Edit: Everyone's got to stop acting like the $4-million bucks is coming out of the fans' pockets. It's not, so just chill out about this self-imposed deadline. Melnyk's pocketbook is the least of my worries, and I bet it's the least of his worries too.
Despite my previous defence of Mr. Heatley, I must say that this Oilers saga has certainly revealed the devil in the details. What sort of guy asks to be traded and then... refuses to be traded? That's the most anger you'll get out of me.
In any case, we can glean some insight into Bryan Murray's opinion of his own team from this almost-deal what would have landed the Sens Dustin Penner, Ladislav Smid, and Andrew Cogliano:
#1: He doesn't think too highly of his offence overall. Secondary scoring has been a problem for the Sens for a number of years, and obviously Murray has learned not to count on Mike Fisher, Chris Kelly, or uh.... (searching through Senators roster for goal-scorer not named Spezza or Alfredsson...) Nick Foligno (?!). Even Dustin Penner's albatross of a contract seemed like an acceptable compromise to add about 35-40 goals (Penner's 17 from last year and Cogliano's 18) to the Senators roster.
#2: The Senators are getting too old and slow. The players that would have come from the Oilers are 23 (Smid), 26 (Penner), and 22 (Cogliano). No doubt an attempt to inject some new blood into the organization after a couple years where Murray attempted to transplant some bullshit Pierre McGuire-esque "intangibles" to the team like "toughness", "grit", and "leadership". The Sens have been sacrificing youth and talent for big, stupid bodies for too long, and I believe this was an attempt to reverse a failed policy.
With the above in mind, I cannot imagine why the Sens decided to re-sign Chris Neil. I understand that he's the only player on the team that drops the gloves on a regular basis, but with Jason Smith still on the roster (and awaiting buy-out, I presume), the Sens have more than enough penalty minutes-in-waiting. Much like Smith following last season, before the end of the first year of his new contract, Neil will be on the trade block.
PS: How was Canada Day for everyone? Jeez, I wish they would get a rock band to play on Parliament Hill. Sarah McLaughlin? She hasn't been on the radio in 10 years! Bah!