Dany Heatley finally addressed the media Friday from Kelowna in British Columbia, making it the first time the veteran has made any statements since he requested a trade from the Ottawa Senators in June.
Heatley began by stating the obvious: his intentions have not changed since the start of the summer and he still wants to be traded. If he is not traded, he will still show up to training camp next month.
“When I signed in Ottawa two years ago, I felt it was to be an integral part of the team,” Heatley said. “Over the last two years and more recently over the past year, I feel my role was diminished. This past season, it diminished a lot more. This is a straight hockey decision. I have nothing against the fans of Ottawa, or the city of Ottawa. I would like the opportunity to go somewhere where I can play to the best of my capabilities and be the player that I can be.”
Senators GM Bryan Murray stated that finding a team for Heatley has not been an easy process. With such a high price on the player, moving him isn’t exactly easy.
“I think (the Heatley camp) believed that I would present them with four teams who were willing to give Ottawa a package (for Heatley), and he could pick and choose from them,” said Murray. “That has not been the case by any means. There are still a couple of teams that I’m talking to, but they are nowhere close to (offering) what I need to get back to protect this franchise.”
Along with clearing the air (sort of) in terms of the situation in Ottawa, Heatley shed some light on what led to his decision to refuse the trade to Edmonton.
“It has nothing to do with Edmonton,” explained Heatley. “It has everything to do with the options. To this date there has only been one option (San Jose), and I know that there are other teams out there. I don’t feel I can make the right decision until there are a few options and I can make the right decision for my career.”
The reality for Heatley is that he probably didn’t do enough with his remarks to save face for Canadian hockey fans, particularly those in Edmonton and Ottawa. He’ll have an uphill climb in terms of PR and probably won’t wind up where he wants to play unless something significant happens over the next few weeks.
The problem is that Heatley has really shown his true colours at this point and it’s difficult for a new team to want to gamble on a player like that. He certainly is well within his rights to ask for a trade and to refuse the trade proposed, but it certainly won’t win him any brownie points along the way.
Posted by Jordan Richardson.