My reaction? Shock. Anger. Severe disappointment. Dany Heatley? OUR Dany Heatley? Wanting out of Ottawa? Seriously?
All fine and dandy, right?
Apparently not so. Not so at all.
Just one year into his 6-year $45-million contract extension, he's ready to bail, citing differences with the coach.
Honestly, it makes me really sad. For the past decade or so, the Senators organization has worked really hard to become a place where players want to play. One bad year, and one of our elite is getting out. Just like that. Well, excuse me mister, but check yer friggin' attitude at the door.
Never thought I'd put Dany Heatley in the same category as Alexei Yashin, but holy flippin' spoiled brat!!!
And you know what? Not the first time he's done this, either. It's just that the last time no one said anything, because his request for a trade from the Atlanta Thrashers came at a time when no one could blame him. It was after the car accident which claimed the life of his teammate Dan Snyder, with Heatley behind the wheel. No one questioned his departure from Atlanta, because most agreed that certainly, this poor guy needed a change of scenery; a fresh start.
I'm sorry, but "differences with the new coach" don't rank up as high on my list of things to feel sympathetic for.
The good news? Heatley is one of the best in the league, so we should get some pretty high-quality sh*t in return for him.
But still...I can't help thinking this is going to ruin things even more for the team. And just at a time when it seemed we were starting to get back on the right track. Starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
I'm worried about how this will affect Jason Spezza. These two guys were practically a package-deal. One complimented the other so well. How will he fare out with out his best buddy and linemate on the ice with him?
I'm worried about how it will affect Cory Clouston. Coming in here as a new, young coach, and actually having a burst of success in first few months behind the bench - how will he feel knowing that one of the team's stars wants out and is pointing the finger at him?
I'm worried about this team in general. It just seems like, since their run to the Cup final in '07, it's just been one thing after another. Something's gotta give here. We can't keep having such terrible luck.
So. What do we lose when #15 hits the road out of town via trade this summer?
We lose a back-to-back 50-goal-scorer. A natural. We lose one of the most fun names to announce after goal. ("Dany Heeeeeeeeeeeeeatly!") We lose the charming gape-toothed smile. We lose the 'ying' to Spezza's 'yang'. We lose a guy who I thought was a team player, but apparently is not.
That last part? Makes me think we're not losing much.