Do Sens want $4 million back?

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:47 AM ET

The Senators might not let Dany Heatley take the money and run after he turned down a deal to the Edmonton Oilers.

While owner Eugene Melnyk, who paid a $4-million bonus (all terms US) to the unhappy star, hasn't indicated he'll take any legal action, the Senators have talked about their options with NHL headquarters in New York.

"We have discussed (the Senators') concerns," said NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly in an e-mail yesterday.

The Senators say they'd been given permission by Heatley's agents, Stacey McAlpine and J.P. Barry, to make a deal with the Oilers. Edmonton wasn't on the 8-10-team list submitted by the agents, but GM Bryan Murray said he wouldn't pursue a deal without permission from the Heatley camp. Now, with the $4-million bonus paid, Daly says the Senators have the right to file a grievance to get the money back.

"As far as I know, they have not initiated a grievance," said Daly. "You can always bring a grievance. They have a legal theory and feel like Dany's conduct has caused great damage to the team."

Being nable to get Heatley's $7.5-million cap hit off the books on time hampered the Senators on the first day of free agency. Murray was trying to sign centre Mike Cammalleri, but had to pull out when the bidding got too high.

"Our money was tight. My thought, going into the day, was we would be getting three players (from the Oilers) for one player," said Murray. "I was still hoping on top of that to get one other forward. So we're left a little short. We still need that other forward.

"But, because of the way things are financially, until I move a player or two, it's going to be hard for me to spend the money. I was in on a couple of players, hoping and anticipating that we would complete whatever Dany requested, and we'd be set to go. I had to drop out of a couple of deals."


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