Dany Heatley Rejected the Edmonton Oilers: Should they Be Happy?

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Dany Heatley Rejected the Edmonton Oilers: Should they Be Happy?
(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

After 12:00 AM EST, the news broke that Dany Heatley refused to waive his no-trade clause to be traded to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for Dustin Penner, Andrew Cogliano, and Ladislav Smid.

Most Oilers fans are, understandably, irate with Heatley. A few weeks ago, a report stated he would waive his NTC to come to Edmonton and with a deal settled upon by the Oilers and Senators, most Oilers fans were already online ordering their brand new No. 15 Heatley Oilers jerseys. But then, Heatley said no dice.

But could this be a blessing in disguise for the Oilers? Yes, Heatley is that legitimate one-shot scorer the Oil have been searching for to play with Ales Hemsky and he would be the first true all-star they have had since Chris Pronger. But is he worth all three of those players?

Yes, Heatley is a proven 50-goal scorer and has been the most prolific scorer in the NHL since the lockout after Alexander Ovechkin and Ilya Kovalchuk. But Dustin Penner and Andrew Cogliano could both be 20 goal scorers this year, especially with a new coach who probably won't want to affix both of them to a third line grinding role with no powerplay time.

If Penner can get his act together and get in shape, he could possibly score 30 goals (he scored 29 as a rookie, so it's not a stretch). And Cogliano with his speed has the same potential, as well as being toted by some as a future captain.

But the biggest loss could be 23-year-old defenceman Ladislav Smid. Now I know what everybody is thinking, how can a defenceman whose career high in points is 11 points be the biggest loss?

Well, think about it this way: when Smid was drafted ninth overall in 2004, he was expected to be a dynamic offensive defenceman and showed promise scoring 28 points in his rookie season in the AHL with the Portland Pirates. When he was traded to Edmonton in the Pronger trade, he played the next season, scoring 10 points in 77 games as a 20-year-old.

The one thing holding Smid back was the fact that the coaching staff of Edmonton (rightly) wanted to improve his defensive game first. They did a great job, as Smid is billed as a serviceable top four shutdown defenceman.

Now, if he is able to let his offensive instincts take over, he could be a heck of a two-way defenceman. Anyone who has seen Smid skate coast to coast with the puck and make a play in front knows he has a minimum 30 point potential in him, maybe even 40 points. While that doesn't seem to impressive, the fact that he has a mean streak in his own zone would make him a very valuable asset.

Add all these three together and the Oilers may just look back at this whole scenario as the best deal they never made.

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