Heatley trade talks on hold

All is quiet on the Dany Heatley trade front, but that could soon change. (Andre Forget/Sun Media)

All is quiet on the Dany Heatley trade front, but that could soon change. (Andre Forget/Sun Media)

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:04 AM ET

OTTAWA -- All is quiet on the Dany Heatley trade front, but that could soon change with the start of training camp fast approaching Sept. 12.

GM Bryan Murray is still trying to grant the disgruntled winger his wish for a trade but is finding the pickings are slim, even for a two-time 50-goal scorer.

After refusing to waive his no-movement clause on a trade to the Edmonton Oilers in July, Heatley wants "options" before deciding where to go.

But sources say Murray doesn't have a whole lot on the table right now.

The Sharks are still interested, despite trading defenceman Christian Ehrhoff, who was offered as part of a package for Heatley earlier this summer, to the Canucks Friday.

San Jose GM Doug Wilson wants to make changes but won't take winger Jonathan Cheechoo out of the offer for Heatley (the Sharks also offered a first-round pick), nor is Wilson in the mood to deal centre Joe Thornton.

The belief is the Sharks -- who have US$6 million in cap space -- might take a run at Bruins restricted free-agent winger Phil Kessel by making him a Group II offer. Boston GM Peter Chiarelli has indicated he'd match the offer, which means Wilson will be back to square one.

"I don't think there's any real discussions (on Heatley) at the moment, but I think at some point San Jose is going to get serious about this move again," said a league executive. "The two sides have been talking all summer. They're both frustrated, and neither side has been able to find common ground.

"The Sharks feel they've made a good offer. The Senators don't feel like they've been given enough in return. Maybe the fact that teams are getting ready to go to camp will get both sides motivated to make a deal.

"(But) I'm just not sure either team is going to be able to find a fit."

Murray won't just give away his top sniper, and it's difficult to find any club who can afford Heatley's $7.5-million cap hit -- or is willing to deal with the bigger issue: His attitude.

But the countdown to camp could change everything.

"They don't want him in camp, and that could change the way negotiations have gone," said another league executive. "Murray has spent almost three months trying to get his best deal for this guy.

"It's going to be a total sideshow if Heatley shows up at camp. Will it be a distraction? Not for the players. Heatley will be the only one who has to deal with it on a daily basis.

"The reality is he's going to get dealt at some point or another, so Murray may as well get it done now."

The belief is Heatley has devalued himself.

"That's why they haven't been able to make a trade. Bryan Murray looks at this and says, 'He's a two-time 50-goal scorer and he's got value.' The teams that are having discussions are looking at this as a guy who wants out, so why should they pay top dollar?" added the executive.

"The Sharks have told everybody they're going to make changes. They dumped salary Friday by sending Christian Ehrhoff and Brad Lukowich to Vancouver.

"That's it. That's all.

"Wilson hasn't done anything else. He still needs to bring in an impact player."

This could take awhile.

"(But) sooner or later, he's going to get dealt. It could take six days, six weeks or six months, but Heatley won't finish his career with the Senators. It's probably best for both sides to move on," said a league executive.

"If he isn't moved (soon), they're just delaying the inevitable,."

BRUCE.GARRIOCH@SUNMEDIA.CA

MORE NHL: PAGE 16

POSSIBLE DESTINATIONS

1. SAN JOSE SHARKS

The Senators don't want RW Jonathan Cheechoo and the deal changed after D Christian Ehrhoff was sent to Vancouver Friday. The Senators could take C Patrick Marleau in return, but would have to get draft picks built into the deal.

2. NEW YORK RANGERS

This is where Heatley really wants to go. The Rangers refused to give up D Marc Staal and C Brandon Dubinsky at the draft for Heatley. They'd have to offer C Chris Drury, but GM Glen Sather is loathe to deal him.

3. LOS ANGELES KINGS

Another place where Heatley wouldn't mind calling home. The Kings thought long and hard about a deal at the draft that included D Jack Johnson and RW Alexander Frolov, but they pulled out over Heatley's character.

4. NEW JERSEY DEVILS

The Devils also have $6 million-plus to deal with and could make a trade happen. The reason it won't: The talks would start and finish with C Zach Parise.

5. EDMONTON OILERS

OK, it's a longshot. Yes, Heatley turned down a deal to the Oilers, but it doesn't mean you can't go back again. The deal for forwards Dustin Penner and Andrew Cogliano and D Ladislav Smid is the best offer Senators GM Bryan Murray has received. If Heatley could be convinced to waive his no-trade clause, the Oilers are desperate enough to take him in a minute.


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