Silence 'surprises' coach

Sens coach Cory Clouston says he's keeping the lines of communication open with Dany Heatley. (Sun...

Sens coach Cory Clouston says he's keeping the lines of communication open with Dany Heatley. (Sun Media/Andre Forget)

CHRIS STEVENSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:03 AM ET

Disgruntled winger Dany Heatley won't be in town this weekend for linemate Jason Spezza's wedding.

While Heatley is looking for a divorce from the Senators, coach Cory Clouston said he's keeping the lines of communication open.

There hasn't been any contact since the exit meeting in April between Clouston and Heatley, who has asked for a trade, reportedly because he wasn't happy with the way he was used by Clouston, among other things.

"Yeah, it's a little bit surprising," Clouston said Thursday of the lack of communication. "I'm willing to listen and talk to anybody, but no, nothing has changed (since the draft a month ago, the last time Clouston spoke on the topic). I really don't know what else to say, to be honest."

If the Senators can't find a trade to Heatley's liking, Clouston said he won't have a problem welcoming back the sniper.

"Whatever cards we're dealt, I'll work with whether that's with or without Dany. It doesn't matter who comes through that dressing room door. We're going to try and make them a better player and make them into a better team."

There is a deal out there with the Oilers, which Heatley has put on the back burner by exercising his no-movement clause, waiting to see if a destination more to his liking comes along. There have been rumours the Sharks remain interested, but they would have to clear room for Heatley's $7.5-million (all terms US) cap hit.

Reports out of Edmonton have the Oilers, their patience waning, but still interested, sending a video package to Heatley the other day in a last-ditch attempt to woo him. Maybe the package includes some zippy highlights of Ales Hemsky and Sam Gagne and a video shout-out from new goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin ("Hey, Dan, we'll have something in common: The Oilers were the only teams that wanted us!")

If a video package from Senators fans was to show up on Heatley's doorstep, it would probably include classic remakes like The Silence of the Lamb, The Departed, Unforgiven, Good Deal Hunting (starring GM Bryan Murray) and The Heatley Ultimatum.

Slap Shot would have to be in there, too, if for nothing else but when goaltender Denis Lemieux asks, "Ned, what's echanger in English?"

Good times.

The Heatley saga, though there has been little hard news lately, has legs.

NHLPA executive director Paul Kelly was asked for his take by Edmonton radio station CHED.

"I think that this has been kind of twisted in a negative way, which is unfortunate for Dany. I think he's just a victim of a bad set of circumstances," said Kelly.

"While it is true that he requested a trade, it was not Dany Heatley or his agent that made that fact public. I think Dany's been unfairly treated by the media and by the (Senators) organization."

Okay, so we know which side Kelly is on. He knows who signs his paycheques.

But, c'mon. It's hard to twist a guy asking for a trade into a positive thing.

Heatley a victim? He started this mess.

Does anybody -- Kelly or anybody in the Heatley camp -- really believe he could have asked for a trade and had it remain private? Murray was given a tentative list of about eight teams when he received Heatley's letter requesting a trade. Murray called them all almost immediately and just about every other team in the league since. Of course word of Heatley's demand was going to leak out.

"Unfairly treated?" All Senators owner Eugene Melnyk has done is pay Heatley $14 million US for what shakes out as a season's worth of work.

If Heatley finally gets his divorce, can Senators fans file for alimony?


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