An “Insiders” Take On Heatley Talks.

O.k., sorry about the tease, I really didn’t have time to write a post earlier.

So, I spent some time asking around about the current situation with Heatley.  Not surprisingly, I received little or no information, that I haven’t already shared (talks on going, nothing leaking out).

I tried another angle.  Instead of looking for names involved, I asked what the “mood” around the discussions were.

This is when the answers became interesting.

Apparently, the talk among insiders is that this represents a stalemate between Murray, and other GM’s.

The EDM deal set the bar, and admittedly, it wasn’t that high, but it did include a legit top 6 forward, with term (Penner), a legit top tier prospect (Cogs), and an NHL ready player, with some potential (Smid).

After paying the 4M advance, there is no way Muray is willing to worsen that deal.

He isn’t even giving anything less the time of day, let alone consideration, no matter who presents it.

SJ has been given this message, and nothing less is being considered, by Murray at least.

Basically, this is a stand-off between Murray wanting a team to pay what Heatley is worth to them, while these other teams want to pay what Heatley is worth to Murray.

The NHL exec. made it clear that, from everything he’s been told (no names involved), Murray is absolutely steadfast that he will NOT trade Heatley for less than the EDM package.  Not now, not after training camp, not during the season, and not at the deadline.

It’s now a matter of waiting for the other GM’s to believe him, or for him to blink.

The belief, from the exec. not associated directly with this situation, is that, as camp approaches, the heat will turn up on the GM’s to make a move prior to setting their caps, and the pressure will mount on Heatley to take a deal, any deal, or return to OTT.  As soon as Heater is ready to drop his NMC, suddenly Murray is back into the drivers seat, with multiple teams bidding, with a cap deadline looming, for the final remaining elite player available.

The GM’s representing teams on the “Acceptable” trade list know this, and will have to make their offer sooner rather than later, or risk being one among many in on trying to land Heatley.

Murray has made repeated public statements that Heatley has a contract with the Senators, and he will be expected to honour it, should a satisfactory trade not be found prior to trainning camp.

The exec. fully believes Murray is serious.

So no names, as I have been told nothing is leaking out from any NHL team, as everyone is pissed about the leaking of the EDM deal.

So, that’s it.

Nothing earth shattering, but, honestly, anything other than a trade announcement is just talk anyhow.

Take it for what it’s worth.



19 Responses to “An “Insiders” Take On Heatley Talks.”

  1. Very good post.Appreciate your honnesty and I hope that this situation will happen just like the way the NHL executive described.I must admit all that was said made lot of sense especially the part about Heatley getting desperate and dropping his NMC to a specific team.And teams will be wanting more and more to get a guy like Heatley.

  2. Great post GN!

    Actually, it is what I expected truthfully. I am wondering how many of us posters truly “heard” what Murray has been saying in his press conferences. No one seems to believe him, but I do have absoutely no doubt he is nothing but 100% grade A serious on this. He is not going to put the Sens in a hole. They paid his 4mil, and they have every right to expect him at camp. Under the CBA, I also believe, Heatley cannot hold out either, as he will be suspended without pay, and the NHLPA will have no recourse.

    He will show up at camp, and no one I have listened to will make me think otherwise, since all he has really done was ask for a trade. He has not talked, and used his agents when he had a message. This has lead to enormous leaps of speculation from fans and media alike. Like we discussed before, fans will be fans, and be anything but rational when discussing this topic.

    I, like the rest of you, wish this would come to an end, so we know one way or other which direction the team will be headed, but not at any price. I would rather have Heatley in the lineup competing and a little disgruntled, than garbage coming back just to get him gone.

    Good on BM!

    Again, great post GN.

    Go Sens Go!!


  3. Insiders…outsiders…there are only two insiders in this transaction…the distinguished Bryan Murray and that Calgary Ar$ehOle BARRY. Everyone else including D. Heatley is an outsider. The other GMs can only go by what they are given.

    Anyone who is not the boss at the NHL Office, exec or not is a Junior Gopfer and should not comment or project because he doesn’t know anything and is about as powerfull as we are. Same goes for Ekland and his NHL informant. Talk about ego…Ekland suffers from dilusions of gradure and failure to grasp simple fact.

    GMs don’t run for the CUP from Training Camp…they get it to the TRADE DEADLINE and then “Do I go BIG or stay at home!”

    Read my lips…”The BIG PLAY with the big RETURN is made at the Trade Deadline for both the buyer and the seller!”

    Note: the majority of these NHL insider Executive types have never had to make the big Call and “roll the dice” so how would they know anything about it.

  4. Canucnik, to a point, I agree, and that’s why I clearly stated that this person is not involved directly with the discussions, and that what was presented was their personal take on the situation, based upon experience, and what they have been able to hear.
    As for not knowing anything more than the rest of us…absolutely not true. This isn’t to say they know what will or will not happen, but, like a doctor, they do have a far better chance of making an educated guess than an average Joe, yet nobody thinks a doctor absolutely knows what will happen in complex situations.
    Things are said informally within professional circles that carry a lot of weight, that we neither hear, nor would contextually understand.
    I still have no clue what will happen, and only a fool would think a blog is going to break this trade, but I do believe what I’ve been told to be accurate, if not entirely true…and no, they’re not mutually exclusive.

  5. CT, KJ, Canucnik,
    Would you accept Heater returning, if he performed, albeit grudgingly? Right now, I believe (like you nik) he will be a Sen come trainning camp.
    As for trade deadline, the problem, from the other GM’s perspective, is that he has future years on his contract, so they have to accomdate it via the “tag up” rule. Also, they will have competition. Lastly, they are unlikely to offer much in return, as it will be needed for te run…picks/prospects, but assume 4 yrs salary at 7.5M…that is a VERY tough deal to swing.

  6. Correction…Ekland suffers from dilusions of “grandure.”

    I don’t know what gradure is possibly hOrse$h&t in German.

    There is only one thing worse than a “know it all from Ottawa”and that’s an “Expert from out of town!”

  7. GN,
    Yes I do, at least for now. I have no evidence to suggest otheriwse. So far, Heatley has not shown he is a problem in the dressing room, if only through the voice of his teammates. Brian Murray, at least in public has not spoken ill will of him either. Also, Dany has not shown he is not a professional. (not yet). There has been way to much specualtion period, and I know that is mostly due to Heater not saying anything himself. If he is not traded, and he is a no show at camp, my opinion will then change, of course. Until then, I will reserve judgement of him.


    Yes. If we are not privy to such discussions, we know bupkis.
    I agree with GN though. I have been around enough board rooms over the last 15 years to know information has a way of “leaking”. People are human after all, and gab informally, even if they only “hint” at something. Things of course, will then be taken out of context, and yada yada. But, it sounds to me like you are aware of these things. lol

    Teams do not budget for just the trade deadline. They need to get their team cap ready before the season starts. By the time the deadline rolls around, and they find they are sucking terribly, the sellers and the buyers become clear.

    I hope you don’t think that the Sens would trade Heatley at the deadline if they are having success, and Heatley is too.


  8. GN,
    Not to sure but I would definitley give a shot I mean the guy hasn’t spoke yet so I’m not to sure what to expect but I would welcome the idea.Though it would take a good explanation to everybody first.He was my favorite player until all this happened even when everybody critized him for having lower numbers.Unfortunetly I believe Heatley would rather accept a trade anywhere else than to confront this problem publicly with the fans and media.

  9. GN and KJ good thinking…good points all around!

    This is going to be the “Test Case”. The player, his agent and the NHLPA VS Ownership.

    Does an agent on behalf of his player have the right to disreguard a valid contract and dictate to all Teams in the NHL, where his man will play, how he will be coached and how much ice time he will get.

  10. He does have an NMC, so he does have the right to dictate.
    The big question will be if he isn’t traded, reports, but disrupts the team with unprofessional behaviour. Would this constitute breach of contract?

  11. Chris Robinson Says:

    I think the NHL and NHLPA have to visit the rules of NMC. My feeling is that if a player with an NMC demands a trade, he immediately loses his NMC status. To demand a trade, but only to select places is absolutely ridiculous.

  12. Chris, as it stands now, under the CBA, neither a player, nor a team can ammend an SPC while it is in effect. This rule would preclude Heatley from being able to “waive” his NMC. He could however provide a list of 29 teams he was willing to go to, and still be enforcing his NMc rights.
    Should this rule be changed…trust me, I fully agree with what you are saying in principle, even more so in practice, but it would raise a slippery slope of in contract negotiations.
    I would rather GM’s learn from this, and include such wording in theirs SPC’s prior to the inclusion of an NMC, as this would be allowed under the current CBA, and would therefore be less contentious at the bargaining table.
    But, I have little faith in most GM’s behaving responsibly.

  13. GN:”
    “No Movement Clause” does not allow you to demand a trade, dictate how you will be coached…remember BARRY breaks the contract…British juris prudence, our Law allows the Senators to have some rights here also.

  14. I don’t like it, but the fact is that his NMC does give him the (legal) right to refuse any trades he doesn’t like, for whatever reason. If he waived a trade to San Jose because he think Ottawa got enough in return, no one here would complain (laughable concept, I know, just making a point).

    I agree it’s crazy that he should have the right to demand a trade and choose a location, but remember, Murray absolutely has the right to deny his trade request, and thus far he has.

    If the rumours of what’s been offered are true, I’m pretty happy he has, too. I agree that either in the next CBA or in future NMC contracts, GMs ought to fight for absolute waiving of the NMC under these circumstances. How it could be worded, I don’t know, but that’s why I’m not a lawyer.

  15. Coach, the only “right” Dany has is to say, “Mr. Murray, I am not going there. Thank you”. He has know influence on any trade other than that. Names and GM discussions are confidential. All Murray has to say to Dany is that I have an offer I would accept from such and such team, and ask him to waive. BM would not be under any obligation to disclose what the return is.


  16. Canucnik,
    To be clear, I’d like to see Heatley banashed from the NHL for his smarmy trade request, but, that doesn’t make it a breach of contract in civil law.
    Making a trade request, vs. sitting out, or puposely underperforming are entirely different situations.
    Ethically, and reasonably, I agree with you, but legally, not so much.
    Legally, with an NMC, the team MUST seek his approval for any trade, and neither he, nor the team, can legally renegotiate this “right”
    But I hear ya.

  17. KJ, you’re right, BUT, Heatley could refuse to waive if he wasn’t given this information, tacitly making it within hs power to demand to know. Some have postulated in the past that an NMC also allows a player to insure the team he goes to isn’t gutted prior to his arrival.
    But, I think what coach was saying is, for example, should a team have asked for Heatley, without a trade request having been made by Heater, and offered an amazing package in return, we (the fans) would probably be pissed if he didn’t waive…basically, it’s a situation whereby, because Dany innitiated the request, we resent his using the NMC, but, if WE made the trade request, suddenly we would expect him to accomodate the team.
    At the end of the day NMC’s are a recioe for disaster the moment they are required, until then, they’re irrelevant.

  18. Guys:
    The Trade “Request” came first…Bryan Murray has the legal right not to acquiesce to this request. All this NMC posturing comes later and means nothing if Bryan says “Big Dan, we’ll see ya at camp!”

  19. Nik, absolutely, but his making the request doesn’t represent any form of breach of contract, which is what I took to be your point…maybe I misunderstood.

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