Dany Heatly has officially been traded. The summer-long soap opera of the poster-boy for millionaire crybabies is over, but was it really a good deal for all involved?
The Sharks traded two solid (not superstar, but reliable) players worth $7 million for one former superstar worth $7.5 million. I rarely agree with Ryan Garner's blogs, but he brings up a solid point in his latest one. The Sharks have roughly $21 million tied up in three players (Heatly, Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau). They have five unrestricted free agents next year including Marleau and all-star goaltender Evgeni Nabokov. This doesn't seem like a great deal, especially when you consider that a prospect cupboard that was already bare got worse with the loss of a second-round pick.
Ordinarily I would say that the team that got the best player got the best out of a deal, but in this case Heatly has hardly made himself seem worth it. He complained about a diminished role in Ottawa, but what is he going to get in San Jose? He'll be on the top line and the powerplay because he's a natural goalscorer, but he isn't going to see penalty killing minutes.
The Sharks, meanwhile, traded two good secondary scorers who are entirely capable of logging minutes on a second or third line for any team in the NHL and doing it well. Cheechoo was often criticized for not producing after his 56-goal season in 2005-06, but he also hasn't played a full season since then and has seen his ice time drop from near 20 minutes to just over 15. Heatly's dropped from 21:44 to 20:07 before complaining about a diminished role, while Cheechoo hasn't said one word about being moved from the top line to the third and at times even the fourth line.
Michalek hasn't broken the 30-goal plateau yet, but he will. He's a strong, aggressive forechecker who makes things happen for his team and has averaged 59.3 points per season over the last three years. Imagine what he'll do for the Senators playing on a line with Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza or Alexei Kovalev!
Add a second round pick to the deal for Ottawa and they get two good, young forwards and can add another talented forward or defenseman to their roster at the draft. The Sharks get a talented player, but that's it. They lose far more than they have gained.
As for the longterm fallout, that's still to be determined. however I agree with Eklund's blog on the front page. I've been saying all summer that a player with a no trade clause should not have the right to reject trades after he demands to be traded. He should at least be required to submit a list of teams to which he will go without complaint. Dany Heatly did not do that. He demanded a trade and when he got his wish to be traded he refused to go. He forced Ottawa into a hole. Bryan Murray had no negotiating power. All he could do was say to the other GMs, "here he is boys, come get him." Personally I hope that Heatly gets a nice wakeup call from his former teammates on Dec. 1 when the Senators come to the Shark tank for all the trouble he caused them.