« Pääjärvi | Main | A Canadian grades the NYT's Canada Day expatriates »

Yeah, so

SatanI guess people are expecting me to write something about the Heatley thing? I find myself with the exact same thoughts I had after the Oilers' Nylander fiasco. If J.P. Barry's account of what transpired is at all accurate, Bryan Murray committed a fraud on the Oilers and inflicted objective harm on them, and if the NHL weren't being run by blind idiot children some recourse would presumably be available. Of course, all the evidence suggests that Barry is either unable or unwilling to provide the most rudimentary protection for Dany Heatley's reputation and marketability—I had understood this to be part of an agent's job, and indeed a particularly significant part of that job in a world of controlled salaries—so who knows whether he has the story straight. And the Oiler front office can only whine that it has been a victim of unfair dealing so many times before the fan says "You know, fellas, maybe the problem is that you're just really crappy negotiators?" (Not that there was any reason to doubt this in the first place.)


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Comments (13)

Daniel Allard:

You know, there are very minor rumblings in Ottawa that purport Mr. Heatley never really wanted to leave Ottawa in the first place. That this was a "How Much Do You REALLY Love Me?" ploy gone horribly (and irrevocably) wrong.

Then again there are those who believe Elvis lives.

Personally, I think the premature ghost of Alexei Yashin found its way into Dany's gullet and is settling in for a cold summer.

Oh yeah. Turns out Chris Pronger didn't really want to leave Edmonton either. It was all just a crazy misunderstanding that got out of hand.


I can't agree with your characterization of Barry's side of the story meaning Murray committed a fraud on the Oilers.

- Oilers knew all along that Heatley would have to give the explicit OK
- Murray simply has no interest, let alone obligation, in presenting parallel options to Heatley. Make the best deal you can, then propose the trade (to Team A) to Heatley for a yay or nay. If it's nay, then make the best deal you can, propose the trade (to Team B) to Heatley for a yay or nay. And so on.

Heatley's fairly-bargained NMC gives him the right to veto trades. It simply does not give him the right to choose his destination, and that is not a trivial distinction.

Of course the Oilers knew all along that Heatley's waiver of the no-move clause was needed. As I read Barry's story, they were deliberately led to believe that it had happened. Barry doesn't say Tambellini called him to ask "So is this thing happening?"; he suggests that Tambellini called him because he thought Heatley was an Oiler.


Even if you don't think Barry is a liar (which, being a sports agent, he certainly is), he only says "consummated the trade".

The only legitimate grievance would be if Murray told Steve T-Bone explicitly that Heatley had agreed to waive his NMC, when he had not in fact done so. Given that Barry does not spell out this claim, I assume it didn't happen like that.

Murray could have been a lot easier on Heatley if everything was done and settled quietly beforehand. Even notwithstanding the fact that Murray might have received an inferior return by doing so, I think it's completely forgivable that he had/has no interest in making things easy for Heatley.

I agree with Matt, basically. I also think Barry's position that he wants options is ridiculous. He should say what he means: Edmonton is better than Ottawa but there are a lot of places better than Edmonton.

Cosh makes a fair point about Barry but I suspect that Barry has been pretty opaque about Heatley's intentions - Edmonton probably isn't on the list but he probably did say that they could talk to Edmonton and Heatley would consider it.

Even if you don't think Barry is a liar (which, being a sports agent, he certainly is), he only says "consummated the trade".

That still doesn't explain his characterization of the phone call, in which he clearly suggests that he had to disabuse Tambellini of some false notion. Am I overinterpreting this?


Am I overinterpreting this?

Probably? It seems clear enough that Heatley never said "I won't go to Edmonton" during the initial negotiations, which as far as I'm concerned clears the deck for working out a proposed trade there and presenting it to him.

Tambo's excitement, or whatever, is his own issue.


Eng of Lebrun's piece he has Murray quoted as saying:

"We were interested in him, and as I said, if we would have known, I mean, I think I suspected [Heatley would say no], but until you know for sure, you don't want to get strung up with extra contracts," Murray said. "So it had an effect on what we did yesterday, or didn't do would be more like it."

So, if Murray essentially admits that he thought Heatley would say no to the deal, then one would have to think that the whole exercise was pure performance on the part of the Sens. Give Heatley two choices: Edomonton or stay in Ottawa. Ottawa doesn't look so bad anymore. And if he stays in Ottawa, Heatley gets his ice time.

All that being said, Sather must now recognize that he needs someone to help Gaborik compete against the Crosby/Malkin duo...Heatley and Gaborik could do that, no?

my two bits

They've got $27.8M of cap space tied up just on Gaborik, Drury, Redden, and Lundqvist, and they don't yet have Zherdev tied up. I realize it's considered technically possible but I can't see them adding Heatley and all indications are that Slats didn't make a very serious offer.


I think Matt hit the nail on the head in the third post - there is no obligation on Murray (other than internal pressure due to salary, cap hit, etc) to find a destination Dany or JP Barry likes, and in fact nothing to keep the GM from saying "I'll find the three most-miserable towns in the NHL (you can understand the attraction of Edmonton, natch) and you can take your pick, ya little putz." As for Tambo - well, I've never seen a GM play the 'aggrieved deal maker' card, so I'm sure his reaction is entirely legit.


This from Terry Jones' article, quoting Ron Hextall, speaking about Heatley:

"He had his problems with his coach in Atlanta. My understanding is that he had problems with Craig Hartsburg at the start of last year in Ottawa. And he had problems with Cory Clouston.

"Three coaches he's had a problem with. That raises huge red flags for us."

Someone once told me that if you have three people in your life who you consider major assholes, then you're the asshole.

Walk. Away. From. This. Trade. Please.

Of course, maybe the Oiler Brain Trust should consider a four year offer to Mike Danton after he gets paroled from prison in Kingston.

There can certainly be no question about Ron Hextall being a fully accredited expert on assholery.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 3, 2009 11:17 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Pääjärvi.

The next post in this blog is A Canadian grades the NYT's Canada Day expatriates.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Powered by
Movable Type 3.35