Apparently, Edmonton wasn't good enough of a destination for Heatley, as he ultimately rejected the deal by refusing to waive his no-trade clause after hours of waiting (which led to fans losing their collective minds on the Hockey's Future message boads).
To recap: Heatley requests trade, Senators trade him, Heatley rejects trade. Yeah. That seems about right.
Since the trade fell through, it's been assumed that since Heatley was still a Senator at 12:01 AM ET, Ottawa now owes him a $4 million bonus, which will now lead to Murray asking for a larger deal in return for his All-Star winger -- or he'll simply keep him for next season. But as TSN's Bob McKenzie explains, that may not be entirely correct:
A lot of confusion has existed because there is a $4 million bonus payment due to Heatley on July 1. It was the understanding of many involved, including the Senators and Oilers, that once the clock struck midnight and turned over to July 1, the Sens would be on the hook for the $4 million bonus payment, which may have been a serious impediment to getting a deal done after midnight. But as it turns out, the NHL says as long as a Heatley trade is concluded before midnight eastern tomorrow night, the bonus payment allocation can be transferred to the new team. So, in effect, the Senators have another 24 hours to find a suitable deal that Heatley will approve and NOT be on the hook for his $4 million signing bonus.As frustrating, annoying, and downright hilarious (unless you're an Oilers fan) as this entire soap opera turned out to be, it's still probably a positive for Ottawa. This was set to be a rather lopsided trade in favor of Edmonton, and, quite honestly, a disgruntled Heatley is still better than the package the Senators were set to acquire. Now they either keep him, or find a better deal.
For Oilers fans, this has to be a tough pill to swallow because for three brief hours it appeared as if they were going to land one of the league's elite goal-scorers, still in the prime of his career, without having to give up the farm.
Now it's back to the drawing board.
Jonathan Willis at the Copper & Blue offers his frustrations on the latest NHL player to reject Edmonton:
This really isn't what the fanbase needs. I've gotten so sick of listening to the self-loathing "everyone hates Edmonton" speech from everyone that I don't even know what to do anymore. Heatley joins Nylander and Pronger and Lupul and Comrie and all the rest.So, where does Heatley go now? Following the Scott Gomez trade to Montreal earlier in the day on Tuesday, there was a report from Rick Carpiniello of the Ranger Report that Heatley was set to become a Ranger. I suppose this puts them back in play. And, hey, Los Angeles still has the attractive combination of cap space, assets and beaches.
UPDATE: As if this story needed another twist and turn, McKenzie updated his original report and added the following:
It's true that Dany Heatley did not waive his no-movement clause when requested by the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night, but that isn't to say it's not still possible for him to waive it on Wednesday. He has, technically speaking, not issued an outright refusal to move.Oh, the drama.