ERRRRRRG. Famed rumor-monger (but published in the Serious Newspapers) Bruce Garrioch is reporting that Ottawa GM Bryan Murray turned down an opportunity to send Dany Heatley to San Jose in exchange for Jonathan Cheechoo, Christian Ehrhoff, and a 1st round draft pick.
I'd hit it. Murray, apparently, wouldn't.
Other folks are talking about some sort of 3-team trade that would make Heatley a Shark.
The 3-team trade sounds plausible, but even the journalists reporting this say Doug Wilson is dragging his feet on acquiring Heatley. As he should. Why blow up a roster as good as the current Sharks for Dany Heatley?
"But Dany Heatley is awfully good," I hear you say.
This is true. After Ovechkin and Kovalchuk, I'd say Heatley is the best sniper in the league. He IS awfully good. But does Doug Wilson really think that Heatley is the guy that's going to get them through the playoffs, all the way to a Stanley Cup? Having Heatley on his wing would inflate Joe Thornton's regular season assist statistics into the 800s, I'm sure, but I don't think Heatley is the guy that will bring them the Cup. Which is, after all, all the Sharks need right now: someone to carry them through the playoffs, not a super goal-scorer.
The Sharks are an insanely talented team, but they don't have a ton of mental or physical toughness. That's why they can't giturdun in the post-season. In an ideal (for them) world they'd sign someone like Iginla or Kovalchuk or Ovechkin to play with Marleau and Thornton, someone highly dogged and competitive.
That's not Heatley. Yes, he'd score 50 goals during the regular season. But he won't bring the Cup to Silicon Valley.
That said, Ottawa is foolish to turn down a Heatley-for-Cheechoo trade. If Heatley really, really wants to leave Ottawa, you could do worse than to unload him for the likes of the Cheechoo Train. Heatley, of course, is 100 times better than Cheechoo, but he doesn't want to stay in Ottawa and a top six that includes Spezza, Alfredsson, Kovalev, and Cheechoo really ain't so bad. This has already been said by quite a few folks, but I see no reason not to repeat it: Cheechoo isn't as good as his 56-goal season (a product of him at his absolute best playing alongside Joe Thornton playing at his absolute best), but he's not as bad as his recent low-scoring seasons either. He's suffered quite a bit from injuries, and last season saw him stuck on the 3rd line with limited ice-time.
As PJ at Sharkspage says:
That Ottawa allegedly didn't "want anything to do" with right wing Jonathan Cheechoo according to Garrioch is short-sided and foolish. His heavy shot and quick release have not diminished in the slightest, and he remains a deadly option for any power play. Cheechoo struggled with a broken thumb and a double hernia surgery which limited his production to 37 goals and 23 goals the two seasons after his Rocket Richard winning 56 in 2005-06. This year Cheechoo was the odd man out in a numbers game that saw seven top-6 forwards in the same lineup. Cheechoo was relegated to limited minutes on a third line that was racked with injuries (Goc, Plihal, Marleau, Roenick).
Cheechoo has struggled to regain the form that allowed him to slide into open areas in front of the net, but in the proper situation he should be a lock for at least 20-30 goals.
Sounds about right to me. I, for one, would love to have him on the Thrashers power play.
ALL THAT SAID, I really don't want Heatley to become a Shark. If he does I'll, I'll...well, I'll run away to Coyoacán.