Even TSN is Talking About This….

Although no official offers have been made, the communication between San Jose and Ottawa has only increased since Edmonton withdrew its offer for Heatley. However, as of this morning, the seemingly ‘best’ offer of Cheechoo, Ehrhoff and a first round selection has failed to interest Bryan Murray.

”If the Sharks don’t have what the Senators want, then (GM) Doug Wilson might have to go get it from another team,” a league executive told Sun Media on Saturday. ”The Senators want a proven scoring winger in return and that means you might have to get a third team involved.”

To every party involved, the natural choice was Montreal. It was believed to be the only team for which Marleau would waive his NTC, it could provide the Sharks the pieces necessary to make this trade, and potentially even allow them a replacement for Greiss. At this point in the discussions it became official that Heatley would waive his NMC for a trip to San Jose; everything seemed to be in place. Well, at least until the original Montreal deal fell through.

Hence, the birth of those Kessel to San Jose rumors from last week—another proven scoring winger who is potentially more attractive to the Oilers. Kessel is an RFA and could be obtained just by freeing up salary, and would undoubtedly be an acceptable alternative to the Montreal trade. But is Heatley really worth this?

Kessel is asking Boston for five million a year (although would undoubtedly play on a longer contract for less), much more than Healtey’s seven and a half. And, the Sharks could keep Marleau, Thornton, Boyle and Nabakov with his signing (assuming the Sharks can trade some of the pricier supporting cast—Cheechoo and Ehrhoff are still on the chopping block). Kessel is a much grittier player than Heatley, and he is one of the few stars left in the league who is famous for playing with heart (see the video a few posts down). But most of all, he is a proven playoff performer—he can score goals; last year he totaled eleven points in eleven playoff games and a +7. And by allowing Marleau to stay, Patty will essentially be forced to re-sign next year for less than even the standard home-town discount (a guy like Marleau at $4.5 to $5 million a year is as good as it gets). Doesn’t this situation seem a more appropriate fix to the Shark’s needs/problems?

Keep in mind I am not arguing that Heatley wouldn’t be productive/an asset. A line with both him and Thornton would be one of the most productive lines in the league. Heatley is also credited as a playoff performer (although his playoff performance and heart have both been criticized as well), and is undoubtedly one of the better players in the NHL. But I would rather see a roster with four playmakers, two top lines with heart, and a great supporting cast than a roster with three big-name players whose biggest concern is money and the lower lines filled out by AHLers.

Notes:

  1. Whatever happens with the trades, don’t expect to see Marleau involved.
  2. Montreal could still be a partner, but there really isn’t anyone that they can afford to part with and will interest Ottawa
  3. TSN Article – Not a whole lot there, just surprised to see a major news source covering this.
  4. I am watching the Giants game right now and have two things to say:
    1. Zito can still be a beast when he has run support.
    2. Garko and Sanchez.
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~ by mitchsolomon on August 2, 2009.

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