Finally, after an entire summer of Dany Heatley trade rumours, the disgruntled winger got traded for the second time and this time, to the team he wanted to play for all along.
The deal is Dany Heatley and a 5th Round Pick to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for Milan Michalek, Jonathan Cheechoo and a 2nd Round Pick (both picks are for the 2010 Draft).
What this means for San Jose
On first glance, San Jose gets the biggest single upgrade of any team this summer. Sorry Chicago, but Heatley is better than Hossa. I think this trade has to be incredibly exciting for Sharks fans, who were promised change from Sharks GM Doug Wilson this summer. Obviously, the success or failure of this trade will ultimately come down to the chemistry that Joe Thornton can build with Dany Heatley. If they can look like the Thornton/Cheechoo line from a few years ago, the Sharks will once again be a strong contender for the Stanley Cup. The price for Heatley was pretty steep though, as it cost San Jose two of their Top 6 forwards. Here’s how their offense will look this year:
- Heatley – Thornton – Setoguchi
- ___ – Marleau – Clowe
Looking through San Jose’s roster, it just looks like they’re missing a piece to the puzzle. Unless they’ve got a great, unknown rookie who can step right in, that second line might be in trouble. Do you put a guy like Joe Pavelski in there? You could and you would probably have, as he seems like a logical fit on that line. Keep in mind, he’s a natural centre and may not adjust as well to the wing. An injury to any of these forwards would be a big blow to San Jose’s firepower because they don’t have anyone who can jump in and fill that hole.
Upon first glance, it looks like the Sharks have taken a big step forward but when you look a little deeper, I’m not so sure that’s the case. This trade certainly does eat into their depth and for this deal to make sense, Heatley will have to replace both Cheechoo and Michalek’s offense. They scored 86 points combined last year, and Cheechoo was hurt for most of the year. Good luck, Dany!
What this means for Ottawa
Ottawa picks up two players who can help the team immediately. Michalek is a former 1st Round pick and I think we all know what Jonathan Cheechoo can do, when he’s healthy. I really hope he’s healthy this year. I like this trade from a Sens standpoint because it provides depth on offense and this is something that they’ve really missed over the past couple seasons. This trade also insulates Mike Fisher. Fisher is a great 3rd line centre who can plug a hole on the 2nd line when needed, but he’s can’t quite get the job done on his own. A trade like this will help Fisher and Ottawa’s 2nd line. Here’s how I see Ottawa’s top 3 lines this season:
- Cheechoo – Spezza – Kovalev
- Alfredsson – Fisher – Michalek
- Foligno – Kelly – Peter Regin/Zach Smith
Actually, now that I see the lines laid out, I really like this trade. I just hope Spezza can hop aboard the Cheechoo train quickly!
What this means for Bryan Murray
Full marks to Bryan Murray on this trade. I really mean that. Trading Heatley was not an easy task, especially since it was such a public event. It’s almost impossible to get a good return when you’re trading from a position of weakness but I think Murray has succeeded not only in bring more depth to Ottawa’s offense, but also by generating a return that will match Heatley’s output. What I’m saying, is that I think Cheechoo and Michalek can score as many goals this year as Heatley did last year. I also think that this return is better than what Edmonton was offering, and it’s definitely better than the rumoured trade from Thursday night of Stoll and Frolov from Los Angeles.
Salary Cap Issues
Finally, trading Heatley frees up about $7.5 Million in cap space for Ottawa, while Michalek and Cheechoo’s combined salaries are slightly over $7 Million for the upcoming season. What does this mean? Well, Jason Smith’s retirement dropped Ottawa just under the cap and by shedding $500,000 on this trade, Ottawa has got a little more wiggle room, though it’s still not much. So, my gut feeling is there may be another, smaller deal in the works. I’m thinking a guy like Schubert could be the odd man out.
Your reporter in the field,