The Tortoise & The Hare
As this situation with Heatley develops, it is becoming apparent that the teams Heatley most prefers (SJS, LAK) either lack interest in his services, or lack the ability to accommodate Murrays demand for a top 6F/top 4D, player and pick/prospect.
But some teams, whom have been interested in Heatley since the announcement of his availability, remain interested, if not in pursuit of Heatley.
Such teams as FLA, STL, DAL and EDM.
We all know of the EDM saga, and for all of the bluster around having extricated themselves from the Heatley trade, the fact remains that acquiring Heatley would significantly improve their roster, in a very competitive division.
While we wait for a trade, or an announcement from Heatley saying he WILL return, I examine the teams that represent the Tortoises in this Heatley Sweepstakes.
Florida has been dual tracked this summer, between the transferring of ownership, and the re-align of their roster after the departure of fan fav Bouwmeester.
Talk is FLA has expressed interest in Heatley, but Heatley has refused to consider FLA, and as such no formal offers, or even discussions have taken place to date.
After years of struggling, and posting low finishes in the standings, Florida finally finds itself with some decent young talent. But that is the problem. Apart from Stillman, the team lacks decent skill & experience to lead the young talent to the next level.
Florida has the cap space to make a move, they have the talent, and the need. But what they don’t have is instant contender status, which may well be what Heatley is most interested in.
It has been rumoured all summer that Horton is available, and with the recent turmoil around Ballard, it is reasonable to assume he too may be available.
So here’s my OTT/FLA trade proposal.
Horton, Ballard, Matthias
The money works, FLA save 4M up front, and gains both skill and experience. Ottawa gets their top 6 guy, with term, a top 4 Dman, and saves some cap space, if not actual money (considering the 4M advance).
As the teams on the preferred list prove to be unavailable, maybe, should he truly not wish to return, Heatley will give the nod to teams he previously refused to consider.
I’ll take a look at STL tomorrow.