The whole Dany Heatley trade demand saga has taken an interesting turn. According to Bruce Garrioch of Sun Media:
if the high-scoring winger isn't dealt by July 1, Senators owner Eugene Melnyk will be on the hook to pay Heatley a whopping $4-million bonus (all terms US), even if he doesn't play for Ottawa next season.It looks like the Senators hands are really tied on this one. By making the whole trade demand public, every GM in the league knows that the Senators are trying to trade Heatley. On top of that, other GMs now have the bargaining leverage knowing that the Senators are going to do their best to trade Heatley before July 1st, so that they don't have to pay that ridiculous bonus that Heatley is owed.
I have a major problem with this - usually I am very much in favor of the players having a significant amount of power to determine where they are traded if they have a "no trade clause" in their contract. But, in my opinion, Heatley is under contract with the Senators and it is his obligation to play out that contract. This whole idea of demanding a trade is absolute bull$shit! If he didn't want to stay in Ottawa, then he shouldn't have signed that massive contract extension (6yr/$45M) that he agreed to not even two years ago. On top of this all, he has the "no trade clause", so not only can he demand a trade from Ottawa, he can also dictate where he is traded to. In my opinion he forfeited his chance of getting that $4M contract bonus. The way NHL contracts are now structured, the player has all of the power to do and demand pretty much whatever he wants, whenever he wants it --- even if he is in the middle of a contract.
The NHL draft is June 26-27 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, we'll see if he's traded by then. Or, will Heatley stay in Ottawa until later this summer, cash that beautiful $4M bonus check that he'll receive and then play next season wherever he chooses. Sounds pretty fair, right??