It looks like Steve Tambellini and the Edmonton Oilers are moving on from the Dany Heatley saga. Friday featured the Edmonton GM publicly announcing that he was no longer interested in procuring the services of the disgruntled, dickish Heatley.
“We gave ourselves an allotted amount of time internally … to explore every opportunity to see if there was something that would work – it didn’t,” Tambellini said during a conference call. “It’s time for us to move on. We’re very comfortable with that.”
Tambellini and the Oilers have been courting Heatley for a while now, even beyond his initial refusal to join the team. The most recent attempt included a video package and, presumably, a lovely basket of fruit.
The mess all started after Tambellini hammered out a deal for Heatley with the Senators only to have the winger refuse to waive his no-trade clause. This has kept Heatley in limbo with the Senators and GM Bryan Murray, who has continued to say, rightly, that his player is still a member of the Ottawa team. Heatley was also paid a $4 million bonus from the Senators, as per his contract, despite the fact that he had asked for a trade and then refused the one set up for him. Ah, money.
Tambellini outlined the proceedings with reporters somewhat, noting that things were going relatively well in the early going of negotiations. “Then there was a change of position with the way Dany’s advisers were talking about things,” said Tambellini. “Things changed after that and really never got back on track. That’s fine – they can explore options elsewhere.”
Tambellini expressed disappointment that details of the deal were made public, especially given the fact that the deal went nowhere, but didn’t apologize for his team’s aggressive approach at trying to land the star player. “We took a very aggressive approach on July 1,” said Tambellini. “There’s not too many people out there that are in the prime of their career and have the potential of scoring 50 goals every year.”
While some say the Oilers were aggressive, still others say that they came off as desperate. Their desperation, in my view, was especially palpable towards the end of the negotiation process after Heatley had already made it clear that he wasn’t interested.
Tambellini says he’s ready to roll with the team he has and should be about done in terms of making big moves. “I didn’t feel that it was stopping us from doing anything else,” said Tambellini. “We had to make a decision that it was time to move on. We did everything that we thought we could. We’ve got a team that we’re looking forward to seeing in September.”
Posted by Jordan Richardson.