Heatley trade front and centre in Ottawa

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:20 PM ET

OTTAWA — Ladislav Smid had a point.

Heading into their game against the Ottawa Senators Tuesday, the Edmonton Oilers defenceman figured it wouldn’t be the last time he was asked about the proposed Dany Heatley trade.

“I thought it was already dead, but you guys keep asking about it,” smiled Smid. “I’m pretty sure you’ll ask me about it again when we go play in San Jose.”

Perhaps.

But considering Smid, Andrew Cogliano and Dustin Penner were offered up for the Senators disgruntled forward this summer, heading into the nation’s capital for the first time since news of the deal broke, the topic is expected to be broached.

For two weeks this summer, the trio were left in limbo as the Oilers tried to convince Heatley Edmonton wasn’t such a bad place to play and that he should wave his no trade clause.

Heatley never did. Instead he elected to wait out the Senators until a deal more suitable to his liking was arranged.

As a result the Oilers pulled the trade off the table and the trio stayed in Edmonton, while Heatley was eventually granted his wish and shipped away to sunny San Jose.

“It’s going to feel funny going in there, but in the end it’s just another game we want to win and I’m just going to try and do my best on the ice,” said Smid, who has been out with the flu but expected to be back in the lineup tonight. “We’ll see what happens, I’m sure I’ll get a lot of questions about that, but there’s not much I can do about it.

“I know I could have ended up there. It was really harmless, they went to make a trade and it was totally Heatley’s decision. There was nothing we could do about it. I’m just happy I was able to stay here and help my team here. It was a weird situation for me for almost two weeks and I couldn’t do anything about it, but it’s part of hockey life you just take it as it come.”

Having the particulars of the trade leak out only to not have it consummated, provided an awkward situation for the Oilers as the three reported to training camp.

As it turned out, the deal has so far worked out better for the Oilers, especially with Penner, who’s having a strong season. Heading into Ottawa, the winger leads the Oilers in scoring with 21 points this season, which includes 10 goals.

Heatley has 19 points with the Sharks.

“There’s really not much to say about the situation,” Penner said. “I don’t think there’ll be much for you guys to write about when we get there.”

Not unless he has another breakout game showing to Ottawa fans what they missed out on.

“I guess that would be good,” he said. “But with the way the season has gone so far, I think they might be thinking that anyway.”

Having put the ordeal behind them, the trio have since gone on to make light of the situation. At the team Halloween party, Cogliano went as Heatley, while Penner dressed up as No-Trade Claus – a Santa suit with “No Trade” taped across the back.

“It’ll be nice finally to have it over with,” Cogliano said. “I’ve dealt with it all with the Edmonton media and now I’ll deal with the Ottawa media and hopefully now that will be the official closure of the whole situation.”

As far as the three players involved are concerned, the situation is already closed. Don’t expect them to come out wearing Heatley jersey’s in the warm-up.

“No,” said Penner. “But I think they’re half off there.”


Videos

Photos