Dany Heatley finally spoke to the media today, and cleared up a few things. Despite rumors to the contrary, Dany insists that neither he nor his representatives leaked the trade request. He further claimed he does not know how it became public. Dany noted that he asked for a trade verbally in the middle of May, and gave the request in writing early in June. I'll take him at his word, but it's hard to figure out then who leaked it, and made this situation as bad as it has become.
Heatley also said that he didn't make the trade request specifically because of Cory Clouston, but because of his diminished role with the Senators over the past two seasons. Dany lamented the way this situation has gone, but did not seem to recognize he had done too much wrong, felt it was just a bad set of circumstances. He mentioned several times that he believes coaches and players in the NHL know he's a team guy, and doesn't feel this situation has changed his image in the league.
Dany said he loved the fans in Ottawa, and feels it's a great city. He didn't speak until now because he didn't want to make the situation a bigger circus than it already was - which is hard to understand, because his silence just promoted rumours that demonized him and made the situation far worse than it would have been. Dany also reiterated that his snubbing the Edmonton deal had nothing to do with Edmonton, but was because of a lack of options.
Heatley said that he has a contract that he will honour, and will play to the best of his abilities if he plays in Ottawa again next season. He evaded a question asking if he would give up the A on his jersey, and reiterated that he still believes a deal is available somewhere in the league.
Overall, it was exactly what was expected - Heatley said pretty much what we had already heard, and spoke in very neatly packaged sentences that were clearly prewritten for him. It's a shame that an honest answer could not be had, but I suppose that's the name of the publicity game.
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