If you thought my blog yesterday was ridiculous, wait till you read this...
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A new name has been mentioned in respect to a center that Dany Heatley would be willing to play with in Edmonton. Mats Sundin.
As it was last season, rumors are beginning to surface that Mats has an interest in playing NHL hockey again this season. The Vancouver Experiment last season; or should I say half of last season, was mostly a failure. The lesson learned is that players who come to play for half a year always seem to disappoint. Mats did well in the playoffs, but he wasn't the force the 'Nucks hoped he would be.
Perhaps part of the issue in Vancouver was how he was used. When Mats was in TO, he was the top dog, the big cheese, the man, the legend...In Vancouver he was #3 after the Sedin sisters. On the Oilers, Mats would be The Man again. He also is decent in the face-off circle, an area of illness in Edmonton last season. His ice time on the Oilers would be 22 minutes or better per game. And I am assuming if the Oil reach out and touch Mats, it will be because the Heatley deal requires it.
The upside of this suggestion is obvious. Heatley - Sundin - Hemsky for a first line. Wow. Instantly a top line in the NHL, and clearly the best line in the Northwest Division.
Now here's the downside: Creating this line means the Heatley deal must occur, so say goodbye to Cogliano, Smid and Penner. While Heater is a clear offensive talent, most psychologists wouldn't touch this guy with a ten-foot couch. Knowing Heatley, the Oilers would announce the signing of Sundin, and Heatley would change his mind on the deal in the same hour.
After last season's never-ending media circus, there are questions about Mats Sundin's character. It just seems like his motivation to play the game and to make his team of choice a winner is lacking. He has a tendency to trip over his own ego. Heatley and Sundin...would two egos like theirs help or hurt the rest of the team?
Even if Heatley returns to 50 goal form, and Sundin plays as well as we all know he can, the financial realities must then be addressed. What would a full season of Mats cost? My guess is $6 million. The Oilers with Heatley would have roughly $2.5 to $3mil of cap space. So signing Mats would necessitate someone with a sizable salary being moved. One of Horcoff, Souray, Visnovsky or Gilbert.
The good news is, the Oilers have two decent young defensive prospects in Theo Peckham and Taylor Chorney that need to be worked into the line-up. Losing a D-man would be a bitter pill, but is perhaps a necessary one. Rumor is a number of teams including Los Angeles are interested in Sheldon Souray, and they have young talent or picks they could offer in return. Pressure is on in LA to make the playoffs this season, as the acquision of Ryan Smyth demonstrates. The Oilers have interest in getting bigger, and a deal including Wayne Simmonds coming in return from the Kings for Souray is very possible.
One final thought: So what name could we give the Heatley - Sundin - Hemsky line? HSH is just lame. Two Men and a Baby? Hemsky is too old. If it was Gagner, maybe. I think I would go with The UN Line...A Canadian, a Swede and a Czech. Or how about The Sunskyley? The Whine and Grind? Egos and Icons? Mats Entertainment?
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