San Jose: Heatley's final suitor?

Reports in both the Ottawa Sun and the Silicon Valley Mercury News discussed the possibility of Disgruntled Dany Heatley (possibly his next book title) being traded to the San Jose Sharks. The gist of both stories is that Ottawa will make this trade if it makes sense, and Sharks GM Doug Wilson may still be looking to shake up the Western Conference's response to the Ottawa Senators... by acquiring a player who's asked out of Ottawa.

The Sun had the more interesting article, stating that San Jose had already offered a package of Jonathan Cheechoo, Christian Ehrhoff, and a first-round draft choice for Heatley, but that that deal was nixed by Ottawa, says Bruce 'Malkin to the Kings' Garrioch:

"The Senators don’t want anything to do with winger Jonathan Cheechoo, who has been offered as part of a package along with defenceman Christian Erhoff and a first-round selection."

Not sure how San Jose could have afforded to even discuss that possibility given their current cap situation, but it poses an interesting possibility.

In the Mercury News, there were no 'concrete' reports of possible trades, but author Mark Purdy did suggest that a package equivalent to that offered by the Edmonton Oilers could look something like this:

"You're probably wondering what the Sharks have to give up for Heatley. The Oilers' aborted attempt might provide a clue. It was widely reported that the Edmontons offered Ottawa a package of three players — Dustin Penner, Andrew Cogliano and Ladislav Smid. This would be the rough equivalent to the Sharks offering up Milan Michalek, Jonathan Cheechoo and Marc-Edouard Vlasic."

A much more enticing package, if you ask me, but it would once again put the Sharks in salary cap hell. And Ottawa wouldn't be too far off, with the steep and long-term cap hit of $4.33M until 2013-14 for Michalek, $3M per year for the next two for Cheechoo, and $3.1 for three more years for Vlasic.

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It remains unclear what the asking price would be for the Senators, but it would probably have one thing involved: Two top-six forwards. The Edmonton deal had that (Penner and Cogliano), and it's chief among the Senators' needs for the upcoming season if they're going to find a way to compensate for losing Heatley's production by building greater scoring depth. To make the numbers work, those forwards may have to be younger players on their first or second contracts.

If this deal gets done, I'll be pretty amazed. It just seems like we're destined to have a catastrophic season with a built-in excuse.

In other news, Purdy did report something new on the Heatley front:

"Heatley has raised hackles in Ottawa since last spring, when word leaked that he had demanded a trade. Heatley was reportedly dissatisfied with Senators Coach Cory Clouston over diminished ice time. Another story was that Heatley had demanded to be named team captain."

I had never heard that report yet, but if that's among the problems, then Heatley's even farther removed from reality than originally thought. This is a team that has an established captain who's not going anywhere, not even in favour of Zdeno Chara as captain; if the thought is that after an off-year when he barely spoke to the media, took stupid penalties, and suffered dramatic point reduction (although so did everyone else) he would deserve the captaincy, the it's nuts. Almost as crazy as the report that Heatley was looking to escape the rampant drug use in the Senators' organization.

If the final partner is indeed the San Jose Sharks, who do you want in return from them? What package do you think is reasonable?

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