Ignore The Hype Machine


Redundant alert! Redundant alert!

Eric Duhatschek of The Globe and Mail has cast the first of what’s likely to be an infinite amount of commentary regarding Dany Heatley’s first game in Edmonton since he employed his NTC to void a trade to the Edmonton Oilers that would have landed the Senators Ladislav Smid, Andrew Cogliano and Dustin Penner.

For the Oilers, Penner’s emergence as a bona-fide power forward softened the blow a little: His 25 points are not far off Heatley’s total of 28. Considering Penner earns about half of what Heatley does ($4.25-million as opposed to $8-million), Edmonton may be better off without him.

None of that changes the fact that rabid Oilers fans have long memories. The boo-birds are already warming up; the reception, for Heatley, at Rexall Place, is expected to approach Pronger-ian heights of displeasure.

Apparently rabid Oilers fans are the ones who can recall the Pronger and Heatley trade scenarios. Who can blame them really? If my organization traded the greatest player of all time to Los Angeles for Jimmy Carson, I’d probably be in a perpetual state of apopletic shock as well.

Kudos to the Oilers fan for practicing their booing though. At least they’ll finally have something other to do besides go to the West Edmonton Mall.

In all fairness to Heatley though, he didn’t actually do anything wrong. When he asked for a trade, his NTC essentially became a limited movement clause which allowed him to list of all the teams that he’d accept a deal to. In hindsight, it’s actually hilarious to recall that Edmonton was so low on Heatley’s esteemed list, that he would have rather preferred to return to Ottawa.

I do find it really odd that Duhatschek wouldn’t go all in and mention the Hallowe’en costumes that Penner and Cogliano wore for their team function. If you’re going to be the first to trumpet Heatley’s arrival in Edmonton, take the time to work all the angles so that you beat your rivals to the punch and leave them no options.

Sunday Night Rumours

So first there’s a Bleacher Report that Alexandre Picard and Ryan Shannon could be on their way to Chicago for Cam Barker and now Sens Chirp is echoing their sentiment.

I realize that some may champion Barker as a defenceman who could help an ailing power play and I’ll concede that moving Picard and Shannon isn’t necessarily a lot to give up. However, at a $3.5M pricetag, isn’t that too much money for a one-dimensional, defensive liability who has never been anything more than a 5th or 6th defenceman in Chicago? And more importantly, hasn’t Ottawa already roll the dice on two similar players in the past in Campoli and Picard?

Is Bryan Murray doomed to make the same mistakes? Or is he going to continue to field a cut-and-paste blueline until Cowen and Karlsson are ready for full-time duty next year?

Frankly, the deal doesn’t make sense. Ottawa can’t take on Barker’s salary without moving more salary out and Chicago’s not going to diminish their team without going exhausting other possibilities first. (Ie. moving Brent Sopel.) Similarly, is Murray in fact in a place to miss on his next deal? Obviously his hands were a bit tied with the Heatley deal, but is there pressure on him to win his next deal outright?

If Chicago covets expiring contracts, I’d humour them with an offer featuring Volchenkov, Shannon, Picard and more to land one or both of Seabrook and Sharp.