Check back regularly for updates on new developments throughout the day.
By Mark Spector
Though Senators general manager Bryan Murray says that owner Eugene Melnyk has already made the $4 million payment to Heatley, it is conceivable that the NHL Players’ Association would not stand in the way of Edmonton — or any other team that traded for Heatley — reimbursing the Senators for their $4 million, should the Senators grieve the situation. <br.
Especially considering that any team that trades for the left-winger would be on the hook for his entire $7.5 million cap hit anyway.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told Sportsnet.ca that the Senators could have grounds to file a grievance. The contract may be compromised by Heatley’s trade demand.
There are "strong grounds upon which a claim can be pursued. The Ottawa franchise believes it has been damaged," Daly told Sportsnet.ca in an e-mail.
By Ian Mendes
The Ottawa Senators are back to square one in their attempts to trade Dany Heatley.
Asked where the situation with Heatley stands on Thursday, general manager Bryan Murray replied, “Nowhere. He’s an Ottawa Senator now.”
Their deal with the Edmonton Oilers is not off the table, but according to Murray the specifics of the trade would have to change since his club paid a $4 million advance on Heatley’s salary for next season.
On Tuesday, the two clubs agreed to send Heatley to Edmonton in exchange for Andrew Cogliano, Dustin Penner and Ladislav Smid.
“It’s different now," Murray said. "And I don’t know if we will continue (with Edmonton) or not. I will during the course of the day talk to Steve Tambellini again. But very definitely, it’s not the same deal as it was yesterday.”
Suddenly, Heatley’s only legitimate option might be to return to Ottawa in the fall.
His teammates have been quiet on his situation, but on Monday, his teammate Jason Spezza finally spoke out on the Heatley saga.
“I’m a good friend of Dany’s," said Spezza, who admitted he wasn’t shocked by Heatley’s trade request last month. "If Dany wants to come back we’re going to accept him. We want him to be a part of our team. If he doesn’t want to be here, I think it’s just important for him to move on and the organization to move on. We just want to win here.”
The two have spoken several times in the past few days and Heatley is scheduled to attend Spezza’s wedding later this month.
As for Murray, he also did not close the door on Heatley returning to Ottawa either, saying that right now, it’s his only legitimate option.
“That’s up to Dany. Right now he’s an Ottawa Senator. It’s not slammed closed. The option he has is Ottawa,” said Murray, who added he expects Heatley to fulfill the terms of his contract.
The Senators general manager said he was disappointed to read suggestions he had not worked hard enough to facilitate a trade over the past few weeks.
According to Murray, the reality is that the market is very cool for Heatley, even though he’s a two-time 50-goal scorer.
“There were not a lot of teams that were interested in making an offer. The few that did were not very good – and in one case it was very insulting to Dany Heatley’s value,” Murray said.
Murray also said that the Heatley camp had almost 30 hours to digest the possible trade to Edmonton and he is at a complete loss as to why they turned down the trade to the Oilers.
“They implied that I didn’t have permission to speak with Edmonton. Three times on the weekend I told them that I was talking to Edmonton and I asked them if I could continue talking. They said, that yes – I could,” he explained.
Murray hinted there could be one more phone conversation with Heatley’s agents J.P. Barry and Stacey McAlpine in the coming days.
But the Sens general manager has no plans to fly out to Kelowna and see Heatley face-to-face.
“Certainly, I’m disappointed. I’m not sure what is the total reason this came about. It’s frustrating in that respect.”