Monday, September 14, 2009

Heatley Drama Finally Over

I would have posted about this sooner, but really, you don't talk hockey when Ferraris are racing at Monza.

So: Heatly to the San Jose Sharks, in exchange for a couple of top-six forwards.

In Jonathan Cheechoo, the Senators seem to have picked up another Mike Fisher -- a second- or third- line player who is not playing to his salary. Michalek seems to be considered a potential elite player in need of some development time.

On a strictly parts-for-parts perspective, I like this deal. Yes, Heatly scored more points than Cheechoo and Michalek combined last year. However, if both these players pan out we should end up with more of a scoring threat than just one top line. If not, then we've got more Mike Fisher.

But overall I liked the Edmonton deal more, because it included a defense man. Maybe not an elite "puck-moving" defense man, but still one was included.

Someone pointed out last night that a potential fourth line of Kelly, Neil, and Rutuu for the Senators would result in the highest-paid fourth line for the year. Now while that's not a bad thing (spreading your cap space around), it's only OK if you are getting value for money. Kelly, I don't think is playing to his salary. Neil and Rutuu, well I don't understand that part of the game.

I still think that defense is the biggest question mark for the season going forward. If we get some heroes this year, and if Leclare turns out to be the "franchise goalie" that we've been hunting for... this could work.

Count me as cautiously optimistic, and more than a little relieved that we can stop talking about this.

As for Heatley -- well I've long been on the record as wanting to move him. I'd prefer a little more upside to the trade, but at this point getting him out of Ottawa was the most important thing, and I think Murray did the best he could under the circumstances.