So Dany Heatley wants out of Ottawa.
It's certainly not the first time the Sens have been spurned by a star player, and it probably won't be the last. I have a suggestion on how to deal with these types of players... In the next CBA, it should be a rule that any player who waives his no-trade clause once on a long-term contract loses the no-trade privilege for the remainder of the contract, no matter how many years are left on it. Call it the "you can't have your cake and eat it too" clause.
While Heatley's request is nowhere near as infamous as the manner in which Alexei Yashin left town, it is no less disappointing from the human point of view. Here's a guy who wanted to leave Atlanta to get a fresh start after having killed his best friend in a car accident. He was more than happy to come to the Sens then. And as long as he's been allowed to generally float around the ice and do his sniper thing, he's been happy.
The problem with Heatley is that sniping is his only strength as a player. That will get you only so far in your career (ask Peter Bondra). When he's been asked to play out of his comfort zone, Heatley has shown all the enthusiasm of a sullen child who'd rather play his Wii than go visit Grandma in the nursing home. Hey, Heater, you make $7.5 Million - SUCK IT UP.
So it turns out that where there's smoke there's fire after all. As much as they tried to deny it at the time, there was friction between Cory Clouston and Heatley, so much so that Heatley can't play for him. You know, a lot of people don't like their boss - but if you can't get beyond that and be a professional, I have little hope for you as a human being.
I'm just glad in this case the coach won. It would have sucked to have to hire a new coach to cater to the whims of this unstable individual who couldn't forecheck to save his life, who despite his size would cower away from more physical players, and who in the end wasn't able to check his ego at the door and be the team player this team needed him to be.
Hopefully the Sens will get someone good in return for him. It will depend on who's willing to offer the most attractive package. Hopefully this deal gets done by the trade deadline, because if Heatley brings his suck attack into training camp it will just fester and be dressing room poison. The problem is there are only so many dance partners who have the cap space without having to move a roster player.
Personally, if there was some way of swinging a deal with Calgary and getting Dion Phaneuf back, that would be sweet. A bona fide number one defenceman could put the Sens into the playoffs again. It's about all the Sens need - they already have plenty of talented forwards.
Buh-bye, Dany. Been nice knowin' you. I certainly won't miss hearing that abominable Glenn Frey song they played every time you scored.