Dany Heatley got his wish today, as Ottawa Senators General Manager Bryan Murray traded the disgruntled forward and a fifth round pick to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for forwards Milan Michalek, Jonathan Cheechoo, and a second round pick. Since the sticking point all along was reportedly that the Senators did not want to accept Cheechoo in any trade back, it appears Murray finally just gave in and made the deal.

Winner: San Jose Sharks

San Jose brings in a forward whose character has taken a real drubbing over the past few months, but they are also bringing in one of the best pure scorers in the NHL today. Heatley’s track record is well known, and the two-time 50-goal/100-point scorer gets the job done both on the powerplay and at even-strength. His reputation for indifferent defensive play, as well as his penchant for taking undisciplined penalties are both problems, but Heatley’s offensive ability is more than enough to tip the scales in his favour.

He may be the best player from the blueline in currently playing in the NHL.

The Sharks now have the luxury of running Heatley out with Thornton, or separating their chief scorers and running two high-octane lines.

Winner, for now: Dany Heatley

Heatley was traded to his destination of choice, but it remains to be seen if this is a pyrrhic victory. Sharks fans were understandably angry following the team’s first-round playoff collapse, and while that anger was directed all over the roster, the chief focus was Joe Thornton, who has been labelled a regular-season only player. There have also been an abundance of theories that the players in the Sharks dressing room are lacking in character, and Heatley won’t help that assessment.

After poisoning his reputation with virtually every fan in Canada, and being spoken out agianst by people like Kings GM Dean Lombardi, Heatley needs to have immediate success, or his time in San Jose could become just as uncomfortable as his time in Ottawa – and if that happens, he may have burned too many bridges to ever find a home he’ll be comfortable in.

Loser: Ottawa Senators

In this particular game of chicken, Bryan Murray blinked. It’s difficult to blame him, since he seems to have been got in a rather nasty web, but at the end of the day he took an offer that was simply too low – particularly in comparison to the package he would have received from the Edmonton Oilers.

Milan Michalek is the best part of the package coming back from the Sharks. He spent almost no time with Joe Thornton last season, but still managed to land in the 25-goal/60-point range on the season, playing with Ryan Clowe and Joe Pavelski. He’s signed to a relatively fair 4.33MM/yr contract for the next five years, so Ottawa at least managed to bring back one long-term asset in this trade. He’s a very nice player, albeit not in Heatley’s class.

Jonathan Cheechoo simply isn’t the player that he once was; injuries have robbed the effectiveness of the one-time Rocket Richard Trophy winner. It remains to be seen if he can rebound to the 20-goal/40-point range. His success this past season was entirely dependant on Joe Thornton; here are his line’s even-strength splits with and without Thornton:

  • With Thornton: 3.885 goals per 60 minutes of ice-time
  • Without Thornton: 1.566 goals per 60 minuts of ice-time

That means that Jonathan Cheechoo was less than half as likely to score a goal playing without Thornton as he was when lined up beside him. At this point, his 3MM/yr contract represents an overpayment, and unless he can recapture his form – perhaps by playing with Spezza – his value is negligible given the cap space he takes up.

Comments (26)

  1. So at long last the saga is over. While I’m thankful to see Heatley gone all I can CURSE YOU HEATLEY CURSE YOU!!!! When compared to that other offer he negated the Sens got screwed. It was obvious having Heatley around was going to create a media circus and could have led to more problems. But now the question is where do they go from here.

    Michalek is a nice piece and an excelent 1st/2nd line player. But Cheechoo? This does at the very least give the Sens a bunch of interesting line combo’s and when you throw in Kovalev it isn’t like this deal will end any hopes of the Sens making the playoffs.

    The only question remaining is who fits where. Does Clouston split up Alfredsson and Spezza and give them new line mates to work with. Or does Kovalev, Cheechoo and Michalek now have to battle it out to see who takes Heatley’s spot? and the two losers end up likely playing with Fisher on the second line.

  2. Ha,Ha,Ha . San Jose dumps two salaries /two players they cannot give away in off season – and gives up only a second rounder ( more like a third rounder as it will be a very late second rounder at best ) to obtain Heatley . To top it off Ottawa also throws in a fifth rounder back -incredible . Unbelievable how bad a trade that was in comparison to Oilers original trade . They (Sens) would have been better off just taking a second rounder and a couple of bags of pucks , and spent the money more wisely. than taking on those over paid playoff no shows !! Feel sorry for Sens fans . Well , it looks like once again a no trade/movement clause (not worth the paper it is written on ) is really a UFA card for any player wanting to move elsewhere and discard /dishonor their contracts whenever the wind moves them !! One good thing about is, the Oilers probably lucked out again by not having him come here (in retrospect ) like Nylander and some others !!

  3. Whoa there Madjam back it up on picking on there none existant playoff stats. You can’t pick on either of those two for that. When was the last time a single player that played for San Jose preformed in the post season? If they fail to do so here then yes they are play off flops.

    As long as these two can contribute 50-60 points. Which both can although I wouldn’t bet on Cheechoo things won’t be that bad. And that 5th rounder means nothing unless your Detroit then it’s worth something.

    And Cheechoo is only signed for two more seasons. The same as Kovalev giving the Sens 7+ in savings. The Sens at least get some much need scoring depth out of this albeit a little bit pricey. The Sens only issue now is who centers this line and who will center Foligno and Shannon on the third line.

  4. Yeah, it’s hard not to see the Sharks made out like bandits. They basically got Heatley without having to deal Marleau–good things come to those who wait…

    Cheechoo’s finished and his contracts’ an albatross for sure. I was shocked when Oilers bloggers were proposing an Oilers trade for Cheechoo. Are you kidding me?

    With any luck the Sharks will remain true to form and win the President’s trophy–then make a quiet early exit from the second season so that big Joe and Dany can go surfing.

  5. MADJAM…..I agree the trade for us stinks, but come on you have to be kidding right? The Oilers package was absolutey pathetic. I mean Cogliano is a nobody and if I had my choice between him or Michalek, it would be Michalek hands down. As fpr Penner (4.5M) He’e the quentessential definition of “grossly-sickeningly overpaid”. As for Smid he was rumoured to be coming here in exchange for Christoph Schubert for gods sakes. This deal for us is very bad, the Ouiler trade for us would have been devestating. Both trades for us Oilers/Sharks had one good piece coming back the other way Cogliano from Edmonton and Michalek from San Jose. Michalek is the better player and he’s signed for long term. So MADJAM take your head out of your ass buddy the Oilers have next to no talent on their forward lines maybe in a 2-3 years when Gagner and maybe Cogliano amount into max 60 point players, they wouldn’t have helped us much this year and next.

    As for not being able to move anybody……Penner is the most impossible player int he league today to trade. 4.5M for an overweight lard ass who was benched for being out of shape and lazy to boot? Smid? where exactly does he fit in with us? A big defenseman who plays small and doesn’t really offer anything in the way of offense for a team that is looking for a puck-moving defenseman? The Oilers can keep their junk. I would have preferred the deal that was thought to have been done with L.A. for Frolov and Stoll…. But oh well it’s done and it’s time to move on. Hopefully Cheechoo can hit 25 goals possibly playing with Spezza and Alfredsson. Michalek will likely find himself playing with Fisher and Kovalev. Kelly will likely center Foligno and Shannon. which will leave Ruutu with Bass and Neil. Too much money spent on the bottom 2 lines.

    The good news is Heatley is gone and maybe the team will rally around this trade. The other good news if we come out and we stink we finally hope to hell that it will final;ly be the end of Bryan Murray here. Either way we win.

  6. San Jose will still not win the the cup , you need team players , Milkbag is no where close to that , and I’m not sure on Thornton or Marleau ……
    Thornton/Milkbag will get 100 pts each , but will be golfing after the first round …….
    but the Milkbag will be happy , cause he will get 55 goals ….that’s all he’s after

    good luck Sharks , you’ll need it …

    Ottawa , did get robbed , but they got rid of a cancer , they will still have a long road back to get to be a competitve team again , they’ll have their own fun , with the biggest floater of all time , Kovalev …..

  7. Riddick19:

    I think you really underrate Penner. (http://www.coppernblue.com/2009/8/26/1003249/an-amicus-brief-in-support-of)

    You definitely underrate Smid; the Oilers wouldn’t trade Smid for Schubert in a million years. He’s developing a real nasty side and should be a great shutdown defensemen for years to come.

    Plus Cogliano’s a better piece.

    I don’t know a single Oilers fan with half a brain who would trade Penner, Cogliano and Smid for Michalek, Cheechoo and a 2nd round pick.

  8. Smid just was not what the Senators needed. Especially when you consider they already had to very good shut down defense man in Volchenkov and Phillips. As for Penner well I would value him but I would say Micalek is a better overall player then him. But Cogliano and Cheechoo is where this trade becomes much worse then then the Edmonton one.

    A lot of good things will have to happen but as long as Kovalev, Michalek and Cheechoo can find chemistry with there new line mates. And a third line of say Winchester, Foligno and Shannon can produce a little and a big physical line of Neil, Ruutu and Bass with Kelly being traded or cut at some point. Then this team won’t be nearly as bad as some people might think.

  9. Devon:

    I’d agree with that analysis. Cogliano vs. Cheechoo is the big drop off.

  10. kov..spez..mich
    etc………………………not bad for Ottawa

  11. How do you spell Dany Heatley? Answer: mememememememememe

  12. San Jose will likely win the presidents trophy, Thornton and Heatley if healthy will both top 100 points…then come April it’s another first round exit.

  13. Heatley won’t help San Jose defensively and he could find he is in for quite a shock playing some strong physical defensive teams in West . Marleau or Thornton on the move for some defence ?

  14. Madjam:

    I doubt Marleau’s going anywhere. He’s got that pesky NTC.

    And, it’s just my opinion, but the Sharks would be stupid to move Thornton.

  15. Heatley , it’s assummed by most here as getting back to a 50 goal scorer – even though he did not not do it with Alfie and Spezza (not to shabby themselves ) last season !! Thats not a given with Thornton and considering how tough the West is. Wouldn’t it be ironic (fitting ) if Cheechoo or Michalek were top get 50+ with Sens playing with Alfie and Spezza , and Heatley finishes less than last season ??

  16. JONATHAN WILLIS…….. I didn’t really mean to crap on the Oilers players/prospects. But the key words being Oilers fans. Just for the record I’m not just an ignorant Eastern Conference fan, and I know exactly what the Oilers were offering. Smid is somewhat soft and maybe he’s added a nastier side not much from what I saw however for a big kid he has decent skating ability. Fact of the matter is Smid would just join a list of fringe defenseman…. (Schubert, Picard, Karlsson, and Lee) and come on I’m not an idiot, Penner could have been had for future considerations because he absolutely wasn’t the power forward Lowe thought he was getting when he made the offer-sheet. It’[s easy to playu bigger playing on a line with Getzlaf and Perry than it is to play with Horcoff and Hemsky, as i9n Anaheim you know someone has your back. Edmonton has a fast skating team and Penner just insn’t someone that skates well, and was always a secfond behind. I have respect for the Oilers as I was a long time fan til my city got a team of their own, but Penner is not underrated, and I predict…..in gfacr guarantee you’ll see similar production from hin this season as well.

    As for Cogliano, I like him, he’s somewhat gritty mind you not overly, but he doesn’t back down going into the corners, but I personally see him as a 60 point player at best much like Ottawa fans are familliar with when it came to Vermette. Great hands as he won numerous skills competion events with the Sens but never fulfilled his awesome potential. Cogliano has amazing wheels and he finishes Ok, but will never meet expectations because his hands can’t work as fast as his feet. Think a Todd Marchand but obviously a little more talented.

    Another thing, I’ve harped on the Senators for not focussing on talent and Michalek is a more talented player than Heatley just not as sharp a shooter. I know what I’m talking about and even though we got hosed on this deal I still think we finish 4th in the East.

    For all you guys that are going to call mke nuts or whatever please do one thing before you say anything…….check the previos 3 years of the stats of players like Alfy, Spezza, Fisher, Kelly, Phillips, and Volchenkov. Thety had bizzare seasons last year and they’re ALL due for bounce back seasons. Alfy is 36 and knows this is his last chance to play for Team Sweden and stayed home during the WC’s so he’d be rested for the upcoming season, which will translate into a 90 point season for Alfy you heard it here first..

    I also have to get this straight as well. Heatley was valuable because of his release. What Sharks fans will find is that as long as Heatley doesn’t have to do any of the dirty work and is still able to score goals he’ll remain happy. Any Sens fan even the most die hard Heatley fans know the guy was as soft as a silk down pillow. His penalty minutes that he did incur were of a retaliatory cause. He’s not a team guy he’s made that evident himself. Whether he admits there was more to it or not, is irrevelevant because just listening to him speak and the fact he doesn’t understand why people are calling him out as selfish says he doesn’t understand the meaning of leadership. He wore an “A” in Ottawa because management believed he’d grow into the roll, but clearly he’s no leader.

    BTW…….I’d really really love to hear his views on what his options were before the trade happened. I’d like him to share the numerous teams that were willing to drop their drawers at a chance to land a brilliant person/class act such as Heatley.

    I Personally think we’ll be better off than many people think. Heatley was a great shooter but was nothing kor ethan that. I was really hoping we could land a 30+ goal scorer for him, someone that can score but isn’t afraid to go into the corners unlike Heatley. Everyone knows Heatley as a goal scorer, but the Ottawa media did an amazing job not uncovering the shortfalls of Heatley’s game until Clouston brought it to light and challenged him to be better. After that Heatley realized he’d have to be better and in my oppinion he doesn’t have the commitment to become any better than he is. So He’ll be a 7.5M cash cow as long as Thornton is healthy. If Come playoff time you need Heatley to step up and lead…….San Jose will be complaining a bout yet another early playoff demise.

    What I founf most troubling during all of this is that Murray was unwilling to take on Cheechoo. For better or worse he should’ve stuck to his guns. Wilson proved to be the better GM in this trade because he got rid of a guy who was clearly on a massive downturn in his career, and a guy that no one would take. Wilson stuck with it, kept in touch, and eventually won because he rid himself of Cheechoo and in return got a guy that has limitless possibilitieas playing with the est playmaker in hockey. Murray is a terrible GM and yes even with the distractions, I would’ve held onto him because he was motivated to score goals which would mean finally he would’ve been willing to do things that are out of character i.e. drive the net……take a check to make a play….. or take a punch to draw a penalty and his value would’ve increased. Instead we got a lot less for someone that is definitely overvalued from a talent perspective but could’ve been golden.

  17. One other thing……how did it become a Coliano vs Cheechoo comparison? Cogliano AND Smid combined for 49 points where Michalek scored 57 points? Cheechoo on the other hand had a lously 29 points playing on basically the 4th line. The two key trade offs were Michalek and Cogliano…..Michalek is the better player. He’s signed for a longer term, and in the right here and now is the more productive player. The leftover or “have to take on’s” so to speak would have been Penner and Smid. Cheechoo at least has/had a goal scoring touch. Yes he’s not the player he was but when comparing junk, Iike the prospect of a guy who once scored 56 goals playing alongside a masterful playmaker than a guy who’s career high in goals in 27 playing on a potent line (Getzlaf/Perry)

    This is a better deal than the Edmonton trade, but it still doesn’t make this trade a good one. If Murray played his hand better he could’ve parlayed this into a Yashin-type coup. But he folded under pressure and took the player he repeatedly said he wouldn’t and gave San Jose a bonofide shooter for Michalek who is good but easily replaced on the San Jose roster, and a salary dump of a player San Jose would’ve never have been able to move other than onto to Ottawa.

  18. Riddick19:

    I didn’t call you ignorant, but I still think you’re wrong.

    Smid’s not soft. He’s not overly gifted offensively and his defensive awareness could use some work, but soft is just wrong. As for our respective ratings of him, time will tell but I’d put money on him being a top-4 guy for years in the NHL.

    Penner could not be had for future considerations. Not only would it be terrible optically, but his place in the lineup is hard to replace; he’s brilliant on the powerplay and not even bad up front when he’s on a scoring line (he spent significant portions of last season on the third & fourth lines). He’s a flawed player, but not one the Oilers would give away.

    Cogliano as “Marchant with hands” is a myth that’s gone on since his draft day, but it’s just a myth. He hasn’t got half the brains Marchant did defensively (yet anyway), and he’s much better defensively. Aside from speed and size, they’re completely different players.

    We’ll see where Ottawa finishes. The goaltending and defense are major question marks, though they could still land a playoff spot due to the high-octane guys up front.

  19. I hate heatly even more now after the comments he made about being traded. He thanks the fans and the team!?!? and still thinks he did the right thing asking for a trade!!! Heatly is a meme asshole, and hopefully he has career ending surgery for something cause the league doesn’t need people with that attitude.

  20. Getting rid of Heatley can be equated to having a tumour removed by a doctor; it is addition by subtraction.

  21. First off – does Heatley’s no trade clause still exist now he is an Shark ? If not , why doesn’t San Jose turnaround and trade Heatley for Oiler offer (tongue in cheek)? San Jose still needs defensive help ,as Blake is not getting younger or better for that matter . San Jose should be looking at Oilers to booster their back end . Marleau or Thornton would look good in an Oiler sweater , and we have the depth (defence and offense ) to make it happen . Secondly -the Oiler attitude problem from last season toward the coaches seems obvious it came mainly from the veterans, not the rookies who walked on eggshells !!! Will the veterans do it again this season, if they were the ones that undermined it last season if things don’t go right for them – they are not getting any younger or better if last season was any indicator . Entitlement is not something normally associated with rookies ,etc. nor underminig coaches ! Was MacT. here to long ,or is it more some veteran hockey players using coaching as their excuse for lackluster efforts/season on their parts ? I have a feeling it was more the latter – the core veterans .

  22. It’s pretty hard to choose a winner with this trade, because both teams did win in their own rights.

    As for the thrashing on Chechoo, I believe he still has the potential to hitting a 60 point season. It’s true, he’s been worse the past years but they also changed lines up on him, and he’s been victim to injuries. My thoughts are that maybe he can find better chemistry with a certain line up, and we’ll see Chechoo not quite at his former prime, but somewhere relatively close to it. It’s all assumption of course, time will tell.

    I agree that if Thorton can remain healthy, Heatley will be a huge asset to the team. No matter how much you want to thrash on Heatley, he does have skill, and us sens fans all loved him at one point for that. San Jose can try and take advantage of that now. As for the Senators, there is no more of that ONE powerful line (Alfredsson, Heatley, Spezza), however with this trade and the addition of Kovalev, they can make 2 strong lines up front, though it wont be as strong as the Alfy, Heattley, Spezza line.

    I can see Ottawa making their 2 top lines relatively equal in strength, and I know we’re gonna see a lot of mixing and matching between the 2 lines in the first month or 2 of the season. I can see L1: Spezza, Chechoo, Kovalev and L2: Alfredsson, Michalek, and most likely Fisher. I can see some flipping with the right and left wings on both of the lines. But honestly, doesn’t that sound pretty strong?

    About the questionable defense, I’d have to agree. That seems like something Ottawa has been lacking for quite some time now. Ottawa doesn’t have that muscle they need. They have skill but not so much power on the defensive end. I know we do have some power but compare them to other teams in the NHL and you’ll realize.

    The goalie question is one I’m not so sure about. I know Elliott isn’t on par yet but what about LeClaire? He seems pretty hyped to me, and now coming out of injury we can see how he performs, so I’d have to say time will tell on that one.

  23. Well the Sens line up is pretty much set from forward to defense. The only thing that may end up being fought is who is next in line to get called up. Obviously between Regin and Zubov from the AHL. And who is the Sens six defenseman between Picard who has a great shot and big body. Or the Karlsson who again has a great shot but is much smaller but more skilled at moving the puck.

    There are question marks in goal and really it all comes down to wether Leclaire can remain healthy. I believe the year Leclaire put up top 10 goalie like numbers was the only year so far he hasn’t been hurt. He also went through stretches where he looked really good. But injuries have always caught up to him and made his play worse and eventually led him to being side lined. Elliot has shown he can handle a decent load and still be effective. So at least Leclaire doesn’t need to play 65 plus games. As Elliot can likely handle 20+ games during the season.

    All in all the Sens line up has a lot more depth to it now then it has before. And with some decent goaltending and a defense that is very skilled offensively and some work on there own end play. The Sens should definetly still be in the playoff picture come the end of the season.

  24. MattB:

    I think Leclaire’s a total question mark. Sometimes players don’t rebound from injury. On top of that, he’s had exactly one above-average NHL season.

    Despite Pierre McGuire’s excitement (“best goalie Ottawa’s ever had” – yeah, right, what about that year Tugnutt put up a .925 SV%?) it’s much too early to be sure of anything when it comes to Leclaire.

  25. It’s a bit unfortunate that we won’t see SJ in SBP until next year.

  26. So is this another another trend (and for all the wrong reasons) the salary cap and the teams that get to the limit or over…

    Cheechoo (not on the Sens wishes) is a Senator (wonder who yanked Melinyks chain?) and an up-and-comer in Milan Michalik….
    And with that transaction did that leave the Sharks over the top? The cap limit.

    All I want this season is Alexei to bring his ‘A’ game while,probably playing along side with Alfie and …lets say Nick Foligno….(Sens fans gasp) I know he may be unproven, but better things have happened and maybe, just maybe Jonathan may have a chance to resurrect his career by playing alongside with Jason Spezza and whomever.

    (Sacrcastically) Yes, YES!! This is not the fault of Dany, but Cory is to blame. Cory set the team right on balance and and that is not a good thing and I totally agree with Dany. Never ‘blame’ Dany for the current woes of the Sens… He is 110% commited to team concept and should be properly excused of al dilemmas about the Senators…

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