Now that Heatley has made it known that he wants out of Ottawa and has given management a list of teams he would like to be traded to, with one of those being the Vancouver Canucks, what do the Nucks do?
I mean, here is a player that has scored an average of 45 goals in the last four seasons, with 2005/06 and 2006/07, seasons where he scored 50 goals.
Obviously this guy can score but look at his salary. The 2008/09 cap hit was $10M according to nhlnumbers.com.
It has been stated by the Senator's management that Heatley is due a $4M signing bonus by July 1, of this year.
The signing bonus is part of Heatley's $8-million compensation package for next season. The other $4 million is in salary ($8M) from October through April.
His salary for the next three seasons after that is $8M per.
Now add that in with another player that has apparently bought a house in West Vancouver, BC, as reported by the Vancouver media.
I'm talking about Marian Gaborik, who made $7.5M in his last contract with Minnesota.
I wrote about Gaborik in a recent article called "Six Signings that Would Improve the Canucks." In that article I had him penciled in at $7.5M.
Why would you buy a house in the Vancouver area if you were not going to play there?
Back to Heatley. Since he is still under contract the Sens will be looking for some players and maybe a draft choice in return.
The Nucks are deep at defense, with a couple of players in Manitoba (FitzGerald and McIver) and a number of prospects (Sauve and Ellington, just to name a few) in their chain.
Kevin Bieksa and Mason Raymond would be two players off the roster that might interest Ottawa for Heatley, but the Nucks can not give up any of the one to three round draft choices.
Although Nathan McIver does not have Bieksa's offensive skills, he could replace his grit/toughness and play in the number six spot on "D."
If the Canucks were to go that route (Heatley and Gaborik), then that would mean they are not going to re-sign the Sedins, which has been mentioned more than once in Canuckland.
Anyone who has read my article "Are Henrik and Daniel Sedin Worth 10-Year Contracts," knows how I feel about that.
As far as Roberto Luongo goes, even though the Canucks can talk about a contract extension on July 1, I predict he will sit back and see what moves the Nucks management make.
If he sees additions to the team that will give them a legitimate shot at a Stanley Cup run, then he may consider, otherwise he will play out his contract.
Luongo has stated on more than one occasion that he wants to win the big prize and maybe to him, Vancouver may not be that place.
One final thought.
How do you manage keeping Luongo and his $7.5M contract, along with the possibilities of Heatley ($8M) and Gaborik ($7.5M), and still have enough for an extension to Ryan Kesler and the other signings?