Earlier this morning, I touched upon how Dany Heatley did himself and the Senators organization a disservice by refusing to disclose any information or reasoning as to why he wanted out of Ottawa. Since his camp only revealed the details Heatley was dissatisfied with his role and his relegation to the second power play unit, Heatley wound up losing the public relations battle in hockey circles because it helped foster the perception of him as a spoiled twat. It also didn't help matters that fans microanalysed the situation and backed up the premise with objective statistics that the team and Heatley performed better while under Clouston's watch. For most fans, things didn't add up and we were left searching for answers to an inexplicable breakup that blindsided the organization.
Thankfully, because of the efforts of Bruce Garrioch, we finally have some more candid insight from Bryan Murray as to why Heatley wanted out. In comments made this morning by Murray, he said he believes Heatley had issues with his teammates’ roles, and wasn’t convinced the club was headed in the right direction.
“It was ice time, importance on the team. It was all the things that you guys wrote about. Dany certainly didn’t like the media pointing out things that he wasn’t doing. He seemed to be offended by that.
He may have had a problem with some of his teammates. I think he felt that a couple of veteran guys, in particular, were more recognized than he was. That seems a little far-fetched to me.
I think it just came down to the fact I don’t think he thought our team was great. He thought going to a different location — and a good team like San Jose — might put him close to winning a championship.” ~ Ottawa Sun
In summary, Dany doesn't do backchecking. Nor does he evoke a work ethic in practice. We're talking about practice man. Practice. As long as he scores goals and flirts with 40-50 goals, who gives a fuck? Dany wanted to be paid and recognized as a superstar but was uncomfortable with how veterans like Chris Neil had more clout, even though they had one-eighth the talent. And finally, Dany Heatley's a frontrunning son of a bitch who prefers the easy ride in life.
Paraphrasing Murray on Team 1200
You'll have to excuse the short-form nature of this recap, he was only on for 15 minutes with Steve Lloyd and Jason York but covered a variety of topics.
- The three talked about last night's Grey Cup game and the too many men call that cost the Riders the game. They reminisced briefly about Don Cherry's Bruins and their infamous game against the Habs where Lafleur scored. Blah blah blah.
- Segueway into late heroic antics and Milan Michalek's goal against the Bruins on Saturday night. Even though Murray felt the team dominated the play for the first period, he felt that they were fortunate to get a point after playing a lousy last 40 minutes. The conversation shifted to Ottawa's misfortunes in the shootout and Murray said that even though the shootout is entertaining for the fans, he hated the fact that teams lose out on points because of it.
- If Tim were making this post, he'd make some artsy comment about one of his favorite tunes, The Ice of Boston by The Dismemberment Plan. Anyways, Murray, Lloyd and Mr. Lu Lu Lemon briefly discussed the poor ice quality in Boston and how bad it could be during the next few games during Ottawa's road trip on the Pacific.
- Erik Karlsson gets brought up. Murray was never concerned with the ten game threshold that kicked in the first year of Karlsson's entry level deal. Murray mentioned how it's best to do what's right for Karlsson, saying that he needs to develop at the NHL level and he alluded to the fact that Karlsson had 12 points in Bingo. He also mentions how Ottawa's desperate for some offence from the blueline and that Karlsson looks ready and willing to compete from his observations during practice. (Which is awesome, because that's something I look for in an undersized, green defenceman as well.)
- Bryan continues to mention that Volchenkov will play tomorrow night and that the decision is up to Clouston whether or not Karlsson will be a healthy scratch tomorrow or for the rest of the trip. (I think there's a better chance that I'll be buying a Heatley San Jose jersey than this sequence of events unfold.)
- When Brian Lee's demotion is brought up, Murray mentions that management and the coaching staff felt that Lee had lost his way in the last four games after a strong start to his recall. Murray maintains that Lee needs to develop and reflect confidence in his play, so that's why he's going back to Bingo to play some significant minutes against lesser competition. Murray does mention that this isn't a kiss of death and that Lee will be recalled at some point this season. Somewhere at that moment, Chris Campoli's balls ascended into his torso.
- Even though Brian Elliott took a shot to his forearm and had to leave practice early, Murray reaffirmed that he will not miss any time and will be expected to carry the load until Pascal Leclaire is healthy enough to play. When Jason York asked Murray if Mike Brodeur would see some time, Murray bluntly responded with a "I hope not."
- Apparently Murray wants to see Elliott run with the ball in Leclaire's absence since he feels that he has shown considerable progress since last season.
- The three briefly touch upon Heatley but Murray reiterates that he's moved past the issue and that he feels that the Senators have developed into a better team and are competing better as a team. (The emphasis in the last sentence is on the word team.)
- On the topic of Michalek and Cheechoo, it turned into a Michalek love in. Verbal fellatio from everyone concerning Michalek's complete game. Murray is pleased with Michalek's start since the organization had projected 25 goals from him. While Cheechoo continues to produce at a slightly above Muckaltian rate, Murray praises him for his good work ethic and attitude. And here I was thinking Chris Neil was the most overpaid character guy in the League.