Word is the Heatley camp has indicated a new willingness to go to Edmonton.
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Why, after all the previous rejection? Perhaps because Dany finally realizes he looks like a dope to hockey fans across the globe? Perhaps because he is not a lock for the Olympic team because of questions over his character? Perhaps it is because he finally realizes that no other team can make a reasonable offer to Ottawa? Or perhaps because the thought of trying to make it work in Ottawa is a worse prospect than starting the year in, "Dreadmonton?"
It's all of the above, my friends. And there might be an additional factor at play.
The Oilers might be swaying the Heatley camp by offering some incentive. Apparently part of his concern coming to Edmonton had to do with the "rebuilding" stance of the team. But when you look at the Oilers roster, "rebuilding" is a bit of a misnomer. The Oilers have a decent goaltender and an excellent defensive group. All that is missing from making the Oilers a solid playoff team and possible cup contender are a Top 6 that can consistently bring the offense. Stick Dany on the Oilers now, and they would still be lacking offensively. But add a Center with some skill, and the Oilers all of a sudden become a force, and Heatley becomes more interested.
But who are the Oilers targetting, and how could they make the cap number work?
This is a rumor website, so allow me to offer one: The Oilers are very much talking to Boston about the acquision of either Marc Savard or Phil Kessel. Because of the cap, the Bruins need to move one of the two. Would Savard come willingly to Edmonton? No one is sure at this time. Kessel is an RFA, so he'd have no say in a trade, and I assume he'd sign because the Oilers would gladly overpay him. Could you imagine a top line of Heatley - Kessel - Hemsky? We're talking one of the best lines in the league here. Out-fricken-standing!
But how is this possible? Obviously, if the Heatley for Cogliano, Smid and Penner deal would hold up, the cap number would be approximately a wash. The Oilers line-up currently reads as being $1.8mil from the cap ceiling, but in truth after training camp and some players are sent down (no longer counting against the cap), the Oilers cap space number will be closer to being $3mil. Still not enough to sign Kessel, and the Oil can not deal much in the way of cap players to the Bruins. Boston is up against the cap already, or they would sign Kessel themselves. For the Oilers to be able to add Kessel, they would first need to move a major salary. This rumor gets more confusing.
The Oilers have been talking to Montreal regarding Shawn Horcoff. Montreal likes his leadership and two-way skill. While Horcs is a valuable leader for the Oilers, he isn't the offensive Center the Oilers need. The suggestion here is that Horcs would be moved for Tomas Plekanec, who is scheduled to be a UFA next season. With Plekanec, the Oilers would suddenly have room to add Kessel.
Next question: Who goes to Boston for Kessel? It's almost more a matter of who can't go. The Bruins are land-locked with $1.8mil of cap space, and without Kessel under contract. The Oilers would be required to give up some future to acquire Kessel's rights, and it won't be meaningless prospects either. It has to be two players of substance, plus at least one first-round pick. The suggestion: Jordan Eberle, Jeff Petry and a 1st round pick for Phil Kessel.
So what do the Oilers look like if all of this occurs:
Heatley - Kessel - Hemsky
Nilsson - Gagner - O'Sullivan
Moreau - Plekanec - Pisani
Stortini - Brule - Schremp
Souray - Visnovsky
Gilbert - Grebshekov
Staios - Strudwick
Prediction: Calgary, Edmonton, Chicago, Detroit, San Jose, Vancouver, Anaheim and St. Louis in a Battle Royale for the Western Title. Anyone could win it folks.
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