It would seem that what we have with the Dany Heatley situation is a high stakes game of chicken between Ottawa, the Rangers and Dany Heatley. Yesterday the Oilers agreed to trade a package of Andrew Cogliano, Ladislav Smid and Dustin Penner to the Senators in exchange for Heatley. According to TSN's Bob Mackenzie, Heatley has not yet agreed to waive his No Movement Clause (NMC) to make the deal a reality. Then again he hasn't directly refused to waive it either.
There was some confusion associated with the $4 million payment due to Heatley on July 1. Most thought that meant Ottawa had to move Heatley by midnight on June 30 in order to avoid making that payment. In actuality, the payment is not due to be paid until midnight of July 1. That means that Heatley can accept the trade to Edmonton (or anyone else for that matter) anytime today and Ottawa would not have to make the payment. Ottawa also has the option of continuing trade negotiations with other suitors, the Rangers for example.
This is where it gets interesting. It would seem that Heatley would rather not go to Edmonton. So is Heatley waiting to ok the trade with Edmonton until the last minute hoping the Rangers or another team that he would be more likely to accept a trade to, ups their offer to the Senators? Do the Senators blink and try to swing a deal to a team that Heatley would rather play for in order to avoid paying $4 million to a player that could turn into a cancer if he stays in Ottawa? Will the Rangers blink and include Dubinsky and/or Callahan in their offer in order to acquire Heatley? Is there another team (possibly Vancouver) waiting in the shadows to try to swoop in and steal Heatley from both Edmonton and New York?
The period between when Mackenzie announced that Ottawa and Edmonton had agreed to the parameters of a trade for Heatley and this morning may prove to be the calm before the storm. At the very least it should prove interesting to follow today.
As much as I would love to add a dynamic sniper like Heatley to the Rangers lineup, I hesitate to do it at the expense of some of our better young NHL'ers like Callahan, Staal or Dubinsky. I would much rather see Sather spend his new found cap space on a UFA like Marian Hossa or perhaps entertain a deal for Boston's Phil Kessel who despite what Larry Brooks says can still be traded for by the Rangers (more on that in a later blog today).