A Wild Trade Idea: Marian Gaborik to Ottawa for Dany Heatley?

Nick MaxsonCorrespondent IJune 11, 2009

OTTAWA - NOVEMBER 22:   Dany Heatley #15 of the Ottawa Senators is congratulated by his teammates on the bench after setting up the opening goal of the game against the New York Rangers on November 22, 2008 at the Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, Canada. (Photo by Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images)

It's a trade that would make sense, with two All-Star offensive players who contribute points night in and night out.

It is an option that Minnesota should consider. Gaborik has refused many long-term offers from the Wild since last fall and it seems that he is set on looking around league for a new home next fall.

If Minnesota trades Gaborik, they will at least get something in return rather than letting him sign as a free agent.

In a number comparison, the two have very similar stats. This last season, Heatley racked up 39 goals and 33 assists in 82 games for the Sens.

In 2008, Gaborik tallied 42 goals and 41 assists in 77 games for Minnesota.

Both players have playoff experience and both are leaders in the locker room and on the ice.

The trade would allow both teams to keep an offensive superstar on their roster and allow the players to experience a new team and system.

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As far cap room is concerned, both players made exactly the same salary this last season at $7.5 million.

Gaborik is at the end of his contract and Ottawa would have bargaining power with its cap.

Heatley signed a six-year, $45 million extension in 2007, and with four years left on that contract, it is a question whether Minnesota would want to take on that amount of money for the next four seasons.

Would the Senators want to pay Gaborik the same amount they did for Heatley?

Ottawa has five or so first-round draft picks in their system, and the Sens could use that young talent to rebuild their team just as Chicago did so well the last three seasons.

Using the draft effectively could also save the Sens front office some cap room, and they could use that space to fill a hole they need to make it back into the playoffs.

After appearing in the 2007 Stanley Cup Final, the Sens and their loyal fans would like to make another appearance sometime soon.

It's about as equal as a trade as you can get, and it could work well for both the teams and players.

If Minnesota and new GM Chuck Fletcher can't resign Gaborik in the next 20 days, it might be a good idea to consider this trade opportunity where everyone could win.