Dany Heatley to the San Jose Sharks: Highway Robbery
He's finally here.
After months of speculation, the San Jose Sharks have finally acquired Dany Heatley.
While that would be enough to get any Sharks fan excited, what is even more exciting is how little it took to bring the Canadian sniper to teal town. The Sharks give up Milan Michalek, who, as promising as he is, hasn't really panned out yet and disappeared during the Shark's duel with the Anaheim Ducks in the postseason.
In addition to Michalek, the Sharks ''give up'' Jonathan Cheechoo, a one-hit wonder who has seen his goal totals go down in three consecutive season, as well as being almost a non-factor throughout the previous campaign. San Jose also sends a second-round draft pick to the Canadian capital and obtains a fifth-round choice.
Can you say "robbery"?
However, there have been critics of this trade, claiming that although Cheechoo wasn't scoring, he brought a certain grit that will be tough to replace. Also, Michalek had and still does have tons of potential to be a serious scoring threat.
That's all true, but what's also true is this:
The Sharks obtain one of the premier goal-scorers in the NHL without losing much. Although Michalek will round out the Senator's top-six nicely, that won't even compare to what Heatley will accomplish in San Jose.
Imagine one of the league's finest playmakers setting up perhaps the best finisher in the game, night in and night out. A 100-assist season for Joe Thornton is not out of the question, as is (not) a 60-goal season for Heatley.
It's almost too good to be true. The San Jose Sharks now might have the best top line in the Western Conference, Anaheim and Chicago be damned.
Cheechoo's "grit" can be easily replaced, as young call-ups vying for a roster spot always bring the heat. As for Michalek, notice how we're still using the word "potential."
This team is definitely primed for another President's trophy, though if you talk to any fan of the Sharks, they'd much rather get the trophy for being the best team in the postseason, not the regular season.
Although the previous season ended so bitterly, Sharks fans can still go into this season with a sense of optimism with a much improved offense and the continued development of young players such as Devin Setoguchi, Torrey Mitchell, and Marc-Edouard Vlasic.
Regardless of all the predictions and previews, one thing is for sure:
It's Heater time, San Jose.
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