It has been several days since the news came out that Dany Heatley wants a trade out of Ottawa. One of his agents was on the Team 1200 yesterday with Steve Lloyd and Jason York. I actually felt sorry for Stacey McAlpine. While he is obliged to speak publicly for his client because his client clearly doesn’t want to do it himself, you could tell McAlpine wanted to be anywhere else but on the radio trying to explain this without explaining anything.
There was very little he said which would shed more light on the reasons. Yes Dany did have problems with head coach Corey Clouston, to which Clouston himself was more than surprised. McAlpine did say there are more things than just a difference in philosophy with the head coach. We still don’t know exactly what those things are and we may never know.
It may just be that Dany is a super star and didn’t feel like he was being treated like one. Being asked to forecheck, backcheck, skate hard and play defence when his team didn’t have the puck. It doesn’t sound like an outrageous expectation, but who knows maybe Dany sees himself as an offensive star and that defence stuff is someone else’s job. Ice time, Powerplay assignments, possitioning of his locker stall, I don’t really know because camp Heatley really isn’t saying.
It may be a Marian Hossa/Pittsburgh kind of deal. Marian wanted to leave Pittsburgh and sign in Detroit because he wanted to win the cup and believed Detroit had a better chance of winning. At least in that situation he was up front about it. You may not have agreed with what Marian was doing, but you had to respect the fact that he was up front about it.
Maybe Dany perceives serious problems within the organization and just wants to be polite and not make those feelings public. There are still a million maybe’s and we may never know all of his reasons.
I have always had a good relationship with Dany and I like him. I was surprised when I emailed him to get some clarification on his reasons and the response he sent me was simple. Ask JP or Stacey. JP Barry and Stacey McAlpine are his agents. I wrongly assumed that because of the relationship I have had with Dany that he would communicate with me in some way. I was obviously wrong there.
There is an expectation that people like me, Gord Wilson, Dave Schreiber and many others have inside knowledge of everything because we are at the rink each day and try to build relationships, that we know things others don’t. In this case that isn’t true. I don’t know any more than anyone else because Dany won’t talk to me and his agents aren’t saying very much.
At this point after listening to the call in shows on the Team 1200 the last few days, I get the sense the fans don’t really care what the real reasons are. If he doesn’t want to be here, they don’t want him here and the attention has now turned to the return on investment. What can Bryan Murray get for Heatley?
I must say I am impressed at how quickly the fans have dispensed with the scorn and emotion and moved on to the optimism of change. I think in many ways it shows how we have matured as an NHL city.
See you at the rink.