ESPN is reporting that the Ottawa Senators have dealt disgruntled winger Dany Heatley to the San Jose Sharks, along with a fifth round draft pick, in return for Johnathan Cheechoo, Milan Michalek and a second round draft pick
This would appear to end the, sometimes ugly, dispute between Heatley and the Senators which saw the former 50 goal scorer demand a trade due to his "diminished role" under new Ottawa coach Cory Clouston
In Heatley San Jose get a proven goal scorer and one of the top individual offensive talents in the league. The 28 year old Heatley has twice scored 50 goals in a season and has 260 goals in 507 games split between Ottawa and Atlanta.
Handcuffed by Heatley's public demand for a trade Ottawa may have done well to acquire Cheechoo and Michalek in return but it's a risky deal. Cheechoo is a power forward who scored 56 goals in 2005-06 but his numbers have tailed off dramatically as injuries and a lack of foot speed have hindered him in the "new" NHL, as with most Sharks his playoff record is poor. Still Cheechoo is only 29 and if he returns to even 30 goal form will be a solid addition to the Senators.
Michalek is only 24 and coming off three straight years of 20 plus goals, the former #6 overall selection in the 2003 entry draft is a big body who has a reputation as an under achiever. Michalek also comes with a big cap hit for a second line winger, $4.333 million annually, as he is signed through 2013-14.
It's a gamble in that the talent Ottawa received has a number of questions around it but at least the Senators can close the book on Heatley and move forward with players who want to be there.
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