To Be or Not to Be: Dany Heatley to the Edmonton Oilers?

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To Be or Not to Be: Dany Heatley to the Edmonton Oilers?
(Photo by Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images)

The Dany Heatley sweepstakes just got a little interesting.

Reports first surfaced that the Ottawa Senators have traded the disgruntled Heatley to the Edmonton Oilers for Andrew Cogliano, Dustin Penner, and Ladislav Smid pending Heatley waiving his no-trade clause.

Some of those reports claimed that Heatley has waived his clause, making him an Oiler.

Hold the phone, TSN.ca is reporting the deal is "dead" while Sportsnet.ca is saying that the deal is on hold.

Ironically, Sportsnet was one of the outlets that reported it was a done deal.

RDS.ca is in the same boat as TSN, their sister station. Heatley doesn't want to go the Oilers according to RDS.

TSN is reporting now that Heatley is going to "sleep on it" and make a decision tomorrow. Apparently, all signs point to him not wanting to go to Edmonton.

He's on the books for a cap hit of $7.5 million over the next four years and will be paid his signing bonus of $4 million up until midnight on Wednesday or in other words, any time before Thursday.

The bonus has to be paid, and that's one of the biggest reason why Heatley hasn't been traded yet. Every team knows he's going to get the bonus, and the Sens want to trade him so they don't have to pay it.

The bonus also takes away any leverage the Sens may have had, but if the trade that apparently fell through because Heater declined to waive his clause still happens, I think Ottawa got a pretty good deal considering its position.

As it stands right now, Heatley remains in Ontario to play for the Sens and not heading to Alberta to play for the Oilers.

While there's no doubting Dany Heatley's talent, I wouldn't trade for the very dangerous winger.

Heatley is irresponsible, lacks character, and isn't a good person to have in your locker room in my opinion.

It's hard to overlook the tragic accident six years ago which left Dan Snyder dead after Heatley crashed his Ferrari into a wall. Heatley admitted to having a few drinks prior to the accident, although he was below the legal limit.

Heatley eventually asked to be traded after the lockout, understandably so, to leave the tragic accident behind him.

But most recently, Heatley demanded to be traded from the Senators on June 9th and Ottawa's general manager Bryan Murray is trying to grant that wish.

It just shows that he doesn't like to be in one place when things go wrong.

Do I blame him for wanting to get out of Ottawa? No.

The Senators aren't a good team by any means, they are strictly a one line team and in today's age, that isn't going to get it done, especially with teams like the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins in the same conference.

The Sens aren't going to get better this year, and if I were Heatley, I would want to get out of there as well if I wanted to win.

But if I were a GM? I won't touch him with a 12-foot pole.

He doesn't have a lot of character and from afar he seem like a cancer in the room. When a guy demands a trade two years after he signs a fat six-year deal, something fishy comes up to mind.

This guy wants out after two years of a six-year contract, what makes me think he'll want to stay here for the remaining four years?

That's the question that I would ask myself, and probably a lot of general managers have asked themselves that question.

I understand the Oilers interest in the sniper because they lack one that can play with shifty forward Ales Hemsky.

Like I said earlier, there's no questioning Heatley's talent. He's one of the most prolific goal scorers in the game today.

He has scored 50 goals or more in two seasons and has scored 40 goals or more twice and fell short one goal short of 40 last season. He's one of the best scorers around.

The roadblock is his character.

Sometimes you have to look past what he will give you on the score sheet and look what he'll do to your chemistry and whether he'll bring the wrong attitude to the rink night in and night out.

Heatley is almost a guarantee for 35-plus goals and 70-plus points. That's a lot of points that any team would love to get their hands on, however if the guy isn't a good citizen and has the wrong attitude, he can do more harm than good for your team.

A perfect example is Sean Avery.

He brings so much to a team with his energy and his occasional goals. He's a good player aside from his headcase and dirty tactics. If you take away his personality off the ice and some of the stupid things he does, every team would be lining up to get a guy like him.

He's a pest.

Pests are important to have, but in Avery's case, he's a bad character. He says the wrong things at the wrong times. He takes plenty of cheap shots at players, he dives, he breaks the code on a daily basis, or at least it seems so.

The problem with Avery is his attitude and character; he's just a goon.

He isn't going to put up 70 points; his career high is 39 points.

A player like Avery isn't brought in to score goals or put up goals. He's brought into get under the skin, but there's a line that Avery always passes.

I bring him up because he can give a team a lot in terms of energy but the bad outweighs the goods with him for a lot of teams. It only seems to work with the Rangers.

How does this relate to Heatley?

Dany doesn't have great character, and once things go wrong, he wants out. He doesn't want to have a team built around him for a couple of years, instead he wants to get out of the situation.

For some, the positives outweigh the negatives. For others, it's too risky to make a deal.

At the end of the day, Heatley is going somewhere soon and he's going to be a big key to success wherever lands, whether that be Edmonton, the Rangers or some other team.

It should be an interesting end to the sweepstakes, especially now that a deal was nixed by him.

Will he be an Oiler?

Or perhaps a Ranger?

Maybe a Bruin?

How about Montreal?

Hopefully the saga ends sooner rather than later.

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