The Heatley trade: All in all, Sens made the best deal they could
Sometimes, dreams do come true.
After one final, failed push on Friday to win back the affections of
The two teams had discussed options for a Heatley deal since June, when the Senators turned down an offer said to have involved Cheechoo, defenseman
"It's a deal that we talked about throughout the summer," said Ottawa GM
If you read into those words that Murray is something less than excited with his end of the bargain, you're probably right.
This wasn't the best deal. It was the best deal to be made under the circumstances. Murray's hands were tied the minute Heatley's demands became public during the Stanley Cup Final, and the ropes only tightened after an August news conference that defined the wide chasm between the two sides in spirit, if not in context. But it was only after meeting with the player on Friday that Murray knew there was no hope of reconciliation. Rather than have Heatley playing little black rain cloud as team opened camp, Murray took what he could get.
It's debatable whether this package benefits the Senators more than the Edmonton offer vetoed earlier in the summer by Heatley that would have sent
By virtue of his Rocket Richard Trophy, Cheechoo is the biggest name coming to Ottawa, but the 29-year-old is a shadow of the player that scored 56 goals back in 2005-06. Since then his goal totals have plummeted from 37 to 23 to just 12 in an injury-riddled 2008-09 campaign -- not exactly a trend that suggests he'll make Sens fans forget Heatley's timely lamp-lighting any time soon. At $3.5 million for each of the next two years, Ottawa hopes it bought some scoring depth. More likely, the Sens added an overpriced third line plumber.
Michalek is a useful player, but less impactful a centerpiece than Murray likely hoped this deal would yield. He's proven to be a reliable secondary scorer, netting at least 23 goals each of the past three seasons. Playing a larger role in Ottawa, he could become a 30-goal man if he develops chemistry with
No one will suggest the Senators are a more talented team for having made this trade, but at least they can move forward with a group that was bolstered over the summer with the additions of
From San Jose's perspective, Heatley qualifies as the dressing room shakeup promised by GM
At the same time though, his arrival poses a clear challenge to San Jose's depth on the wings and the blueline. This deal, after all, cost them more than just Cheechoo and Michalek. Remember, the trade that sent Ehrhoff and
And it won't be a cake walk for Heatley, either.
But at least Heatley won't have to worry about being kicked off the first power play unit. If nothing else, that makes him the clear winner in this deal.