Saturday, September 12, 2009...Dany Heatley gets traded finally, Zherdev rumors to Edmonton begin to fly again, and my game of golf planned for this afternoon gets cancelled due to an unfortunate allergic reaction to allergy medication, of all things. I might as well write a blog.
The Dany Heatley deal looks terribly one-sided. In Heatley, San Jose gets one of the top 3 snipers in the league. True, his attitude is terrible, and he isn't going to win many defensive zone battles, but if you need goals, Dany's the guy you want. In return, Ottawa gets a great 24 year-old player in Milan Michalek, a wild card in Jonathan Cheechoo (is he good for 20g? 30? 40g? Or will he get injured?), and a second round pick from a team that will finish well this season. Likelihood the pick will ever play in the NHL? About 1 in 5. Ottawa, as my nephew would say, got pwned.
What does that mean, pwned? It's almost as annoying as listing to the kids say, "epic fail." When I was a kid, we said words like cool, gnarly and radical. Pnwed is a disgrace to human language.
It's a bit unfair to say Ottawa completely lost this deal. For one thing, Heatley would have been a severe distraction to the team this season. If Cheechoo plays well, the Sens gain some depth. Michalek is four years younger than Heatley, and his contract is long-term and a reasonable cap hit ($4.33mil per season). If Cheechoo doesn't work out, his contract only has two years left. I'm not sure this trade makes the Senators play-off bound, but I am not sure they would have been with Dany in the line-up either.
For San Jose's part, you know exactly what you get with Heatley joining the team. On the plus side, Joe Thornton just got that much scarier. The first line is going to have a huge season this year in San Jose. The Sharks have to be considered a cup contender, and offensively, they will be a terror all season. However, and this has been shown many, many times...the team with the most talent doesn't necessarily win the cup. Cups go to the teams with heart and dedication. There have never been questions about Michalek and Cheechoo possessing a lack of heart. The same can't be said about Thornton and Heatley.
Changing teams, I speculated earlier in the week that the Edmonton Oilers signing of Mike Comrie likely signalled another move was to come. When I said that, I seriously was not referring to the signing of Nikolai Zherdev.
It's hard to know how seriously to take this rumor. In a way, it makes complete sense, as the Oilers need offense, and Zherdev, lazy or not, would immediately become the top offensive player on the team after Hemsky. It's also possible that Nikolai has found out the hard way that not many teams are willing to pay him $4mil - $5mil per season. Perhaps the Oilers offered a smaller number, and Zherdev is open to the idea. $3mil per season? They did great to sign Comrie for only $1.25mil; perhaps a signing of Zherdev would be another bargain.
Adding Zherdev at even $3mil per season would lead to at least one further trade needing to occur. Eklund reported that Boston and Edmonton have been talking about a player who is not Phil Kessel being moved to the Oilers. Is it possible that the Bruins are looking to move a player or two to make room to sign Kessel themselves? That's likely the case. Could Marc Savard, Patrice Bergron or Michael Ryder be on their way to Edmonton?
The Bruins are up against the cap much like the Oilers are, so it's hard to know just exactly how these two teams could help each other. Not to discount a potential move to Boston (as the Bruins would love to add a mobile defenseman, and the Oilers would still like to add another skilled forward), but somewhere along the line, the adding of Zherdev would necessitate a trade between Edmonton and a different team with cap space. The Oilers have a number of forwards they would like to unload before the season begins, but the off-season thus far has shown that there isn't much market for the Penner's and Nilsson's of the world. The Oilers are also in need of moving one defenseman, as they have as many as ten defensemen in camp who could be playing in the NHL this season.
Possible dance partners for Edmonton include Florida, who earlier showed interest in Dustin Penner, and Columbus, because of the relationship between Jackets GM Scott Howson and the Oilers club.