former. That, or Murray is grossly incompetent.

— There’s plenty of consternation among Oilers fans that Tambellini now has a problem in the dressing room because Penner, Cogliano and Smid are going to feel unwanted because their names came out in the deal.

Too bad. Get over it. It’s part of the gig and part of a business that makes players like Penner, Cogliano and Smid millionaires. The possibility of being traded is part of the package.

Did Penner feel bad because the Ducks didn’t match Edmonton’s offer sheet? No. He took the money. Still with the Ducks, it seems to me Perry has recovered nicely from being offered up in the Comrie deal that came undone. No?

— When reporters push to break stories and announce that a deal is done and it goes sideways, they have to wear it. That, like trades for players, is part of the game.

In that regard, it’s obvious Jason Gregor of the TEAM 1260, didn’t have all of the bases covered in reporting the deal as done.

Fine. Gregor went with his best information and trusted a source and the story went bust. Wrong is wrong. No excuses, but it happens. Own it, as Gregor has, and move on.

That said, there’s no excuse for some of the over-the-top crap written by fans and directed at Gregor over what unfolded Tuesday. None.

— Listen to Robin Brownlee every Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. on Just A Game with Jason Gregor on Team 1260.

  • MontanaMan

    For all of the Gulutzan haters, he was brought in and given a three year contract for a reason. The Flames have limited talent and need to improve in several areas. It has been well documented that bad contracts fall off the books this year, hopefully replaced by younger, higher skilled players. The Blue Jackets have built a strong team – size, speed and skill – and should be the new benchmark for NHL teams, Often easier said than done, but if this is the Flames goal, boat anchors need to be released at the end of the year, upgrade on size and skill and give Gulutzan an opportunity to implement his systems with upgraded talent. It’s painful to say but we need to be patient.

  • Ole YELLEr

    Buoma played 1:25 SH yesterday that’s the only reason his TOI was higher than Ferland. He also has 2 points in the last 3 games and his cf% was 60% or higher in the last 2 games, he’s been playing well since his return.

    Having said that, I agree Ferland should get more minutes. I’d like to see him play LW on any of our top 3 lines and move Versteeg to RW. While I’m at it I think it’s past time Elliot gets a start and JJ should sit for TSpoon.

  • buts

    I was at the game. They are going no where with the D they have. Engelland is a 7th D man at best. Wideman is a 5 or 6 d man now and I’d trade Doogie while his stock is high because he doesn’t use his size on the wall or in the front of the net. His hockey IQ is too low period. I’ve watched him since the world juniors and the hype doesn’t match his performance. We have tspoon, kulak, Anderson and kylington that are better than the 3 I’ve mentioned. Finally put Brodie on the right side where he performs. I remember a guy named Orr who played on the right side a lot, especially on the pp.

    • Kevin R

      I agree with a lot of your post except about trading Dougie. Quit thinking our D prospects are the best out of all the league’s prospects & sure fire to all be top pairing players. We just don’t know & the last thing we can afford to do is trade one of our top 3 D. Our roster is just plain dysfunctional. It shows the warts on even our best players. We have seen them on Gio, Hammy & most certainly Brodie this year. This has got to change. Players need to be played where they have the best chance of performing their best the most consistently. I have resolved myself to the fact that isn’t going to happen this year.

      So I have some suggestions I hope the Flames look at so we can finish the year making the best decisions on this roster. 5 THINGS Version

      1/Be a seller, this team is not a contender, even if we can span another 4-5 game winning streak in January & stay close to the playoff Wildcards.

      2/For God’s sakes use an asset & move Wideman. I don’t care if we have to use Klimchuk as a sweetener, teams like Detroit & Jersey are struggling for offence from the blue line. I could care less about the return, a semi decent prospect or pick(s) back will be fine. We need to change the roster dynamic back there.

      3/Once we accomplish #2, move Brodie back to the right side & let him play with T-spoon, or bring Kulak up, I don’t care. Play Engellend & Jokki or Tspoon on the bottom pairing.

      4/It’s time. I love the compete level of Chucky. Time to play him with Monahan & Vertseeg. Keep Bennett with Gaudreau & Brouwer, stay the course with this line. Move Ferland with Frolik & Backlund. The 4th, personally, I think Stajan & Hathaway should be on it & rotate the rest of the guys.

      5/Yes time to sit down with Elliott & Johnson & let them know they will rotate based on you play until you lose then the other guy slots in the next game. Lets see what happens.

      It was nice having that win streak & winning a few games we shouldn’t of & seeing some players perform like we think they can. It’s exciting for a true fan. For the last 2-3 weeks I had stopped watching best prospects for the next draft in June. Kinda nice. Look at the silver lining, the Flames were hot & the weather in this City has been a friggin deep freeze. The Flames have gone cold & we are going to get +1 !!!!!!! Break out the shorts & Tommy Bahama shirt! :-}

      • Ole YELLEr

        I agree Hamilton is part of the core and shouldn’t be moved. However I don’t think it makes sense to include prospects and or picks to move Wideman in the last year of his contract. If they can get something for him without the Flames sweeting the deal fine, if not let him walk after this season. I also agree about Tkachuk getting a look on a different line, either RW with Johnny and Monny or LW with Bennet and Brouwer or Versteeg could work.

      • RedMan


        “…4/It’s time. I love the compete level of Chucky. Time to play him with Monahan & Vertseeg. Keep Bennett with Gaudreau & Brouwer, stay the course with this line. Move Ferland with Frolik & Backlund. The 4th, personally, I think Stajan & Hathaway should be on it & rotate the rest of the guys.”

  • Lucky 13

    I agree with Montana Man, this season is part and parcel of bigger, better things to come.

    GG is by far from perfect in his execution of players ( I struggle with some of his pairings I’ll admit) however we know that there will be growing pains with any new coach and players.

    It’s exciting to see improvements and winning streaks and sometimes frustrating as hell to watch as they dig themselves into holes. Last two games are indicative of how difficult it is to win when the team plays less than we know they’re capable of.

    If we make the playoffs I’ll be ecstatic, but I’m not pinning this on GG if we don’t.

    Yes we’re supposed to be a possession team, are we? Not by far.
    That is the goal and I’m willing to ride this out.

    Johnny will faux pas, like that giveaway on the PP, Brodie may give us fits cuz he’s so talented but hasn’t shown much, Johnson will be human at times, Brouwer will be Brouwer, 3M line will have a bad game (rare) etc

    Realistically, we are far from meeting expectations, but I’m glad we’re not in the vicinity of Vancouver or Coyotes bad.
    Cheers to that

  • snotss

    oh oh that was two forgettable games in a row the flames looked bad!!!!with the rest of the west division starting to get there mojo going the flames had better turn this “little” slide into wins..or they will get left behind in a hurry

  • Greg

    12 of our next 18 games are against non-playoff teams. 7 of the next 9 are against Arizona, Colorado and Vancouver. You kinda figured the flames might lose a couple this week, but now they have a chance to really pad their points. Or blow a tire. Either could happen and which one does will tell us a lot about this team.

  • Derzie

    I’ve believed (and stated here several times) that Chad Johnson’s run was hiding the identity of the team: boring, clear the zone hockey. We were winning and had some games where we actually scored goals and the ‘in GG we trust, be patient’ crowd was in told-you-so mode. My retort was lets see where we are when Johnson comes back to earth and that GG gets no credit for Johnson’s run. I have not changed my opinion. Middling team with weak coaching. One of the comments yesterday was that GG was brought in to be a possession coach and his numbers are worse than Hartley. The comment was trashed. Truth hurts. Oh and last night how was Chiasson’s TF% or CG% or whatever the hell is supposed to be good at. Trash to show your tears 🙂