Oilers avoided a major Heatley headache

ERIC FRANCIS, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 1:23 PM ET

Regardless of how poorly the Edmonton Oilers responded to being spurned by Dany Heatley, good on 'em for finally severing any potential ties with the Calgary native.

Fact is, they didn't deserve to be dragged through the mud Heatley and his advisers are mired in.

It's just so absurd the Oilers took so long after being told to bugger off by Heatley to realize it couldn't possibly work having your best and highest-paid player also be the most-hated by the fans.

It wasn't fair to the three Oilers players allegedly being dangled in the deal, it wasn't fair to the rest of the players who would've been caught up in a media frenzy for months, and it wasn't fair to the great Edmonton fans who have so faithfully stuck by their team despite more than a decade of highly questionable personnel moves.

The team and the city deserved better than to continue courting the latest player to publicly shun the notion of playing in Edmonton.

Shocking it took so long for Oilers officials to come to their senses.

Now more notes, quotes and anecdotes from a sports world wondering if the bizarre circumstances surrounding Arturo Gatti's death are as intriguing as his career.

Around the horn

Well, in light of the league's investigation into Marian Hossa's contract, we know even more about why Dale Tallon was fired as GM of the Blackhawks. Add that to his recent goof-up with his restricted free agents and the signing of two of the most overpaid free agents in hockey, Brian Campbell and Cristobal Huet, and it's evident he had to go ... Take just a few minutes away from your Erin Andrews Google searches and type in Simona Halep. The buxom young tennis star might just change the way you feel about watching a sport that died along with wooden rackets ... The death of journalism continues as, for the first time in modern history, not a single Canadian journalist was at the British Open golf tourney at Turnberry last month. Last year, four newspapers stopped sending NHL beat writers on the road and you can bet there will be plenty more this year ... Admit it. One of your golfing pals recently left an eight footer horribly short and you've called it a Watson ... Saskatchewan Roughriders director of player administration Brendan Taman when asked about whether plans for a proposed domed stadium in Regina would include natural turf: "I'm sure there are a few grass experts in the province who can help out." Yep. Turns out a bunch of em' were at McMahon Stadium the other night ... Aside from Dion Phaneuf, no one on the Flames roster has received more disrespect by fans this summer than Olli Jokinen. Yet, once the puck drops, here's betting the two of 'em have a bigger impact than any duo on the team. Oh, and by the way, right around the time people start appreciating Jokinen for being the 30-goal, two-way player he is, he'll be gone as he's essentially a one-year rental player just as Mike Cammalleri was.

Parting gifts

Could someone please tell Garth Snow and the Islanders it's not the team with the most goalies that wins, it's the clubs with the legitimate starter that finishes above .500. In other words, your misallocation of resources will once again land your club amongst the bottom feeders ... Who was the genius who threw together a Flames schedule that fails to include a matchup with Edmonton after January? ... Quick quiz: What's the most tired story in sports these days?

a) Brett Favre's playing status

b) Roy Halladay trade rumours

c) Another top baseball player tests positive

d) the Vancouver Games are out of money. Discuss ... Someone with an injury or a need to sell tickets will give Michael Vick a chance eventually, and I'll be tuned in to every game he plays.

ERIC.FRANCIS@SUNMEDIA.CA


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