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 . . .

— 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.

— 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?

THE MORNING AFTER

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.

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?

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.

RANDOM THOUGHTS

— 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.

    • ijstonehouse

      Now I do agree with most of that statement, but there’s a few players that really get tricky to decide upon…

      Obviously protecting the Sedin twins and Eriksson is a must, with their no trade clauses. For me it also makes sense to protect Sutter and Horvat (of course). And on defence protecting Edler, Tanev, and Gudbranson is smart (all our other decently valuable defenders are too young to be exposed, which is good!) Also protecting Markstrom is really our only option, unless we decide to resign Miller sometime this season. The Nucks would have no reason to protect Bachman when we have Demko just a year or two away from joining the team. So all that makes sense.

      But where it gets murky for me is with Hansen and Baertschi. While those two make sense when you think about it right away, that’s before you remember we would then have to expose players like Rodin, Granlund, and Gaunce.
      I have no doubt that currently, Hansen is better than all these players. But he’s also 31. So the question comes, do we think he has a future with the Canucks, despite his age? Keeping Hansen gives us only one other player to choose to protect from Baertschi, Rodin, Granlund, and Gaunce.

      I see two options with this.. option one, go with Hansen and whatever other player we choose to protect, and know that we will also probably be giving up one of those players I just mentioned.
      Option two, trade Hansen at the deadline to a contending team for a pick or two in the draft. I know, I hate this idea too, I love Hansen. But I really don’t know if keeping him is the best option for the club going forward, with trying to get younger and all, and ESPECIALLY with this expansion draft. Trade Hansen away, and not only do you get an extra pick or two in the draft, but you now get to choose two players to protect between Baertschi, Rodin, Granlund, and Gaunce.

      If I was GM, I would honestly try and go with option two and attempt to trade Hansen, as I just see so much potential in each of those four guys, and would love to protect as many of them as possible. Plus Benning is known for his scouting skills, so we can count on him to get some good players in the draft.

      Hate the idea of letting Hansen go, but love what could come from it. Thoughts?

      • You’d need to find someone who a) needs a player like Hansen that b) will pay a good price and c) can protect him from the expansion draft. That’s a tough sell. I’d rather keep him since he’s always been a good player and can pretty much do anything.

        • ijstonehouse

          That’s fair enough! You’re right, it could be very hard for the Canucks to get a deal worth while for him at the deadline for both us, and the team that would be getting him.. It’s an interesting situation for sure. If they can find a deal, I would do it. If not, that’s fine too. He’s a fantastic player.

          This brings me back to my frustrations I had at the beginning of the season with the Canucks signing Eriksson. Hopefully he will work out long term for this team, because he’s currently keeping us from protecting some young players, and is getting us to make some tough decisions on who to keep.
          For someone who’s currently playing on the 3rd line and is on pace for only 38 points, he’s a not worth giving up the players we could be keeping if we didn’t have him (for me). Hopefully he can continue to have some point production long term, because I would much rather keep one of our younger players than him. But nothing you can do now.

        • JuiceBox

          It’s not as tough a sell as you would think. CBJ, BOS, OTT, PHI, WSH, CHI, and ANA would be teams likely interested in Hansen. The going rate for Hansen is likely a young forward and a 2nd round pick but most of those teams mentioned would need to be sending salary – which likely means a player that needs protection – back to Vcr. Vcr is in a great position being able to accept around $5M AAV at the TDL; they can use that return of salary to turn that 2nd round pick into a 1st round pick. If Vcr can get a young NHL ready forward and/or a 1st round pick, then the high salary player that comes with it can be protected (if Vcr is comfortable leaving Gaunce, Granlund, or Rodin exposed) or said player can be exposed (and a young player protected) and the Canucks need not worry about the additional salary constraints moving forward.

          • Based on trades like Eller, Shaw and Teravainen, I would think that a pair of 2nd round picks would be the best that Benning could get. A 1st round pick is a great ask but I think unlikely to receive.

            Hansen to WSH for Bowey and then Gudbranson to COL for Jost, rebuild complete?

          • JuiceBox

            Washington is not going to give up Bowey for Hansen, they have said they are looking for help on defense, it’ll take Tanev to land Bowey plus a draft pick.

            Colorado won’t give up Jost for a Gudbranson. Looming RFA a potential contract dispute and a wrist surgery have cratered Guddy’s trade value this season. If I’m calling COL its not for Jost, it’s for Landeskog and/or Barrie.

            Vancouver could land a 1st for Hansen if they are willing to take back a bad contract (which could be exposed) and throw in a 3rd or 4th round pick which they could get for Alex Burrows.

      • JuiceBox

        The biggest problem I have with this question being asked today is the amount of time between now and the draft.

        The trade deadline could see significant changes to this roster. Hansen is the Canucks most valuable player for a team looking to fortify for a playoff run but the chances of him getting moved at the TDL depend on where the Canucks sit in the standings. As of right now they are closer to a wild card spot than they are to Nolan Patrick and in a weak western conference the Canucks probably only need to win 25 of their remaining games to snag a wildcard spot. If there is any hint of a playoff berth I doubt Hansen gets moved unless a team is offering up an A+ young NHL-ready forward and a 1st round draft pick. (If I were GM I would move him for that deal regardless of where the team sits in the standings)

        The only young forward that I would like to see protected that can’t be as of right now is Gaunce; I just have a really good feeling about that kid. I would have zero problems with the Canucks exposing Rodin and Granlund because it’s likely that better players are going to be exposed and taken.

        There isn’t much doubt that JB is still quietly looking for a top 6 winger (Landeskog wont come cheap) which makes it likely that a number of players such as Tanev, Baer, and/or Granlund could all be playing somewhere else next season which would open the door to other players being protected.

        So we answer the question today with the best information we have right now, knowing that in 6 months everything could be different.

        • ijstonehouse

          Very true, it’s too early to make the call. Someone on our roster could still breakout in production during the second half of the season, which could affect who we protect as well. I still don’t like the fact that this team is somewhere in between a wildcard spot and the bottom, because I really don’t see us getting by the first round in the playoffs if we do indeed make it. I agree, could also see the Canucks trying to trade someone like Tanev if the right deal comes along. It’s just very scary to me having to probably expose a couple of our younger players, as it could come back to haunt us. Like you I see a lot of potential in Gaunce, but also in Rodin and Granlund too.
          It’ll be interesting to see how things play out for sure.

  • From Vanessa’s Dec 9 article: Benning on exposing players for the Expansion Draft: “We’ll continue to watch our players. I would expect, this year at the trade deadline, there to be a lot of moves made with the eye on expansion. We’re going to continue to monitor our players, watch them, and evaluate them. Once we get to the trade deadline, we can make some decisions on them.”

    One has to wonder if Hansen will be traded at the deadline to protect another one of Benning’s younger acquisitions (i.e. Baertschi, Granlund) or if one of the exposed players will be flipped at the deadline to thin the herd and steer Vegas into drafting Sbisa.

  • Locust

    Hansen, Edler and Burrows all moved for picks at the deadline.

    Canucks lose Gaunce in expansion.

    Big draft moves and trades to fill holes and stock up.

    Burrows resigns in 17/18 for his last year.

    Canucks compete for playoffs in 17/18 but just fall short.

    Canucks vastly improved moving forward.

    Canucks win cup. JD leaves CA in disgust.

  • Beefus

    I’m intrigued by the idea of asking the Sedins to waive their no-movement clause prior to the expansion draft. Would Vegas want one Sedin at age 37 at a 6.5 million cap hit? I think that it would be worth the risk if it meant being able to protect two more of our young players.

  • TD

    I want to see Rodin at his best and likely look to protect him. I thought he was the best player in the preseason and looked to have a much higher ceiling than Granlund or Baertschi. Either way, they should resign him when they can so that they don’t lose him to free agency. Even he is signed and lost in the expansion draft, we wouldn’t lose a different player.

  • andyg

    I think they should do very little. There is no one in this years draft that is worth giving up much for. The major trades will not happen until the expansion draft is over. The draft itself may see more action.
    I think trade deadline may be very quiet and only involve a few deals for rentals.