Use Your Head, Not Your Heart!

With the reports of Heatleys impending advance on his 08/09 salary just now hitting the mainstream media (it’s already been widely discussed on the bloggosphere) the “opinions” are coming out fast and furious.

Unfortunately, they, as is all too often the case, lack in any amount of critical thinking.

Most are looking at this 4M advance as some sort of hindrance to trading Heater…how absurd, and narrow-minded.   What is the biggest hindrance to moving Heatley?  Money.  Not cap space.

Those teams interested in landing Heater must have 3 things;

1. Cap Space – Being the off-season, every team has cap space options, and when you consider moving out a player in exchange, cap space is not really a huge issue for most teams, and a non issue for many.

2. Assets – The team looking at landing Heatley knows they will have to move at least one top tier asset in exchange, and probably a top tier prospect.  This factor, more than any other, is the biggest hurdle to jump.  Few teams will be improved in the long term if they give up a current top tier player, and a top tier prospect.  In fact, some do not have either.

3. Cash – This is where it gets interesting.  Some teams have the two above criteria, but lack the actual cash, not cap space, or roster assets, to afford Heatley. This is one area of contention, and of absolutely no negotiation.  You cannot “eat” salary, to accomodate a trade.

BUT, not so fast.  With his impending advance, this issue can be virtually eliminated.  In fact, as of July 1st, 14M of Heaters salary will already have been paid.  This leaves just 31M, or a paltry (in context) annual salary of 6.2M.  But there’s more to this.  Some teams struggle just to hit the cap floor.  This creates a situation in which Heatley is actually worth more than his salary, in terms of increasing your cap allocation, without actually spending the cash.  For cash poor, cap rich teams, this is a double bonus, before Heater even hits the ice.  The real beauty?  The Sens, even if they pay the 4M, aren’t on the hook for this amount on their cap, if he is traded.

I know, how insulting to pay a guy to leave…get over it.  Businesses do it all the time.  You think Menyk has never paid an employee to leave, knowing they we’re going to go work for the competition?  Of course he has.  It’s the price of doing business.  It’s morally offensive, but it is also common place.

So, as a result of this purportedly “negative” advance, Murray actually can increase Heatleys value, by making him less expensive to other teams, thus making the moving of a lessor paid skilled player less of a financial impact, as in reality, Heatley is a 6.2M a year player, not a 7.5M a year player.  Add to this the “bonus” cap usage, and you have yourself a very attractive commodity.

Sure, it may cost you 4M, but you were going to spend this money anyhow, and if you cut the right trade deal, with a top tier prospect, you can recover this 4M in one entry level contract season, let alone 3.

(Doughty .875M, Kane .875M, Lucic .585M, each of these save 3-4M a year due to their entry level status)

The impending 4M advance might be the best 4M cheques Ottawa has ever cut Heater, not the worst.

It’s not personal anymore, it’s business, and the stars are aligning in the Sens favour.

Think about it with your brain, not your heart, and you’ll have to agree.



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