Dany Heatley Breaks Silence, Talks About Trade Demands
Ottawa Senators forward Dany Heatley finally broke his silence and spoke on a conference call about his trade demands from his home on Friday afternoon. The basic gist of his demands: it's a hockey decision and has nothing to do with his contract, the coaching staff or the fans in Ottawa. He also stated -- multiple times -- that he never wanted the demand to go public, and that he still wishes to be dealt from the Senators.
After the jump, some highlights from the two-time 50-goal scorers conference call on why he asked for a trade and why he rejected a trade that would have sent him to Edmonton.
On when he decided to ask for a trade:
"It's not something that I woke up one day and was in my bed and said I was ready to ask for a trade," said Heatley. "I think it was brewing, and something I thought of privately for a long time. I waited until after the season to, you know, just really be sure. I really thought about it at that time, and I think in the middle of May we verbally communicated to the Senators that I'd like to be traded."
On turning down a trade to Edmonton:
"It has nothing to do with Edmonton personally. When we asked for a trade and started to talk to Ottawa about the trade we wanted to go about it together. We wanted some options. And to this date there has only been one option. At the time the one option was Edmonton, and I just wasn't ready to make a decision at that time."
He also added that Edmonton is a great hockey city and that "it has nothing to do with the city of Edmonton."
On speculation about head coach Cory Clouston being the reason for the trade demand:
"I think the main reason is definitely not Cory solely, I think the main reason for me is when I signed In Ottawa two years ago, I was supposed to be an integral part of the team. I think over the last two years, and more recently over the past year, I feel that my role has diminished. Especially this past season I think it diminished a lot more. And again, it's something that I've been thinking about for a long time. Again, Diminished role is the biggest thing. I feel that I'm a player that can play in a lot of different situations. I'm an offensive guy, but I do take pride in all aspects of the game and I don't feel that I was given that role on the team."
On waiting so long to speak and what he owed the fans in Ottawa:
"I really think, first of all, I love the fans In Ottawa. I think it's a great city. That's why I signed long-term there. The reason I didn't speak until now is simply because there's a process that has to take place. In all fairness to Ottawa and the other teams involved, I didn't feel it was necessary or purposeful to come out publicly and create more of a circus than it already was. It's unfortunate again that it became public. That's not what I wanted. The main reason is to just not complicate things and out of respect to the teams involved."
On why Edmonton is not an option and his perception among Canadian hockey fans:
"I know hockey fans in Canada are passionate. I love that about Canadian hockey fans, I love playing for Canada, I love playing in Canada. It has nothing to do with Edmonton, it has everything to do with the options. That's the bottom line. To this day there has only been one option, and I know there's other teams out there."
Pressed on the Edmonton Issue again:
"Again, because it's the only option. I don't feel I can make the right decision until there are a few options and I can make the proper decisions for myself and my career."
Reporter: "so they were never really an option then?"
"They were not on our initial list of teams that I gave the Senators to talk to. When that trade came up it came as a big surprise and I wasn't ready at that time, nor am I now, to make that decision."
On what happens at training camp if no trade is made:
"I'll be in camp if I'm still a Senator and I'll be ready to go."
That question came from Don Brennan and it also included him asking whether or not Heatley would be willing to turn in the Assistant Captain's 'A'. Heatley did not address that aspect of the question.
Outside of a brief flirtation with San Jose a couple of weeks ago, the rumor mill has been completely silent, and it's looking like him opening training camp with the Senators is a pretty good possibility. Especially since he seems to have no desire to even entertain the idea of playing in Edmonton. Should be an interesting season if he's still sporting the red and black when the puck drops in October.