Oilers, Senators had deal in place; Heatley nixed it

Sean Leahy
July 1, 2009

Dany Heatley(notes) was this close to becoming a member of the Edmonton Oilers. As was reported last night on TSN and Sportsnet, the Oilers and Ottawa Senators had a deal in place that would have sent Andrew Cogliano(notes), Dustin Penner(notes) and Ladislav Smid(notes) to Ottawa in exchange for Heatley, as long as he approved the deal. Just after midnight Eastern time, TSN's Bob McKenzie put the kibosh on the trade reporting that Heatley had rejected the deal saying, "For now, and quite possibly forever, the deal is dead."

An added twist to this story is the much-discussed $4 million bonus that Heatley is due today. As McKenzie reported, the NHL said that the money can be transferred to a new team as long as the deal is completed by midnight tonight, otherwise the Senators are on the hook for it. This allows Ottawa general manager Bryan Murray another day to find a team to Heatley's liking and one willing to not only take on his salary, but pay the $4 million bonus. Murray has said that if the Senators do indeed wind up paying that bonus, Heatley isn't going to be dealt.

When the New York Rangers dumped Scott Gomez(notes) and his large salary to Montreal earlier this evening, alarm bells went off everywhere and rumors began to surface that that a Heatley-to-New York deal was imminent. Rangers GM Glen Sather had dumped significant salary from the team's cap and even stated in his post-trade conference call that three teams had spoken with him since the news broke. All signs pointed to Heatley shopping for apartments in New York City, but as of now, he remains property of the Ottawa Senators. Sather and Murray now have more time to work out a deal if New York is truly interested.

UPDATE: Sportsnet reports that the deal is "on hold" and Bob McKenzie has updated his report with this:

"Heatley was asked to waive his no-movement clause by the Senators but he didn't oblige. Which is not the same thing as an outright or unequivocal rejection.

...

No one should suggest Heatley is prepared to waive his no-movement clause to go to Edmonton any more than it should be suggested he absolutely won't."

This thing is getting complicated quickly. Stay tuned.