Sun Media has learned the Senators owner was so furious with being forced to shell out a $4-million bonus to Dany Heatley, who refused to accept a trade to the Edmonton Oilers on July 1, he has filed a grievance asking for his money back.
An NHL executive confirmed last night Melnyk filed the paperwork early in the summer, not long after Heatley wouldn’t lift his no-movement clause before the bonus was paid.
Sources say Melnyk contends in the paperwork filed at the NHL’s New York headquarters, that Heatley’s camp — including agents J.P. Barry and Stacey McAlpine — gave the Senators permission to speak with the Oilers and the two-time, 50-goal scorer should have accepted the deal to Edmonton.
It’s believed Melnyk not only claims the decision by Heatley to kill the deal cost him $4 million, it also hurt the club’s ability to sell season tickets because of the uncertainty in the Senators camp.
The league executive said there’s a chance the Sharks could be forced to pay the bonus back to Melnyk if he wins his grievance. San Jose made an offer for Heatley at the NHL draft in June, but only wanted to complete the deal on July 2 — after the bonus had been paid.~ Sun Media
Never one to pass up the opportunity for bravado, The Euge is taking the dilated one to court. Oddly enough, this move wasn’t unexpected. In fact, the only real surprise from this Sun Media article is that the Senators actually believe that permission to speak with the Oilers equates itself to Dany Heatley saying, work out a trade with the Oilers and I’ll waive my clause.
Ah well. At least Eugene Melnyk will be all over radio and television tomorrow. Can’t wait. Maybe he can also address that issue of ownership of the Ottawa Senators that was improperly attributed to someone else.