With all the talk of Dany Heatley wanting out of Ottawa, and with the Stanley Cup now awarded, I thought it would be a good time to see what the Senators could get for him.
To start, just remember that more than likely it won’t be a superstar for a superstar. Those type of trades don’t happen very often.
Marian Hossa was traded to Pittsburgh from Atlanta for a draft pick, a prospect, and two third and fourth liners, but Atlanta had to throw in another player as well.
Ray Bourque and Dave Andreychuk were traded from Boston to Colorado for a couple of third-line players, and a draft pick.
Patrick Roy was traded with the team captain for two second-players and a potential goalie.
Jaromir Jagr was traded to Washington for three bit players. And then traded to the Rangers for Anson Carter.
To do this potential Heatley trade, I decided that any team with a salary of $43 million for next season or more won’t be included. This is because of salary cap implications and most teams needing to sign at least five players in the offseason, so adding Heatley’s salary doesn’t make financial sense.
I also eliminated other teams that other major needs (for example, Anaheim has the cap space, but still needs to sign four defencemen for next season), and teams where I don’t think Heatley will want to go to (ie- back to Atlanta, where he’s already been and asked for a trade away from).
So with that being said, here are the 29 other NHL teams and what the trade could be:
Anaheim Ducks: Too many needs at defence
Atlanta Thrashers: Wouldn’t want to go back there
Boston Bruins: Too close to the salary cap
Buffalo Sabres: Too close to the salary cap
Calgary Flames: Too close to the salary cap
Colorado Avalanche: Too close to the salary cap
Detroit Red Wings: Too close to the salary cap
Edmonton Oilers: Too close to the salary cap
Los Angeles Kings: Too close to the salary cap
Minnesota Wild: Too close to the salary cap
New Jersey Devils:Too many other in-house free agents to sign (Gionta, Madden), plus I don’t think Heatley would want to play there.
New York Islanders:I don’t think Heatley would want to play there.
New York Rangers: Already have too many players with big contracts
Philadelphia Flyers: Too close to the salary cap
Phoenix Coyotes: Wouldn’t want to play there
Pittsburgh Penguins: Too close to the salary cap
San Jose Sharks: Too close to the salary cap
St. Louis Blues: Too close to the salary cap
Tampa Bay Lightning:Trying to shed salary instead of bringing more onboard
Washington Capitals: Too close to the salary cap
That leaves nine possible teams.
At this point, I would also think the Chicago Blackhawks are out of the running too. Although they have the salary cap space to get Heatley now, they have a bunch of players that will need new contracts next season and the year after (Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith, etc.). If they’re looking into the future, there’s no way they can afford to keep all those players past next season and trade for Heatley. So the Blackhawks are also out.
I’m also going to take away the Florida Panthers. Florida is built on youth. So do they want to continue with their youth movement, or make a move and try to make the playoffs? As well, they don’t even have a general manager right now, so who do you talk to about a trade?
Also eliminated is the Toronto Maple Leafs. Don’t think the Sens would trade with their hated rival? Think again. If they Sens can improve their team, they’ll do it. But I don’t think the Leafs are ready to give up on prospects or draft picks, and there’s not a lot on the active roster the Leafs can offer.
So that leaves six teams. Here’s what I think the Sens could get from them for Heatley.
Carolina Hurricanes:Depending on what the Sens are trying to accomplish, they could probably get Ray Whitney in a deal. He makes $3.5 million, and is a free agent next summer. So if he doesn’t work out, they could let him go and not be stuck with a huge contract. If he does work out, he could be a good wingman for Jason Spezza (who will undoubtably be looking for a scorer to pass the puck to), or a great second-line player to give them a more balanced attack. So here would be Whitney, a prospect and a draft pick for Heatley.
Columbus Blue Jackets:Maybe they could trade for that Antoinne Vermette guy. He’s French Canadian, and could help out the second line. Just joking. But Columbus would pose a bit of a problem, because I don’t think they have a second or third line player that the Sens would want. That would mean a package of prospects and draft picks.
Dallas Stars:This one’s a bit trickier, because even though the Stars have the cap space now, they still need to sign Sergei Zubov. They don’t have a lot of defence, so they may focus on filling that need instead of forward. But they have about $14 million in cap space, so if they can clear some cash, they should be able to fit Heatley in no problem. I think the Stars would probably give up Fabian Brunnstrom as part of a deal. He’s young, and while a little inconsistent, showed some promise in his rookie season. I think the Sens, if they are going to be in a rebuilding mode, would be willing to take a chance on him. Throw in a propsect and a draft pick, and you have a deal that could interest the Sens.
Montreal Canadiens: I mentioned this trade in my original post about Heatley wanting out. Basically, its Montreal’s first round pick, PK Subban and Sergei Kostitsyn. Ottawa could try to package both first round draft picks (their own #9 and the Habs #18) for a higher pick. They get someone that could help with secondary scoring. And a prospect that would be automatically at the top of their prospect depth chart. Plus, Sens fans would love Subban, as they got to see him during the world junior championships and fell in love with him.
Nashville Predators: Most of their focus should be getting a goalie (they don’t have any signed past next season). But they want to make the playoffs again. They already have $19 million in their top four forwards, so it may be tough to justify another forward making so much money. If they do get Heatley, they wouldn’t be able to afford much help on the other lines. But they could put together a package of JP Dumont, Jordin Tootoo and a draft pick. Dumont would give the Sens another scoring option, and Tootoo could be a much cheaper version of Chris Neil (who isn’t signed).
Vancouver Canucks:Probably the biggest wildcard. If they resign the Daniel and Henrik Sedin, then it all depends on if Mats Sundin wants to come back to the Canucks. But after his play this past season, I don’t think he’ll be able to command more than $8 million again. And if the Sedins resign for $6 million each, that only leaves about $8 million in salary cap for the Canucks. Still, Vancouver is the only true west coast team on this list, and I believe Heatley would be most interested in going here out of these six teams. Still, an offer of Ryan Kesler, a prospect and a draft pick would be tempting to the Canucks.