Summer Heating Up

If you read between the lines, it’s looking more and more like the Edmonton Oilers may indeed be a strong player in the Dany Heatley sweepstakes. We talked about this over a week ago when things went public. We quoted Jason Gregor from his blog:

  • I’ve been told that Daryl Katz is prepared to do whatever it takes to try and land Heatley. He has given Steve Tambellini the green light to put together a package that will ensure Bryan Murray doesn’t overlook them.

We also discussed Jim Matheson’s comments in the EJ on Thursday:

  • If Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray wants to hear offers for Dany Heatley at the draft, the Oilers have a top-three defenceman (Tom Gilbert) and a top-six forward (O’Sullivan) to give up. Both players are younger than Heatley. Sources say the Oilers are very leery of surrendering the speedy Andrew Cogliano in any Heatley trade scenario.

Among the teams mentioned as possible trading partners, the Oilers, Los Angeles and Vancouver seem to be the front-runners (along with the NY Rangers according to a report today). Having said that, Los Angeles doesn’t appear to be interested. This report suggests Los Angeles may not be as much in the picture as once thought:

  • The Los Angeles Kings don’t appear to be all that interested in trading for disgruntled Ottawa Senators winger Dany Heatley. At the team’s general manager’s breakfast on Saturday, assistant general manager Ron Hextall told fans Heatley’s history is a concern. Hextall said the fact that Heatley has twice requested to be traded -first from Atlanta in 2005 after he was the driver in a car crash which killed teammate Dan Snyder, and again from Ottawa this off-season – is a concern. Hextall said the Kings are also worried that Heatley had problems with the last two Senators’ coaches, Craig Hartsburg and Cory Clouston, but added the Kings are in need of a high-scoring left winger.

Vancouver is still in the Sedins race, the Rangers already have 4 players making 6.5M or more and most of the other teams who would like Heatley either can’t afford him or don’t have the needed return. It looks like Edmonton has a real shot at Heatley. Matheson’s thoughts on the price (Gilbert & O’Sullivan) seems plenty stiff and anything more than that would be terrifying. You could make a very good case that those two players represent an overpay, but snipers don’t grow on trees and that’s for sure.

I think there’s a good chance Dany Heatley is an Oiler by this time next week. The cost will be steep and it’s a big test for Steve Tambellini. There are reports that the Oilers draft pick at #10 is also in play. Here’s hoping he has the gumption to walk away if the price is too high.

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