via Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray is finding out that trading Dany Heatley is more difficult than he could have ever imagined. Like, maybe impossible.
On the eve of the NHL draft, three weeks after Heatley's demand became public on June 8, the Senators haven't had an offer. Not even one for the proverbial bag of hockey pucks.
Consequently, they don't believe they'll be able to trade Heatley this weekend, and even fear they'll be unable to deal him by July 1, when he must be paid a signing bonus of $4 million U.S.
That could lead to the possibility of Heatley having to play for the Senators next season, however unpleasant that may be for both sides.
Assistant general manager Tim Murray, speaking in place of Bryan on Thursday, acknowledged that's a distinct possibility.
"We're not giving him away because he has made the demand to be traded," he said.
An empty threat coming out of the Senators camp and Bryan Murray. They are going to trade Dany Heatley, they want to trade him. Nobody wants a scenario that has Heatley in a Senators uniform next season playing for Cory Clouston who he clearly has problems with. It is not good for the well being of the club for him to remain with the team. Murray is doing nothing more than trying to drum up interest and hope other GM's will increase their offers.
It seems like Murray is refusing to allow the market to set the price for Heatley. The Senators need to come to grips with the fact that Heatley is not going to return equal value before or after July 1st when the $4 million in salary to him is due. Not in a salary capped league and not in a recession.
Every since the news of Heatley wanting a trade broke, I have been saying over and over that it is not going to be easy for him to be moved. I've beaten the proverbial dead horse saying that Heatley is not going to return equal valuefor four reasons:
1) They don't have much leverage at the draft with the $4 million that Heatley is owed hanging over their heads.
2) That sum will immediately eliminate a number of teams from pursuing him until after July 1st when the amount is to paid to Heatley.
3) There is the limited number of teams which Heatley will accept a trade too.
4) The number of potential trading partners dwindles even further as some are not willing to take on a large contract during this economy.
In a nutshell this is why Murray is having so much trouble. It's economics 101. Take the best deal that is on the table when the draft roles around and move on. There aren't going to be any huge offers for Heatley, especially because if he's traded before July 1st, that $4 million he's owed is paid by the team acquiring him. That large sum is a considerable part of the trade for any trading partner b/c it's salary that is paid for last season. So essentially any trade for Heatley will include a few players, a draft pick or two, and $4 million.
A pretty heavy price, even if there aren't an top 10 picks or blue chip prospects involved.
The Rangers 19th overall pick, Michal Rozsival, and Nikolai Zherdev might be as good as it gets for Bryan Murray and the Sens.