One thing Dany has done through all of this is make no movement clauses more difficult for other players to get in their contract negotiations.
How many GM’s around the NHL are thanking the heavens they are not in the spot Bryan Murray is in. John Ferguson Jr threw no-trade contracts around like nickels and it helped make Toronto more of a mess as they tried to turn things around. Now after just 1 year of a 6 year deal Dany wants a trade and wants to decide where he goes.
It is difficult to move a player who is due 8 million dollars this season. It is more difficult when he gets to pick the team. It is ridiculously difficult when the player you are trying to move has had his reputation ravaged around the NHL as badly as Heatley has been ripped apart.
Trading a player who many other teams believe to be selfish and not a team player is very hard when the guy makes 2 million. Its even tougher when the guy makes 8 million.
Have a look at the LA Kings website. Ron Hextal works for the Kings and there is a video of him speaking at a “State of the franchise” luncheon. He is asked about Heatley since L.A. is appearantly one of the places Dany wanted to go. Hextal admits that their #1 priority is a high scoring left winger, but says the red flags went up because Heatley had problems with his coach in Atlanta, Craig Hartsburg and now Corey Clouston. Wow!
When you are exactly what a team needs and wants and they don’t want you for non-hockey reasons, that’s a shot. Hextall also pointed out the number of prospects they’d have to give up and Dany’s hefty contract go into the mix as well, but if you watch the video, the very first thing he talks about are character issues. Hextal even starts with “I don’t like to say anything negative about players, but….”. Yikes. Camp Heatley better think about a personal image consultant like the Hollywood stars use, because his personal image right now appears to be mud all across the NHL.
Right or wrong there are many teams which now feel this way about Heatley. He may get his wish to leave Ottawa, but it will be a very long time (or maybe never) that his reputation is restored.
See you at the rink.