Senators left hanging

Dany Heatley was reportedly hoping the Sens would be able to work out a deal with the Rangers. (Sun...

Dany Heatley was reportedly hoping the Sens would be able to work out a deal with the Rangers. (Sun Media/Errol McGihon)

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:52 AM ET

Dany Heatley's indecision could turn out to be costly for him and the Senators.

League sources confirmed last night the disgruntled winger let the midnight deadline pass to accept a trade to the Oilers.

And not only is owner Eugene Melnyk going to be forced to cut Heatley a $4-million (all terms US) cheque as part of his contract, Heatley's unwillingness to waive his no-movement clause has also put a four-player trade with the Oilers in jeopardy -- if it's not dead already.

The Senators threatened to take the deal off the table if it wasn't completed by midnight.

Heatley initially balked at a deal Tuesday that would have sent him to the Oilers for centre Andrew Cogliano, winger Dustin Penner and defenceman Ladislav Smid.

But Heatley's camp reopened discussions yesterday to get the trade back on track.

The Oilers put their best foot forward to get Heatley on board, sending their heavyweights -- including president Kevin Lowe and GM Steve Tambellini -- along with agent Stacey McAlpine to Heatley's summer home in Kelowna, B.C., on a private jet to assure the sniper that choosing Edmonton would be a good move for his career.

Sources say Heatley informed Tambellini he wasn't ready to decide.

Oilers owner Darryl Katz and coach Pat Quinn also had discussions with Heatley, along with Edmonton alternate captain Shawn Horcoff. All tried to sell the two-time 50-goal scorer on the virtues of the organization.

Agent J.P. Barry told Sun Media he didn't like the fact the Senators only presented Heatley with one option -- then negotiated the deal with the Oilers without their permission. That's why Heatley refused to waive his no-movement clause at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday.

NOT ENOUGH TIME?

"Dany did not have enough time to evaluate the one option that was placed in front of him," said Barry.

"He would have hoped he would be presented with more options. He was not. We believed the deadline was not (Tuesday).

"Dany has taken the time (yesterday) to talk to the Oilers ... I hope he'll be able to make a decision, but I'm not sure."

Sources say Heatley was hoping the Senators would be able to work out a deal with the New York Rangers, who freed up money by dealing Scott Gomez to the Canadiens for Chris Higgins Tuesday.

Instead, New York used the cash to sign winger Marian Gaborik to a five-year, $37.5-million deal last night.

But sources say Murray told Heatley the Oilers were his only option and that nobody else had presented an acceptable offer.

The Rangers offered up winger Brandon Dubinsky and defenceman Michal Roszival. The Sharks had interest, but pulled out of the race on the weekend.

It's believed the Heatley camp didn't feel it was locked into the deadline set by the Senators since the $4 million wasn't payable until last night. Sources say Heatley just wasn't ready to accept a deal to the Oilers because the club wasn't on a list of destinations he submitted to Ottawa.

Horcoff said he hoped Heatley would sign.

"I've played with him at three world (championships) and I played against him in college. We've known each other for a long time," Horcoff told Sportsnet.ca. "Dany is from Calgary -- he knows Edmonton. We talked, not as much about the trade, but just about his situation as friends.

"I hope we get him. Let's face it: 50 goal scorers don't come along very often."

The Kings and Wild also kicked tires, but weren't willing to pay the Senators' price.


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