Friday, June 12, 2009

DanyWatch Day 4: C'mon, Coxy, Heater is good people

Before you settle in for a Wing-dinging of Titanic proportions in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final, did you see what Damien Cox wrote about Dany Heatley, saying he's not a "MENSA candidate" and suggesting he be left off the 2010 Canadian Olympic hockey team?

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.

"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
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.

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)


Dennis Prouse said...

About an hour ago, a small market team from the U.S. northeast just won the Cup.

As for the Senators, they have an owner who is willing to spend to the cap, a great building, great fans, and a great city in which to raise a family. In short, the Citizen made some good points. Anyone who complains about Ottawa, even the weather, has clearly not spent much time in places like Philly, Pittsburgh, St. Louis or Dallas.

Not every guy is Dany Heatley or Joe Corvo -- Roy Mlakar gives a great speech about guys like Shawn McEachern who were heartbroken to leave Ottawa. Hossa, Redden, Chara and Havlat didn't want to leave either - they were all moved out or allowed to leave for economic reasons.

It's one player, and a guy with a history of asking for trades. There's a danger in reading too much into it. The Sens are like Heatley's second wife, shocked when he wants to ditch us like he ditched the starter wife. Trade him, get younger, improve your depth, and move on. That's what us plucky little northern small market towns do. :-)

Anonymous said...

I can see Cox' point though. Can you imagine at the Olympics, we're about to play USA in the semis and Heatley demands a trade to another country?


sager said...

Thing is, did Heatley ever say he didn't like Ottawa? No. So why should the Citizen frame it like it's about "good wages in a government town" and a "great city" and a "state-of-the-art arena"? Players don't think about that,they want to go where they'll be King of the castle. Only the older guys with spouses and children get concerned about moving.

It comes off like they're pandering and telling people what they want to hear. What people need to hear is what you said, this is a chance to deal someone with a huge cap hit, a questionable attitude and a one-dimensional game. Meantime, it's a chance to improve the chemistry and give Clouston a chance to retool the roster.

Meantime, that's a bit of an unfair shot at Pittsburgh. It has a metropolitan population (2.4 million) twice the size of Ottawa's and it's been voted the most livable city in the The Economist. (Ottawa is very livable too.) Oh, and its avg. overnight low in January (-7C) is still warmer than the average temperature in Ottawa at the time of year (-10C). You could look it up.

sager said...

Point being, 2.4 million is not a small market.

Anonymous said...

I know people love to bash ottawa and twist things around.Heatley or his agents never once said he did not like ottawa.Very few players have said they don't like ottawa even players from other teams like ottawa.What i think the citizen is trying to do is come up with a clear cut reason why heatley wants out.To say its the city that to them may be the best way to do it.But by doing that your making the real issues why he really wants out the fact is it has nothing to do with the city.Could you just see it if the toronto star said so and so wanted out of toronto because of the city.There would be alot of outrage.Ottawa people set back to much at times and just take it with out putting up a fight.

Jason Cormier said...

I note on Damian Cox's blog that a comment was pulled that mentioned the irony of a Hamilton resident taking a shot at the quality of life in Ottawa.

I guess the ad hominems only go one way.

Rob Pettapiece said...

This reminds me of former Orioles outfielder David Newhan's contributions to Let's Go Ottawa:

"That place is a mess and really doesn't deserve to be a Triple-A city at all. It's just a terrible place to be at. Terrible stadium, bad weather, bad fans, bad atmosphere, going through customs."

sager said...

@ Jason: No shock, eh? Generally, ripping on hometowns is a go-nowhere play. Cox had something to zone in on without taking a shot at Ottawa.

Meantime, it would be remiss not to excerpt a post Down Goes Brown put up this afternoon. It's not an endorsement, but it is germane to this discussion.

"Clouston's winning record in the second half of the season is over-hyped (the Sens didn't face an actual starting goalie after November). But he deserves credit for at least trying to demand some accountability from Ottawa's notorious band of primadonnas.

" ... And while the rift with Clouston has been the big news, apparently there's more to Heatley's unhappiness. According to GM Bryan Murray, Heatley felt that 'being questioned by the media wasn't fair, so I was told.'

"Let's take a second to digest that: Dany Heatley can't handle the Ottawa hockey media. The glee club. The pom-pom brigade. The group that does everything but form a human pyramid in the press box.

"... If Heatley can't handle Ottawa, how's he going to do in a market where the media is actually allowed to get critical? As (Don) Brennan rightly points out, 'Toronto Sun columnist Steve Simmons would make Heatley cry like a schoolgirl.'

Since it's virtually impossible to find a team with a more homer-ish media than Ottawa, Heatley will apparently just need to find a city where hockey gets no coverage at all. So that narrows his choices down to just, oh, two-thirds of the western conference.

"It's almost impossible to feel bad for Senators fans, a notoriously insecure group of front-runners who fundamentally misunderstand their place in the hockey world. But in this case, you have to offer up some sympathy. Dany Heatley stabbed them all in the back, and now they're going to have to watch Murray make a three-quarters-for-a-dollar trade just to get rid of him."

Anonymous said...

I am not sure what the person in question did write.But for the last 6 months i have found news paper/blogs etc have become a bit more tight on people bashing citys/people etc.It one thing to say what you think of a city and of course you have that right to speak whats on your mind.It another thing to start bashing a city with out every beeing there or and real research on that city.Here is one exzample someone on a web site started bashing ottawa i mean posting things that were not true and in some cases were made up.This person aslo was unaware about the festivals and theaters/and alot other stuff in ottawa.It got to the point where the post had to be pulled.There was another thread along the same lines bashing toronto.