OTTAWA -- The door still isn't closed on a deal to send disgruntled Ottawa Senators winger Dany Heatley to the Edmonton Oilers -- but it could be slammed shut soon.
Sources indicated yesterday while Heatley refused to waive his no-movement clause June 30 and agree to a deal that would have sent him to the Oilers, he has not "officially" rejected Edmonton as a destination.
But an NHL source indicated yesterday the Oilers' patience is wearing thin to have Heatley agree to a deal and they could give up and move on perhaps as early as today.
At this point, the Oilers appear to be the only viable trade option.
With Edmonton out of the picture, returning to Ottawa and an ugly reception from fans could be the Heatley camp's only option.
Heatley, who in a letter to the Sens June 4 asked to be traded, could still accept a trade to Edmonton if no other deal can be worked out.
Rumours are there are at least two other teams which have recently held discussions with Senators GM Bryan Murray but have only offered bloated contracts and underachieving players in return.
"What I've heard is Heatley is keeping the Edmonton door open in case nothing better comes along," said an NHL source.
"I don't think all the options have been exhausted yet. But the reality is there's not much interest out there."
The Oilers were rumoured to be prepared to send forwards Dustin Penner and Andrew Cogliano and defenceman Ladislav Smid to the Senators on the eve of free agency July 1.
Oilers president Kevin Lowe and GM Steve Tambellini visited Heatley that night to try and convince him to make the move but were unsuccessful.
Speculation is the Minnesota Wild remains a team looking for an offensive addition and the Columbus Blue Jackets have been named in connection with the unhappy winger.
It's interesting to note Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash has had some success playing with Heatley at the world championships.
Nash was recently signed to an eight-year, US$62.4-million contract extension.
The Blue Jackets have spent just $44 million of the $56.8-million salary cap, so there is room for a Heatley-sized contract.
The Wild has committed about $51 million for next season, so some room would have to be freed up to absorb Heatley's $7.5-million yearly hit.