The season isn’t even officially over and we have our first star player demanding a trade. Ottawa’s Dany Heatley is mad as hell and he’s not going to take it anymore. This is just one year into his 6-year, $45 million dollar contract. His cap hit for the remainder of the contract is $7.5 million.
All this who-ha is still in the early stages and I’m sure, ultimately, cooler heads will prevail. Ottawa general manager Bryan Murray is already hearing nothing of these demands.
“We signed [Heatley] to a long-term deal and we expect him to honour it,” Murray said on Tuesday. “At this point in time he’s a Senator.”
Heatley’s agent has been meeting with Murray over the past few days and it looks like both sides are still trying to work out their differences. If they reach their breaking point, then this story will blow up ten-fold.
Heatley is the prototypical power forward with huge numbers to back it up. He’s coming off his worst full season since his rookie year. In his down year, he potted 39 goals and 33 assists. That point total would’ve been good for second on the Hawks.
Needless to say, it would behoove the Hawks front office to simply pick up the phone and see what Ottawa’s asking price is. At this point, however, it’s going to be astronomical. Friend of the Feather, Mike Kiley, thinks Brian Campbell straight up could get it done. That’s a bit of wishful thinking. Maybe in a month or so, after Heatley insults the owner and Bryan Murray’s mom would the Hawks be able to get Heatley for Campbell.
The Senators appear like they want to give it one last Cup run with this core of players so they’re going to be looking for at least two to three impact players. You’d think the Hawks would have to offer Barker and Sharp just to get the Senators attention and add on from there with probably a draft pick and a minor league depth player. Make no mistake, it’s going to take a blockbuster deal to snag a player of this quality.
So is that a price you’re willing to pay?
Without glancing at the cap or the effect this trade would have on it, my answer is a resounding yes. Heatley immediately becomes the Hawks’ best player and takes the bullseye off Toews and Kane’s back. Plus, we can finally ignore Martin Havlat’s tweets.
This is all speculation anyways, and in the end, my guess is Heatley and the Sens will work out their differences. My bigger point, though, is the Hawks (and we as fans) cannot fall into the trap of overvaluing their own players.
I hate comparing different sports, but since they share a stadium, I’ll make an exception. The Hawks cannot fall in love with their own players the way the Bulls did. Just because they watched Cam Barker turn into a solid defenseman doesn’t mean they should go signing him to a massive extension and consider him untouchable.
You may hate Brian Campbell now, but in two years, if you’re watching Cam Barker fumble the puck in his own end while making $4 million for the next six years, you may to have re-assess your venomous priorities.