Ales Hemsky heard the buzz all the way to the Czech Republic.
He caught wind of the Dany Heatley soap opera early on and admits being captivated by the possibility of seeing the Ottawa Senators sniper on his line.
He's a setup man who's never really had a finisher, a right winger longing for an elite left winger, so Heatley might have been a nice fit.
But he's not pining for the one that got away... or, rather, the one who refused to come here.
"I think everybody heard it, so I heard it too," he said yesterday. "I was excited. If you can have a player like that it could be fun to play with him, but in the end it didn't work out so you have to move on.
"We have a lot of good players on the team so we'll see what will happen."
The dawn of the Pat Quinn era marks the end of the only NHL coach Hemsky has ever known, so the 26-year-old doesn't know what to expect when training camp opens in two weeks.
"Mac (Craig MacTavish) was a great guy, a great person," said Hemsky. "He gave me a lot so I really appreciate what he did for me those seven years. It's tough after seven years to have a new coach but that's hockey, you have to move on."
Popular opinion is that Quinn and associate coach Tom Renney will free up the horses, which might please any players who felt cooped up by MacTavish's emphasis on defence, but Hemsky is making no such assumptions. Instead, he'll just go to camp with an open mind.
"I don't know them, so I don't know what style we'll play; we'll find out in camp," he said, adding the whole organization needs to be better. "The finish wasn't really good for me and for the team. Let's just move on. It's behind us, we have a new year, a new start, new coaches, so we'll see what will happen."