Friday, September 04, 2009

DanyWatch Day 88: Alfredsson doomed to have Heatley in the room

Finish the sentence: Daniel Alfredsson would prefer the Ottawa Senators trade Dany Heatley, lest he actually have to exercise leadership when the going gets tough.

Ask Scott Niedermayer what Alfredsson did the last time the Senators were in an inescapable jam. It is understandable why Alfredsson's well-after-the-fact comment, "Obviously, it would be best scenario for everyone," is going to get a fair bit of play in the city. He is the captain, the bland, pale, in-bed-by-11 personification of Ottawa. The sportswriters in the city worship him.

Not that this is coming from someone who has any idea about how the group dynamic of a NHL dressing room, but why say this with training camp opening a week from Saturday? Alfredsson kind of answered his own question with the second part of quote, "But if it was that easy, I think something would have already been done," comes off like the last thing he wants at this point in his career is have to deal with a schism (real or Schefterian) between him and the younger top-end forwards, Heatley and Jason Spezza.

Not that this is coming from someone with a screw's clue of how the group dynamic works in a NHL dressing room. Effective leadership involves having an optimistic face and always having contingencies for worst case scenarios. The Senators are six kinds of stuck. It is self-evident that Huey Lewis' Happy To Be Stuck With You should replace as Glenn Frey's The Heat Is On as the the gadawful '80s song which is played at Scotiabank Place after Heatley scores.

No one can really defend Heatley, but given his ability, he is at least entitled to some consideration. He is supposedly thin-skinned, so how

Mats Sundin, during his tenure in Toronto, would have got walloped if he had waited until a week before training camp to suggest the Leafs trade a disgruntled elite player (this is obviously hypothetical, presuming you could be unhappy playing in Toronto and presuming the Leafs had two elite players at once).

Point being, this might be the season where the halo gets torn off Alfredsson's head. The captain goes down with the sinking ship.

(Sorry, I know I have been irregular posting, but it had to be said.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ask Jason "Gary Leeman" Spezza why his linemate wants to leave (and now has left according to a report - Heatley gone to San Jose for Michalek, Cheechoo and a pick. Spezza ia a selfish, two faced prick in the mould of the ex-Leaf Leeman who figured Al Iafrate's wife was fair game.