OTTAWA // The Ottawa Senators traded the disgruntled forward Dany Heatley to San Jose Sharks in exchance for Jonathan Cheechoo and power forward Milan Michalek on Saturday. With the National Hockey League's training camps set to open, the trade ends a bitter off-season stand-off in the Canadian capital that began when Heatley demanded a move out of Ottawa after falling out with the coach Cory Clouston.
Ottawa had been seeking a fair value for Heatley, one of the NHL's top goal-scorers, and believed they had a done deal earlier this summer with the Edmonton Oilers. But Heatley, who has a "no trade" clause in his contract, refused the offer, leaving few options but to return to Ottawa for the training camp. "When I looked Heatley in the eye and talked to him, I knew the minute he walked out the door that I had to trade him," the Senators general manager Bryan Murray said on the team's website.
"I didn't think there was any chance [he had changed his stance]." Heatley has twice scored 50 goals in a single season and recorded 543 points (260 goals, 283 assists) in seven seasons with Ottawa and Atlanta. Last year the 28-year-old sniper finished ninth on the goals chart with 39 and is a strong candidate for a spot on Canada's team at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Cheechoo is also a former 50-goal scorer, potting 56 during the 2005-06 season but the rugged winger has never come close to matching that performance, collecting just 12 goals and 29 points last season. Michalek, was the sixth overall pick in the 2003 NHL draft. He had 23 goals and 34 assists for San Jose last season.
"We give ourselves a chance to be a tight-knit team," said Murray. "I wish him [Heatley] good luck. I hope he's happy. I hope he plays well out there." * Reuters