Heatley deal pulled off table

TERRY JONES, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:50 AM ET

EDMONTON -- Only the inaccessible, uncommunicative Daryl Katz-era Edmonton Oilers organization would wait a week without telling anybody.

For a month to the day, through 31 days of deep depression, Edmonton's image was being dragged through the dirt yet again with another hockey player not wanting to play here.

Then yesterday, new GM Steve Tambellini was finally inspired to call a conference call to tell you, 'Oh, yeah, geez, uh, thanks for reminding us, ah, yeah, well, we called it off sometime ago, like last weekend I think it was -- sometime after the Penticton Hall of Fame thing, whenever that was.

"Yeah, it's over."

At long last, the Oilers have finally told Calgary's Dany Heatley to go and jump in Lake Okanagan.

OK. Not in so many words.

Tambellini said instead Ottawa Senators GM Brian Murray had been informed "some time ago" the Oilers were out.

Later, he said, "I think it was just after this (past) weekend." Then, he added. "Just after I got back Hall of Fame dinner in Pentiction, Sunday or Monday."

Tambellini said that was the plan all along.

"We gave ourselves an allotted amount of time to see if something would work. It didn't. We gave ourselves 'X' amount of time, and at that point, we'd be moving on, and that's what we did -- we told Ottawa we were moving on."

So, they decided on 26 days? Or was it 27?

"This was long enough. It was time for us to move on."

It was time to move on back on July 4.

Virtually every columnist in town took their turn to tell the Oilers to tell the jerk he wasn't wanted here. Then hockey columnists in other NHL cities started to lineup to write the same thing in sympathy with or in mocking the town and team.

So yesterday, the organization, which seems to have adopted owner Katz's unapproachable style, finally decided to tell their customers what they wanted to hear.

No more flights to Kelowna.

No more video promotional packages.

"It's time for us to move on, and we're quite comfortable with that," Tambellini said. "They're just not ready to make a decision. That's the only answer that I got. That's all I can say. That's fine -- they can explore options elsewhere."

Or go jump in Lake Okanagan.

It took until July 31?

It was obvious back in early July that there couldn't possibly be a happily ever after with Dany Heatley here.

TERRY.JONES@SUNMEDIA.CA


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