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Dany Heatley: like Stalin, but with a slightly better one-timer


 

To live in Ottawa, to read the sports pages, to listen to the talk radio – it is to be exposed daily to the view that hockey player Dany Heatley ranks among history’s greatest monsters, right up there with Pol Pot and Betty White (she knows why).

Once one of the most popular people in the nation’s capital, along with Daniel Alfredsson and the city worker who finally plows your street three days after the blizzard, Heatley is now thoroughly despised, profanely assailed by the community as a quitter and a traitor. To be fair, a small number of Ottawa residents are still keen to give him the key to the city, though only if he agrees to accept it rectally.

This in itself is not surprising. Heatley only recently signed a long-term contract with the Ottawa Senators, at a salary that averages out to $7.5-million per year (or roughly $2.5-million per great game he had in 2008-09). Then, abruptly and unexpectedly during this off-season, he sent word that he wanted to be traded out of Ottawa for sucky-baby-based reasons. Not enough ice time. Too much criticism from the coach. Bedtime bottle of formula not warmed to correct temperature. That kind of thing.

What’s truly fascinating in all this is the utter ham-handedness with which Heatley has “managed” this situation. You’d think a guy who’s raking in millions might be willing to part with $10,000 or $20,000 for some top-notch strategic advice. Nothing fancy – just the basics: precondition the fans to expect an ultimatum, praise the community for its past support (…but golly, I’m an elite player in this league and want to go somewhere where the coaching staff sees me as such, etc. etc.), sit down with a sympathetic reporter and lay out the reasons for wanting out, enlist a teammate or two to speak out as a third-party supporter, maybe visit Ottawa and do a charity thing to emphasize the It’s Nothing Personal aspect of it all.

But nooooooooo. Heatley has done none of that. His trade request was crude and insulting and not couched by any (genuine or manufactured) love for Ottawa and its fans. He’s remained silent for weeks now, allowing the Senators to portray him as a total douche and giving reporters and columnists nothing to write about except those douchey musings. And now, having demanded out, he’s gone and vetoed the only decent trade the Senators could come up with – naturally, without so much as a word as to why.

Would most Ottawa fans be down on Heatley no matter what right now? Absolutely. But the level of hatred in the city could have been diminished, and the degree to which he’s now viewed as a Problem Child in cities around the league could have been avoided entirely. Whoever is counseling this guy is giving the worst advice since an executive said to the head of NBC programming: “Here’s an idea – how about we revive Knight Rider?”


 
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Dany Heatley: like Stalin, but with a slightly better one-timer

  1. Mr. Feschuck: I have some disturbing news for you. I just read the Canadian constitution – and, uh, there's something about "God" in it. Quick, to the snarkmobile!

    • ummm, so? God (in name only) has ruined countless million other documents/people before and since the constitution was enacted.

      I don't see the connection to Heatley. Unless Heatley has Sky Father on his side?

      • Niche, VelisEtRemis has a habit of standing in the alley behind Feschuk's place wearing a housecoat and slippers and holding a phone book: all the while crying Jebus is Canada under SF's window

      • I'm sure that VER somehow had some web navigation problems; his comment about God was intended for the preceding post from Scott.

        A stray mouse click can happen to any of us.

  2. People are crucifying the wrong person….go after the GM who signed Heater to the no-trade contract with the big July 1st bonus. Let's see, a 50 goal scorer on one of the leagues lowest scoring teams last year is regulated to the 2nd unit PP…who wouldn't want out of this organization. They have played muscial goaltenders forever, never coming up with a #1 guy, they have GM who needs to learn not to sign contracts with big bonuses and no-trade clauses. This team has gone down hill since Murray arrived…wake up Sens fans…let's get rid of Murray.

    • Better yet moan about the GM that got rid of Hossa for Heatly…. gawd

    • Better yet moan about the GM that got rid of Hossa for Heatly…. gawd the Sens let go of a lot of talent.

      • I am so tired of people bemoaning the Hossa for Heatley trade – don't get me wrong, I'm not too happy about the Heatley situation now but let's look at the facts as far as both players are concerned:

        1. Since the trade Hossa played for 3 teams and is going to his fourth next season (ATL/PIT/DET/CHI) so he obviously really likes to move (read $$$) – would he have stayed much longer in Ottawa anyways? Not likely.
        2. Since the trade Hossa has 329 points, Heatley has 368
        3. Hossa had 34 points in 51 playoff games for Ottawa, Heatley has 35 points in 34 playoff games for Ottawa

        Let's put this one to rest, clearly Ottawa got the better bargain in that trade…

        • far from it.

          point 1 is all speculation… a long-term contract of the nature that Heatly was given may well kept Hossa here for at least the length of the contract which seems to a concept lost on Heatly and given the 12yr deal he signed after you wrote this your points seems to hold up even less.

          point 2 heatly played on a much more talented team that had a far greater offensive output for most of those years

          point 3 see above and consider that team success is not always served by individual performance. while hossa is a dangerous offensive threat he adds much more (e.g., ability to control the puck and thus the momentum of the game) a lesson the Sens hopefully picked up on while they watched the playoffs this year.

          not to mention he has more hockey (again 12 yr contract) than Heatley does.

        • far from it.

          point 1 is all speculation… a long-term contract of the nature that Heatly was given may well kept Hossa here for at least the length of the contract which seems to a concept lost on Heatly and given the 12yr deal he signed after you wrote this your points seems to hold up even less.

          point 2 heatly played on a much more talented team that had a far greater offensive output for most of those years

          point 3 see above and consider that team success is not always served by individual performance. while hossa is a dangerous offensive threat he adds much more (e.g., ability to control the puck and thus the momentum of the game) a lesson the Sens hopefully picked up on while they watched the playoffs this year.

          not to mention he has more hockey left in him (again 12 yr contract) than Heatley does.

    • "Let's see, a 50 goal scorer on one of the leagues lowest scoring teams last year is regulated to the 2nd unit PP….."

      Let's see……the team started winning more games when that 'regulation' happened.

      I guess it's Clouson's fault that his idea WORKED!

  3. Oh brother Ottawa, this takes it too a new level, Stalin? The guy wants to play for a contender, so did Hossa, so do most elite players who want more than anything the Cup, he gave them a list of teams and Edm was not on it. The real shame here is the leaking of the deal to the media by the Ottawa Sens to try and force Heatley's hand to go to Edmonton where no quality elite player, free agent of otherwise wants to be. ie. Pronger, Smyth, Vanek, Hossa, Jagr and the list goes on with failed attempts by the Oilers to get elite players. He is not the first player to have a no-trade clause, Sens mismangement of what should be the hottest prospect is only going to hurt them in the long-run, Heatley will be forgiven wherever he goes if he produces another 50 goal season.

    • Vanek signed an offer sheet with Edmonton – that's a pretty weird way to indicate that you don't want to play there. Pronger was allegedly forced to ask for a trade by his wife, and Smyth cried when he was traded away.

      Edmonton does have reputational issues to overcome, but your examples are terrible.

    • Acutally, i turns out it was Heatley's camp that leaked the trade request to handcuff the Sens. Why would the sens leak the info? They would be dealing from a position of weakness if the other team knew that Heatley wanted out.

      • "Acutally, i turns out it was Heatley's camp that leaked the trade request"

        exactly!

        • Maybe so, I don't know your source, but even so Heatley gave a clear list of teams: Rangers, Bruins, Canucks, Sharks, Kings, Wings, Flames and Hawks why would Murray even WASTE time talking to anybody else. Don't tell me he didn't get some kind of offer from one of those 8 teams. Get a friggin deal done and get the dead weight gone. Now we will be lucky to even a get a friggin draft pick for him as fewer and fewer teams can now consider him after July 1 because of the salary Cap, the ideal window of time has passed. Murray has thrown an entire season out the window for us. Murray doesn't know the difference between being on the power-play and being short-handed, he is in a position of weakness not Heatley – Murray should be fired over this, the second a player demands to be traded PUBLICLY he has to go within days, every GM knows this, they are sitting on a rapidly depreciating asset that goes down in value more each day. Look at the harsh trade the Habs had to swallow for Roy to Colorado after he demanded to be traded and wow Stanley Cup time for Colorado, the harsh trade Edmonton had to swallow for Pronger to Anaheim and wow Stanley Cup time for them too. Murray is a moron – Fire Him – he has set the Sens back, EDM and Montreal did not get fair market value for Roy or Pronger but they had no choice, Murray is a fool to think he does for the Sens.

  4. I totally agree with TMacs comment, Murray has signed three coaches in the last few years , and his latest is the golden boy. Well, we will have to wait and see how long his tenure lasts , As for the sports writers and radio types , I know we have only one professional sport in Ottawa, And you people should take a look in the mirror. Back to the Senators , Murray couldn;t carry Martin's jock strap. And to the media , Heatley believes the comments do not justify a reply, Which really burns their butt. The old saying, "Put your brain in gear, before opening your mouth, Applies to this group

  5. Murray's fault? Heatley signs a huge contract, then (publicly) demands a trade, which severely handcuffs his GM to get anything of quality back, and then he vetoes the only decent offer that comes in? This wouldn't be so bad if Clouston was an unmitigated disaster, but the team improved substantially after he took over. But poor Dany didn't like his role, so he wants to be traded – but only where he wants to be traded.

    This is the second team he's played for, and the second time he's requested a trade. He's a one dimensional scorer for a huge cap hit of $7.5M/yr, and he's apparently a huge dink. If he ends up playing for team Canada I might have to cheer for Finland.

    • You contradict yourself a bit. “…one dimensional scorer for a huge cap hit…” That IS Murray's fault.

      And the no-trade clause is what allows Heatley to dictate where he does or doesn't go. That is also Murray's fault.

      Not to suggest for a second that Heatley is blameless, ‘cause he clearly isn't, but the situation now is a result of a contract negotiated with Murray.

      • While Murray signed him to the contract, he would be of greater value if he could find his own end without a sherpa and wasn't such a locker room cancer. The point is that he isn't valued as highly around the league as he thinks he is, and if he's going to demand a trade, he'd better not veto the only suitor that comes along with a reasonable trade offer. The NTC is not related to Heatley wanting to leave in the first place.

        This has zero to do with how competitive the Sens are, so very little if anything can be pinned on Murray. Remember, they got more competitive after Clouston got there. And one of the teams on his list was reportedly the LA Kings. This is about Dany Heatley being a prima donna.

        • No argument that Heatley is being a prima donna, and even if he wasn't a locker room cancer last spring, he sure would be if he came back in the fall.

          I was just trying to make the point that there would be a few more teams interested in him if he was making $5 or $6 million a year, and he would be way easier to move if he didn't have veto power. Both the annual salary and the NTC are down to Murray.

  6. Look on the bright side. Auto insurance premiums in Kanata will fall substantially once he's gone.

    • I am one of the biggest Sens fans there is. I live in Calgary and catch all of the games on a dish along with following them on their Western road trip and flying to every game of the Stanley Cup final a few years ago despite the fact I really couldn't afford it. And no matter how disapointed and upset I am that Heatley has done this after getting a second chance from the Sens, there is no reason to crucify him for his past transgressions outside of hockey. You Sir are scum for making that comment and I hope that if a member of your family or a close friend ever caused the death of someone else through a foolish act that you would be able to find it in your heart to forgive them.

  7. People defending Healty seem to forget just why no decent offers came in for him. It was at least in part because he PUBLICLY demanded to be traded. It's a double whammy. On the one hand, it's hard to negotiate a deal for a trade with another GM if the other GM knows you have no choice but to trade the player in question. On top of that, who wants to take a player who publicly demands a trade from his current team because he can't make things work with his current coaching staff?

    I can just hear the other GMs in the league negotiating on the phone with Ottawa now: "Well, I hear he desperately wants to be traded AND he's a bit of a prima donna. Will you take a couple of all-stars for him if I also throw in 10 million dollars? Ha ha ha ha ha…. click."

    It'd be great if the Sens could just let him sit on the bench and pout for a season, but no one can do that with a $7.5 million cap hit (oh, another reason no one's lining up to trade for Heatly? The $7.5 million cap hit).

    I'd say the Sens were lucky to find a team willing to trade for a guy with 39 goals last year who's publicly demanded to be traded cause he can't work with his coaching staff, and who's current salary is $1 million MORE than Sidney Crosby or Alexander Ovechkin make (Heatly's cap hit is 7.5 million, but his actual salary right now is $10 million).

    So, he publicly demanded a trade just a year after signing a lucrative six year contract extension, ostensibly because he thinks he's a better player than his coaches do. Sounds like the kind of player I want on my team.

  8. Heatley is completely at fault in this situation. He signed a 6 year contract with a no movement clause – surely he understood that at some point the coach may have to ask him to perform better. He had the option of EARNING his ice time and role on the team back. He's demonstrated nothing other than being a spoiled prima donna superstar suckey baby athlete that doesn't have the remotest grip on reality. I say give him the Alexi Yashin treatment – sit him down and let him sulk. Maybe in 2014 he can be traded.

  9. He's a knob. The question is will Ottawa fans let him know how much he is disliked, even if he scored 50 goals?

    Its clear, he wants to talk his own value down, collect the 4 mil from Melnyk, nobody else and ensure the franchise gets nothing for him. He is daring them to buy out his contract for an even bigger payday.

    Dorks like Tucker in toronto did the same thing.

    Send him to the minor league team for the season.

  10. I cannot find any way to blame Murray for this. His contract is what it is and is/was deemed OK in the league after coming off back to back 50 goal seasons. He should not have made it public he wanted a trade, and since he did he should go to Edmonton.
    Now I hope Ottawa either sends him to Binghamton where he can ride the bus and his salary doesnt count against the cap (too bad Melnyk isnt as rich these days). OR even better make him a backup goalie and he can take shots in practices and warmups and during games out of reach. That would be worth the 7.5 mil. See how he likes his next contract offers after spending the prime of his career as a goalie :P

    • "Now I hope Ottawa either sends him to Binghamton where he can ride the bus and his salary doesnt count against the cap (too bad Melnyk isnt as rich these days). OR even better make him a backup goalie and he can take shots in practices and warmups and during games out of reach. That would be worth the 7.5 mil. See how he likes his next contract offers after spending the prime of his career as a goalie :P "

      as 'childish' as those scenarios might seem, they're completely 'fitting' given the behaviour/attitude demonstrated by Heatley.

  11. I am surprised no mention has been made of the car crash and resulting trade request that brought him to the Senators. I would imagine one factor in the anger of the Ottawa fans would be their collective acceptance and support of Heatley when he arrived as damaged goods. Now it appears Heatley is exactly the kind of selfish, unprincipled prick that would drive 21/2 times the legal speed limit down a residential street after drinking.

    • Exactly. Given that he's the only current NHLer who's actually taken another man's life, I'd say his agent and PR hacks have done a ridiculously good job over the past few years.

      Guys like him and Bertuzzi make me wonder at how much us hockey fans are willing to put up with players on a personal basis: I've always been disturbed by the fact that they're still in the league right now. Kill a guy, or put him in a wheelchair, and we say "boys will be boys" or shrug off the violence as a part of the game. Snippy contract dispute between a millionaire and a money-reaping enterprise, and we haul out the pitchforks. Nice priorities.

      And my favourite two teams are the Canucks and the Sens. Geez.

    • Atlanta gave him a good support network too, and look how he repaid them.

  12. Of course Murray is to blame for signing this guy when it was clear he offered ZERO post-season upside.
    But doesn't Heatley still some responsibility for, umm, offering ZERO post-season upside?

    So this "elite" player wants a team with Cup potential? Read that as meaning a team that can win the cup without him and maybe even with him piggybacking along. Nice work if you can get it.

    But doesn't this ignore the point that Feschuck wrote a great column without ONCE mentioning Lindsay Lohan or Paris Hilton, and only one mention of Betty White?

  13. Edmonton (the team Heatley vetoed) does not think too much of him right now either. He's basically crapped on 2 teams. Where did he want to go: L.A. or San Jose. That says it all, he wants a nice climate for his sports cars and shows his head's not where it should be for the $7.5 million he gets paid. Sit him for 4 years or play him 5 min. per night on the 4th line (but that won't happen, because too expensive for Ottawa). What WILL happen is Ottawa will be forced to take a deal that is not up to the level of Edmonton's deal, Heatley will get what he wants, and we fans will continue to pay $100 + to watch these over-paid prima donnas.

  14. I hope Heater sees all these comments. Dany is a prick. Edmonton is not good enough?? Come on, the summer home is in Kelowna, who cares if it is cold in Edmonton, Kelowna is only a 12 hour drive, 5 hours if your Heatly. Edmonton can offer him exactly what he wants, ice time, no 1 pp, and a set up man in Hemmer that is among the best in the league and just begging for a player to put those sweet passes behind the red line. Have some class, play the game of hockey and try not to leave your old team screwed with a crap trade. I could do anything for 7.5 million for 82 days you tit. Go live in th real world and you may appreciate how fortunate you are, pull wrench on a service rig for a Winter, you would be begging Edmonton to play there after that……..WHAT A WHINEY LITTLE B&*^H. The only other way you'll get 7.5 mil is to stand on a corner in Ottawa with a sign that says punch me in the face $5.00.

  15. watch out, San Jose is the latest buzz, with another team (possibly MTL) helping out in a three-way trade. We'll see – if so, that just made a great team even greater. Doh.

  16. I would sit him down and tell him. No Olympics for you! Why? Because you won't play one minute of a game in the NHL until you are traded. Too risky for Ottawa, he might get hurt. So no ice time. No trade. Tell him to stay home, not allowed in rink, at practice. Basically, f*ck *ff Dany. Go have a drink and see if you can kill someone else. I am sick to death of sport stars, movie stars and anyone who lauds their 'talent' over the general public.

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