Sunday, September 13, 2009

Good Bye Dany

It’s off to San Jose for the Heater. Let life begin again in Ottawa.
The deal was about as good as Bryan Murray was going to get with the pressures he was under and the circumstance created by this becoming public so long ago.

Dany Heatley will go to the Sharks and will score 50 again playing with Joe Thornton. The Sharks will again win the Presidents trophy and may still have the playoff troubles which have plagued them. In the end despite what you might think of Heatley’s personal integrity, he did get what he wanted. The players almost always do. Thankfully the vast majority do care, but some players could care less that the average working man ends up having a less than average opinion about the character of the player after all is said and done.

Dany made it vividly clear in his departure media conference when he said “I don’t think I did anything wrong asking for a trade. I had my reasons for it and if people think differently of me, that’s fine. I believe I did nothing wrong and it’s time to move on. It’s a sad day for me to leave this place, I had a great four years here, but I felt it was best for me to move on.”

Dany is correct. He didn’t break any rules or laws except those of good taste, loyalty and team sacrifice. Heatley has proven over his career that Dany is about Dany. He wants very much to be a captain and a leader but appearantly has no clue what qualities are required for those roles.

A very telling perspective came from Jason Spezza. A good friend of Heatley’s who tried to get him to change his mind for the good of the team but could not. He wished his friend well and said they remain friends. Spezza’s one comment told the story. “"He wanted out and I wanted what's best for our club”. That is so true. Spezza’s stock has gone up dramatically in many peoples books with that team first attitude. It goes back to something I said in an earlier post. There is a difference between being a good “team mate” and being a good “team guy”. I believe Dany thinks they are the same.

A good team mate lends you 10 bucks when you need it, laughs at your jokes, keeps your secrets, attends all the parties and is a friend to all on the team. By all accounts Dany was all of that. A “team guy” puts the team ahead of himself and will sacrifice his personal stats for team wins. Dany is foreign to that thought.

The other sub-story in all this is the information leak which started it all. Both sides have claimed the leak did not come from them. The veracity of the claims by the Heatley camp are seriously in doubt since TSN had the story of the trade less than 2 minutes after it happened. Bryan Murray had not yet even walked down the hall to the awaiting media to announce it when he received an email from a member of the media who claimed to know the deal was done. Certain members of the media were in electronic contact with Heatley’s representation while the negotiation was actually going on. Hard to find much integrity there.

In conclusion, the Senators will have a tough time scoring as many goals because the truth is it is impossible to replace a 50 goal scorer in today’s NHL. But it may be a better, more balanced team now.

At the very least, players on this team and others around the league may have learned a valuable lesson in public relations and how not to behave unless completely destroying your connection with the average working fan is your ultimate goal.

See you at the rink.


kal cole said...

How did the "Heatley camp" know for sure that San Jose was a team that had interest in him. Were people from the San Jose organization playing footsies with Heatley or vice-versa?
If so, that is a serious case of tampering.

The Sens should get the league to look into this and should be compensated. Maybe Melnyk will recoup some of that $4M he had to dish out to Heatley on July 1st.

Anonymous said...

Good column, from someone close enough to the team, to know the score on Heatley.

Anonymous said...

A few things...

I think you left out something from Spezza's quote:
"He wanted out and I wanted what's best for our club hihihi heee hee haahaha hihihihi!"

As for the 'veracity of the claims' was reported that they asked for a trade in MAY. The story got leaked during the Cup finals in JULY.

Since when do two minutes translate into two MONTHS? Murray obviously went on the offensive here and as usual settled for less (initial offer was Erhoff, Michalek and a 1st (!) ).

Either way, Alfie and Spezza both said this is a better team...but the team Heatley was on won one game of a Stanley Cup finals.

I look forward to a championship here in Ottawa in July thanks to the 'better team'.

Anonymous said...

Dear A few things.
He asked for a trade at the end of the Senators Season in May and was asked for that request to be put in writing. He did that in june and it was on 1 day later.

The Cup finals are held in June not July.

2 minutes did not translate into 2 months. In less than 2 minutes after the trade was COMPLETED the media knew about it.

Just a few things.

Anonymous said...

I agree with anon @ 12:57pm.

Mid-May was first notice. There was plenty of time to make something happen before the leak actually happened.

As for the leak, I believe that it was Murray.

As for Heatley relating to the common man, who cares. Millionaire hockey players are not the common man. Common man needs to watch the CFL if he cannot handle that.

I want a Cup and a parade on Bank Street. I want that wonderful civic spirit that existed in the spring of 2007 when the whole city cheered for the team.

That will only happen when they have the talent to win. If we wish for a balanced squad of hard working players with second tier talent, that's what we'll get. But, I also believe that this model will take us further away from Cup contention.

My personal opinion is that we need high-end talent, and then we need management that knows how to skillfully handle high-end talent.

The Heatley saga was a failure of management.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr.Brown,
When did any professional star athlete care about his "connection with the average working fan?" (Re: Yashin, Bure, Lindros, Patrick Roy, Barasso, etc etc.)I know you like to believe the best of everybody but 99% of athletes are extremely selfish and you have to live with it.

Mike said...

Clearly "A Few Things Anonymous" is not the sharpest knife in the drawer. I read the blog once and it was clear to me that the two minutes referred to the anouncement of the completed trade on Saturday and NOT the request for a trade in May/June.

Before you spout off make sure you UNDERSTAND what you are commenting on. Remedial reading lessons might help you, although....

Anonymous said...

Once a deal is done and finalized, I don't see how leaking it is harmful.

On the other hand, leaking a trade request or leaking a proposed deal can be harmful to many people.

If the agents leaked a done deal that was going to be announced in two minutes anyway, I don't see how that is big deal; as long as it was official and finalized.

Not all leaks are equal.

James Kilroy said...

So Heatley gave Bryan Murray a list of 8 teams he'd like to be traded to...yet only 2 of them had cap space to make the deal happen.

Shocking! Doesnt the Heatley camp understand the CBA? During the lockout, the players were accused of being uninformed, uninterested or just plain unable to understand a Collective Barganing Agreement.

So I guess those accusiation were and are real.