Dany Heatley will (better) not become a Blue Jacket.
For one, the price will be high... too high. You've got to think that the young guns (Voracek, Brassard, Filatov) are untouchable. Those guys will not be moved. So who would Ottawa look for in return for Dany? Third and fourth line guys are safe, because they'll want scorers.
Here's a list of guys and why they should not be moved:
Antoine Vermettewas expendable enough to be traded by Ottawa to the Jackets for Pazzy because he didn't fit into their top six. Not to mention, the Sens would need a winger, not a center, if they gave up Heatley.
Kristian Huseliushas developed a chemistry with Rick Nash and allows Rick to play his game. I think Heatley would keep the puck off of Nash's stick and become a bit of a distraction were he to replace Juice on Nash's opposite wing. This team needs Nash to be its leader in the locker room and on the stat sheet.
R.J. Umberger is grit, heart, and skill. This is the kind of guy that every team needs, and his playoff contributions were incredible. While he may or may not wear an "A" on his chest this year, he is one of this team's leaders.
Fedor Tyutin is the best offensive blue-liner the Jackets have at the moment. Let's leave it that.
Kris Russellwill be one of the top defense-men in the West in about two years. The guy can flat-out skate. Work on his puck movement and shot, and he's a big asset. With tutelage from Tyutin and hopefully another Veteran coming via free agency or trade, he will make some major strides.
Freddy Modin... well, Modin might as well have never come here. He's always hurt, and under-productive when he's not.
As it is, I like the balance that this team will have at forward next year. I expect Manny Malhotra to return at a lower price once he realizes that no one will pay him second line money for third/fourth LINE production. He and Pahlsson will compete and probably alternate, head-manning the 3 and 4 lines for Hitch.
As for the veteran Blue-liner, it may be wishful thinking or even delusion, but I expect Sergei Zubov to don the Navy for the next season or two. Zubov will likely have to settle for less money after missing the majority of last year with injuries and due to this age. I can see him coming in at a cap hit of about 4mil. He's a guy that Hitch has worked with (and loved) before and brings a hefty offensive resume with him. He'll help the Blue Jackets move out of the power play cellar and teach Kris Russell some invaluable lessons on being a top-flight NHL defense-man.
I also think that Dany Heatley will be a distraction. His trade situation has been dominating NHL headlines for the past month, and will surely bring a media circus with it when he finally lands elsewhere. The Blue Jackets don't need the drama of bringing in a player who has essentially forced his way out of two cities. They definitely do not want to be #3.
Also, let's not forget the tragic car accident in which Heatley's friend and teammate Dan Snyder was killed because Heatley was speeding. While that's in the past, it's still a bit of bad juju. I just think the team doesn't need anything to pull their focus away from Coach Hitchcock's plans. Heatley's really starting to play out as a Diva.
Nash and Heatley have worked well together in the past, but that was essentially in an all-star capacity. Neither player wore a letter or was counted on to carry the team. I just don't think they'll mesh in a Hitchcock, 82-game situation.
So, forget about Heatley fellow Flag Carriers. He's too expensive and will come with drama that will distract from what the Jackets need: A cool-headed approach to two way hockey.
May Nash and Mason be with you.
- Daniel Johns