A Leeman / Iafrate situation?

HFBoards contain some speculation as to the 'real reason' Heatley needed a trade out of town, that being that Heatley was caught inflagrante delecti with Spezza's fiance...

I guess this is what happens when its the silly season and the Heatley camp is shut tighter than an Otter's rear entrance.


At least the Oilers have hope, so that is something

"As of Monday, NHL sources say the Oilers have yet to run out of patience with winger Dany Heatley and haven't called Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray to pull out of their trade, a month after Heatley rejected their offer."

Jim Matheson

However, there may be other players in the Heatley sweepstakes;

"At some point, the Oilers have to turn their attention to next season, and to rebuilding their relationships with Penner, Cogliano and Smid, who have to be feeling more than a little anxious about their futures.

However, sources in the Alberta capital said Monday the team isn't ready to give up yet.

For the Senators, that is obviously hopeful news. There are rumours that at least two other teams have some interests in Heatley, which could lead to the "options" the Heatley camp is looking for, but so far Edmonton has submitted the only firm offer."

- Allen Panzeri


Eye Candy

Gentleman, I give you the LA Kings Ice Crew.

Your welcome. ;-)



Ovechkin and friends (that's Alex Semin behind OV's pimp hand) partied it up to celebrate OV's 2nd Hart Trophy.

Pics here. Warning, Russian babe alert.


Quote of the Day

"While it is true that he requested a trade, it was not Dany Heatley or his agent that made that fact public. I think Dany's been unfairly treated by the media and by the (Senators) organization."

- Paul Kelly NHLPA boss

One of the biggest complaints raised about Heatley's trade request was that it was made public reducing the value that Ottawa could have received in trade.

Turns out it wasn't Heatley who leaked it. So if it wasn't Heatley or his agent, that leaves Ottawa brass.

I've been arguing all along that Murray has clusterf*cked this whole thing from the start;

- He brought in a rookie coach who used strong arm tactics to take control of the room. Not by benching Spezza (they were trying to trade him), or Alfredsson (the Captain) but by going after the teams real alpha-dog, Heatley.

- When Heatley met with the coach and GM to address the issue he was blown off.

- When Heatley made his trade request in private, they did nothing.

- Ottawa brass eventually leaked the trade request, damaging their own position severely.

- Engaged in a massive media offensive that attempted to paint Heatley in the most negative light possible, further driving down his value.

- Attempted to trade him to the Oilers - a team not on Heatley's list, leaked the information to the media, and then publicly pouted when Heatley declined. All so they can play the victim.

All of which has me thinking the Senators are quite possibly the worst run organization in the league - including Tampa Bay.


Mock Arbitration

While the Oil appear incapable of matching the Flames on the ice, in cyberspace I'd put up the Oilerblogosphere up against the Flamesblogosphere any day.

Case in point, the mock arbitration the the Copper and Blue gang have put out for Dennis Grebeshkov. Really, really well done.

Mock Arbitration link.


Heatley Speculation

Here is some unverifiable speculation as to what is taking place behind the scenes in the Heatley/Ottawa situation - I lifted it from the comments left by 'BeRed' at the Battle of Ontario blog;

"One of my Buddies used to work for the Sens until last year, when he received a great promotion with a West Coast team. Thanks to Skype, we connect weekly and after talking to him last night, it seems there may be a good ole fashion fight brewing.

It will be positioned as Ottawa vs. Heatley, but it's in reality the NHL vs. the NHLPA. You see, there is now pressure for Ottawa to take legal action against Heatley and it doesn't sound like it's about the 4 million paid to him.

It seems that the NHL wants Ottawa to contest the wording of the contract where Heatley has the NMC. In Ottawa's (really the leagues) eyes, by asking for a trade he has made that clause null and void.

Murray requested Heatley to put the trade request in writing in the beginning, and Heatley did just that, with an inserted statement that said he would provide a list of teams he wished to be traded to. He signed it and sent it over.

The problem is that according to my Buddy, that doesn't make it a binding contract. The only piece of paper with both sets of signatures on it is the original contract which has the NMC, but by asking to be moved the league contends that it's no longer valid. They believe that he doesn't have a right to state teams as it was him requesting the trade, and unlike some players who have a limited NTC where they can provide a list of teams, Heatley can't just say trade me but here's where.

The story gets legs when you consider his agents are now telling Danny to take the deal as the NHLPA isn't sure they will win a legal battle and a precedent will be set where any player with a NTC/NMC that asks for a trade will have it voided and the team then controls the players location.

The NHLPA doesn't want this to go to court and as a result they want him to take the deal to Edmonton, where the NHL believes they can win and are trying to get Ottawa to push the matter.

It seems that Heatley may now accept the request to go to Edmonton, however Ottawa may be the one to say no. Further, Edmonton was told that the deal must be reworked and a better return is expected."


Mock Drafting

First the mock draft we came up with at the Dutch Pannekoeken house in Calgary (Brian, Bob, Doug, Me);

1. Highlanders - Getzlaf-C Ana (bids on Malkin)

2. Personal Vendetta - Datsyuk-L Det

3. Knights Templar - Parise-L NJ (new FP) (bids on Phaneuf)

4. Great Whites - Lecavalier-C TBay (new FP)

5. Edge - Nabokov-G SJ

6. Ramapithicines - Mason-G Clb (new FP)

7. Wolves - Phaneuf-D Cgy (match)

8. Lost Boys - Savard-C Bos

9. Bladerunners - D.Sedin-L Vcr

10. Shadowmen - Gonchar-D Pit (bid on Carter-C Pha)

11. Scourge - Carter-C Pha (match)

12. Severed Heads - Malkin-C Pit (new FP)

13. Severed Heads - Boyle-D SJ

14. Scourge - Semin-L Wsh

15. Shadowmen - Morrow-L Dal (bid on; Perry-R Ana, Vanek-R Buf, Weber-D Nsh)

16. Bladerunners - Gagne-L Pha

17. Lost Boys - Backstrom-G Min

18. Wolves - Alfredsson-R Ott

19. Ramapithicines - Perry-R Ana (match)

20. Edge - Rafalski-D Det

21. Great Whites - Vanek-L Buf (match)

22. Knights Templar - Weber-D Nsh (new FP, match)

23. Personal Vendetta - Markov-D Mtl

24. Highlanders - Campbell-D Chi

After a couple of weeks of thought, Bob revises the projections slightly;

1. Highlanders - Getzlaf-C Ana
2. PV - Datsyuk-L Det
3. Knights Templar - Lecavalier-C (new FP)
4. Great Whites - Parise-L (new FP)
5. Edge - Kiprusoff-G Cgy
6. Ramapithicines - Mason-G Clb (new FP)
7. Wolves - Phaneuf-D Cgy (match)
8. Lost Boys - Savard-C Bos
9. Bladerunners - Gonchar-D Pit
10. Shadowmen - Morrow-L Dal
11. Scourge - Boyle-D SJ
12. Severed Heads - Malkin-C Pit (new FP)
13. Severed Heads - Nabokov-G SJ
14. Scourge - Semin-L Wsh
15. Shadowmen - Markov-D Mtl
16. Bladerunners - Sedin,D-L Vcr (bid on Perry, Vanek, Weber, Carter)
17. Lost Boys - Alfredsson-R Ott
18. Wolves - Campbell-D Chi
19. Ramapithicines - Perry-R Ana (match)
20. Edge - Rafalski-D Det
21. Great Whites - Vanek-L Buf (match)
22. Knights Templar - Weber-D Nsh (new FP, match)
23. Personal Vendetta - Niedermayer-D Ana
24. Highlanders - Backstrom-G


Heatley's agent speaks

Heatley's agent, J.P. Barry, strongly opposed the notion that the Oilers' package was the only good deal on the table.

"Bryan insists that he never really had any other options, which I completely disagree with," Barry told ESPN.com on Thursday from Stockholm, where he went to broker the Sedin twins' deals. "I believe there were several potential options. I think it was clearly their intent to trade him to Edmonton and only Edmonton. That was the approach they took.

"I specifically told him two days ago, long before the trade happened, 'Do not trade him to Edmonton until you have other options.' And he turned around and consummated the trade despite my request. The result of which is that I get a phone call from a guy that I really respect in Steve Tambellini, who was excited, and I had to inform him what happened.

"I think it was completely mishandled by [Murray]. It was a pressure tactic. He loaded up the gun and put the gun against our heads."

Barry said the Rangers, a team that was on Heatley's list of desired destinations, had a good offer on the table.

"Based on my understanding of the discussions that took place with the Rangers, the options the Rangers provided were every bit as good, or better, than the options provided by Edmonton," Barry said. "But I'm sure Bryan has a different opinion of that." JP Barry

This won't dent the unending media storm slagging on Heatley, but its worth noting that it looks like my suspicions were entirely correct, Murray simply used the Oilers as a way of both driving up the price and punishing Heatley and had no intention of actually trying to trade him to a team on his list. It also explains why Heatley wasn't written off by the Oilers - they knew they weren't on his list and they knew they would have to convince him to accept the trade.

More good stuff from Colby Cosh;

"If JP Barry's account is at all accurate, Bryan Murray committed a fraud on the Oilers and inflicted objective harm on them, and if the NHL weren't being run by blind idiot children some recourse would presumably be available. Of course, all the evidence suggests that Barry is either unable or unwilling to provide the most rudimentary protection for Dany Heatley's reputation and marketability—I had understood this to be part of an agent's job, and indeed a particularly significant part of that job in a world of controlled salaries—so who knows whether he has the story straight. And the Oiler front office can only whine that it has been a victim of unfair dealing so many times before the fan says "You know, fellas, maybe the problem is that you're just really crappy negotiators?"

What type of Puck Bunny are you?

Does your wife or girlfriend like hockey? REALLY like hockey?

Get her to take this quiz! (actually, you might be better off not knowing...)

Bad News for the Wolves

Jiri Hulder has signed in the KHL

On the plus side, this reduces the number of prospects he has to keep.

Joe Sakic Retires

Burnaby Joe hangs em' up for good.


Quote of the Day 2

"Is there a GM in the NHL with the stones to trade full value tonight for Dany Heatley? I'd bet money Dany Heatley is an Oiler in the near future."


Quote of the Day

"As a resident of Washington, D.C., I continue to benefit from the contributions of Russians — specifically, from Alexander Ovechkin. I'm very pleased to have him in Washington, D.C." Mr. Obama said, drawing a laugh from the graduating class at the New Economic School in Moscow on Tuesday.

Washington Post via Japers Rink, via Mirtle.


Bigger problems brewing?

L'affaire Heatley has been bumped off the top page by some interesting developments around the league;

Did Brian Burke and Ron Wilson tamper with the Sedin twins?

If you go by the letter of the law, it sure looks like it to me. The rules are you do not talk about fight club. You do not talk about fight club. But the audio pretty clearly has Wilson speculating out loud about the Sedins and Burke's trip to Sweden. Looks like a slam-dunk to me, but this is the Leafs we are talking about, and for the highest revenue generating team in the league they probably get to play by different rules.

Did the Tampa Bay Lightning mgt tamper with Mathias Ohlund?

This one looks fishier, but is less clear cut in reaching a conclusion that they did. Afterall, I guess its possible they negotiated a highly complex contract deal in the few minutes after free-agency began.

What kind of mega-screwup just happened in Chicago?

Both Kirs Verseteeg and Cam Barker could become unrestricted free-agents because the Chi-Hawk brass snail mailed their qualifying offers to them the day before the deadline.

As for L'affaire Heatley, things are clearly very very weird. The Oliers sent top brass to recruit him, and one would think that Heatley's rejection of their offer would cause the Oilers to nullify their interest and pull-out. But they haven't. Did Heatley give them a reason to hope things might work out after the $4M got paid? Did Murray get permission from Heatley to discuss with the Oilers as a way of driving up the market price - while also having no intention of going there? Did Murray create a deal with Edmonton knowing that Heatley wasn't on board? Only time will tell...