Less than a week after Dany Heatley played in an eagerly anticipated game in Edmonton after he had rejected to waive his NTC to join the Oilers, the dilated one will play in his first game against the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night. Granted, the game's not in Ottawa, but that hasn't stopped the Sens media from lobbing their first grenades at Dany.
Of course, everybody has Tuesday's date with Dany Heatley circled on their calendar. It says here he won't play well. He never played well against Atlanta, another former team. ~ Bruce Garrioch, OTP
If by not playing well against the Thrashers, Bruce meant that Dany's only averaged more than a point per game against his former club -- 9G, 9A, 18 Pts in 17 GP -- then I'd love to know what Bruce really thinks of Spezza's production thus far.
Maybe I'm one of the few, but it's because of the local media's piling on of Heatley that I am actually looking more forward to Heatley's reactions pre and post-game to the Ottawa media than I am looking forward to the actual game. Speaking of which, I haven't seen Brennan write an article in awhile. Does anyone know if he's accompanied the team on the roadie? If he has, will we see a repeat of the Laraque vs Brennan incident wherein Don powdered out after Georges took issue with him writing that the Sens should target Crosby's ankle? And if he and Heatley come to blows, will this become my second favorite celebrity fight ranked only behind the instance where Shamwow's! Vince got KO'd by a hooker?
I digress. If we're going to shit on Dany Heatley, do it for the right reasons. Even though some individuals like Roy Mlakar have said that someday, the real reason(s) why Heatley wanted out will to come see the light of day, all we the fans have to go by is the fact that Heatley's camp feels slighted by the fact that Cory Clouston cast Heatley on the second power play unit. While his goal production dropped, the team was playing better hockey and his point production actually increased under Clouston. Consequently, the educated fan was left wondering whether Heatley was this dumb or that much of a selfish, frontrunning forward who only cared about how close he could get to 50 goals on an annual basis?
In a sport where loyalty is paramount, the fact that Heatley willingly threw Clouston under the bus while he was still a part of the organization was not only a discredit to Clouston, it was a discredit to an organization that had catered to Heatley and the baggage that he brought to the organization following the Dan Snyder tragedy. Judging by his summer silence, it's safe to assume that he didn't care whether his reputation took a hit, as long as he got what he wanted. And that's really what this is about -- Dany being Dany and getting what he wants on his terms.
It also single handidly ruined his reputation and trade value around the League.
If you look at this player's past ... I'm going to spell it out to you as nicely I can. He was in Atlanta, had an unfortunate (automobile) accident there and asked to be traded. OK, given the circumstances -- there was a young man killed -- I can live with that.
He goes to Ottawa, he's on a pretty good team, they go to the finals, signs a big contract… Bang, all of the sudden now he's got to be traded again. 'Not only do I have to be traded, I have a no-trade clause. I want to pick where I'm going to go.' Well, there are some issues there.
He had problems with his coach in Atlanta. My understanding is 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. ~ Ron Hextall via Mark Spector, Sportsnet
You know what raises huge red flags for me? The fact that Hextall can not only spell but actually have the audacity to talk on the record about a player's character who was not a member of the Kings organization. I still can't figure out why their organization would take the high road instead of helping to lower the price for a former 50-goal scorer who eventually was dealt to a divisional rival. (As an aside, would the Hextall quote be consistent grounds for levying tampering charges against the Kings organization? Have your say.)
But back to Clouston. Kudos to him for instilling a team mentality that hasn't been seen in Ottawa since their Cup Run in '07. Even though the team has featured an average defence, weathered significant injuries to Volchenkov and Kuba, and had to cope with a lack of production from Spezza, Shannon and Cheechoo, Clouston has this Senators team one point back of the division leading Boston Bruins. As much as Heatley's camp has tried to undermine Clouston's reputation, he has to be considered as an early favorite for the Jack Adams Trophy.
Besides, if the Sharks and Sens stumble in this year's playoffs, which team or individual is going to wear the choke label? Exactly. Suck on it Dany.