Let It Linger

Yesterday, a reader posed this question to us using the comment(s):

“i have seen a couple of sites that have talked about a deadline that mr. murray imposed for any heatley trade to be finalized. where is this info coming from? or is it speculation or bogus garbage?”

My response?

I have absolutely no clue. And that’s fitting. In fact, I Have Absolutely No Clue should replace A Force United as the new slogan for the 2009/10 campaign because that’s how predictable this upcoming year is going to be.

As close as we are to the start of training camp, there are still a number of issues to be resolved, like:

Jason Smith — What the fuck is up with this guy? He couldn’t finish last season with a bum knee and the team would deservedly like to dump his salary but unfortunately, not even The Euge could convince Rick Pitino to pay and have Gator’s salary aborted right now.

Seriously though, is he healthy enough to play and contribute? If not, will he be put on the long-term IR? Or will he retire, thereby hanging his $2.6M salary cap hit on the books because he signed his last contract after the age of 36 and do everyone in the organization a favor. The only thing that’s guaranteed in the Smith scenario is this — in the unfortunate case of his return, Gord Wilson will give him the inevitable Randy Cunneyworth treatment. For those who are unaware, when Cunneyworth was no longer productive, the only endearing quality that the Wilson could attribute to him was that he was great in the (dressing) room.

Pascal Leclaire— Is there cause for concern when Leclaire mentions to reporters that, “There’s some stuff I can’t do any more because they took cartilage and bones out, but overall I don’t think about it.”?

Mike Fisher, Second Line Center v. 1,232,874 — If Heatley returns to the fold, can Fisher compliment either Kovalev or Alfredsson as his right-winger? Or will he suck the productive life out of them?

How many 5th or 6th defensemen does it take to right a ship? Campoli, Lee, Smith, Karlsson, Schubert, Picard…maybe Bryan likes to go against science and thinks the whole isn’t greater than the sum of its parts.

If Heatley returns, how will the fans treat him? I have to admit, part of me kind of wants to see Heatley return to Ottawa for the sole reason to have him score goals on home ice. You can’t tell me that fans wouldn’t love to yell “Fuck face” in response to Stuntman Stu announcing “Ottawa Senators goal, scored by number fifteen, Dany………”.

Cory Clouston — Is the prodigious coach’s honeymoon over? How will he get treated if the Senators can’t match their second half success from last year? Is he still devastated from news that he’s the only publicly recognized reason for Heatley’s trade request? The coach who used to have nothing to lose, now stands to lose something if things don’t start well.

Alexei Kovalev, the enigma? What’s mysterious about a 100-point talent who regularly posts 60 or more points per year? That’s not enigmatic. That’s called consistency. (Also as an aside, can we fuck off with the complaining about the price tag? $5M is close to the going rate for 60 point guys on the open market. Look at guys like Rolston ($5M), Zubrus ($3.4M for 40 pts, Ryan Smyth ($6.25), Martin Havlat ($5M), et al.)