According to my sources in San Jose, the Sharks have finally made the deal that everyone knew was coming: recently deposed captain Patrick Marleau for disgruntled Ottawa Senators' winger Dany Heatley.
What wasn't known was who the third sister was going to be. Turns out it was a L.A. Kings team with ties to the Sharks and Marleau a la Kings GM and President Dean Lombardi. Now wonder he was left off the Sharks' promotional materials.
Currently, Senator's GM Brian Murray and Sharks GM Doug Wilson and Lombardi are denying the reports of the deal by ESPN's John Buccigross, which would send Alexander Frolov and Jarret Stoll to Ottawa.
Training camp is about to open, making it the ideal time to get this done now. You gotta figure this is the regular smoke and mirrors action.
Right now, NHL.com Marleau-Heatley">NHL.com and the Associated Press is going with the story which makes me think it could be more than rumor this time. You never know, but I'm sure Wilson doesn't want his plans known early.
Now is this the move that gets the Sharks back to the Western Conference Finals and a Cup berth? Who knows, but I know that the Sharks tank will mourn the loss of the longtime captain while embracing what had to be done.
Marleau could also be a boon for a talented young Kings squad that will allow Marleau to get out of the spotlight where he's far more comfortable. It also helps that fans had all offseason to come to terms with his departure, which was all but assured after the uber weak playoff showing against the Ducks.
Heatley should be a dynamo, pending any off-ice issues, given the level of talent surrounding him in the south bay with Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski and Ryan Clowe. But even with a newish looking lineup, it appears to me the Pacific Division, outside of the 'Yotes, improved markedly this offseason.
For now, it's something new to talk about as the season rapidly approaches. And what a new feel the old rivalry of Sharks v. Kings will have. Patty in the purple and black would be odd to say the least.
Kudos to Sharks GM Doug Wilson for doing it his way if the deal is indeed done. As if it was going to happen any other way. We'll see what happens now with the longest running offseason rumor.