That seemd to be the crux of Cox's point, beyond the obligatory Ottawa-zinging — "I get the part where he doesn't want to live in Ottawa. Neither would I" — and Heatley-hectoring:
"To me, Heatley was one of those 2006 Team Canada members who needed to be replaced anyway for the sake of moving forward with a new team attitude and dynamic for a tournament that promises to be a killer. For the same reasons I'd be moving on from guys like Joe Thornton and Marty St. Louis and maybe even Chris Pronger as well.Ouch. Cox did seem to be among the first to make a connection between Heatley asking for a trade and his fitness for the Olympics.
"But most people would have all four of those players pencilled in to their 2010 Canadian lineup."
"... Heatley has played for two NHL teams and asked to be traded twice. He must have missed those basic lessons on personal responsibility and commitment during grade school, opting instead for a lucrative life of off-ice recklessness and playing mostly for himself. In terms of hockey, he scores goals, and that's about it. — The Spin on Sports
There is not enough time in the day to keep tabs on what is being said about a possible destination for Heatley when one is, you know, not a hockey writer. The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson suggested the Oilers should be calling up Senators GM Bryan Murray, and quoted some unnamed NHL executive who evoked the Heatley-for-Dion Phaneuf rubric. The Ottawa Citizen's Ken Warren had some good analysis in Friday's editions and Sun Media's Bruce Garrioch noted that the Senators are behooved to act before July 1, when Heatley is due a $4-million bonus.
Point being, though, on this end it's not so much where Heatley is going as it is how maturely it is handled by the Senators fanbase. Piling on the guy who's made it known he prefers someone else's company to the locals' exclusive company might be human nature, but also gets old fast. So does the Paper of Record in Ottawa played the poor-poor-pitiful-us card, mewling about Heatley making "good money in a government town" and feigning confusion about why he would not want to play in "a topnotch organization like the Senators, playing in a state-of-the-art arena in a great Canadian city for tens of millions of dollars."
Come on. The Senators have their strong points, but there is no denying it replaced its former GM a season too late. It suffered some brain drain when Peter Chiarelli left to run a division rival. It's had three coaching changes and has an owner who has run afoul of securities regulators, and it has lousy weather.
Really, the question should be what the expectations are with the a team in northern small-market city. It's only honest.
How to replace Heatley; A look at what Sens stand to lose, gain when he leaves (Ken Warren Ottawa Citizen)