I wrote a letter to the Ottawa Citizen last week about the situation with Dany Heatley. A reporter called me and we talked for about 30 minutes. He wrote an article about the letter and discussion. I really only wanted the letter to be published as he tried to say what I was saying but missed some crucial points I wanted to make. I was writing the letter from My opinion of the players point of view. I wan't speaking in place of the family or player.
I am pasting the letter here.
I canâ€™t express how disappointed I am in the press and hockey fans concerning Dany Heatleyâ€™s request to be traded. I was talking with his parents Murray and Karin and they canâ€™t believe the awful things that people are saying about Dany. He simply wants to play on a team that believes in his abilities.
I did a comparison of Dany and Iginlaâ€™s stats over 4 years he has been in Ottawa.
In that same time period Heatley has appeared in one Stanley Cup final which he was leading in scoring until Pronger jumped on his chest and injured him in the first game vs. the Ducks. Dany has also gone to the World Championships every time he has been asked to represent Canada and has led it in scoring twice and is the all time leading Canadian scorer.
Dany is a very nice person and is popular with his team mates and has proven that he is one of the best scorers in the NHL and also is a responsible defensive player. In the 07-08 season he was third in league with a plus/minus of +33.
Donâ€™t we all want to be treated with respect and fairness?
By: Anonymous: Lars () Thursday, July 09 2009 @ 02:27 PM GMT
I've been following the whole issue very closely, because Dany is one of my favorite players. All the stories you told about him always made him look like a nice, reasonable human being. I remember all the small videos you posted with him.
But let's face it: it is too easy for the media to make him the villain. Especially with the not waving his no-trade clause. It looked like he wanted that signing bonus. The worst thing I saw was on TSN, where they went to a store selling some merchandise in Ottawa and all Heatley sweaters were 50% off...
I'll hope the whole situation will come to a good end for both sides. Dany is one of the best players in the NHL today and his request to be traded is totally understandable.
If you talk to him, please tell him there are still people on his side!
By: Anonymous: Pops Ryan () Saturday, July 11 2009 @ 09:49 PM GMT
At 28, Dany probably has a good number of years ahead of him. Hopefully, the worst of his years are behind him. From my distant point of view, a change of scenery may be best for all. Here is the part that I can not figure out... if Dany is a 2nd or 3rd line player in Ottawa, why do they want 1st liners and 1st Rounders in exchange for him? Something is amiss.
By: Anonymous: Dave () Tuesday, July 14 2009 @ 01:57 PM GMT
First, I'd like to thank you for giving the public something from Dany's side of the story. Up until that point, all we had was Stacey McAlpine's non-answers. I must say, though, I was shocked to hear about this trade request. The only consistent reason that has been presented is that he was "demoted" to the second power play unit. His overall average ice time after Clouston took over was not, as you suggest, that of a second- or third-liner. I have heard he played more on average than Sidney Crosby during this period. So it seems this can't be a reason.
As to the power play, I thought Clouston's move of Heatley to the second unit was one of his best decisions. And I didn't view it as a demotion. The Senators, for much of the season, had no viable second unit. After the acquisition of Campoli and Comrie, there was an opportunity to create one. Dany Heatley was good enough by himself to be a catalyst for this unit. It should be taken as a compliment to his abilities that he could operate without Spezza and Alfredsson and still be effective. Don't we all remember nights when the second unit was more of a threat than the first? Finally a legitimate scoring threat in the second minute because there was a guy with one of the best one-timers in the league on it! I was stunned that it seems to have been such an issue with Dany. And I remain stunned that a team's assistant captain wouldn't see the benefits I've described.
Dave, he obviously wasn't very happy with the situation. Who knows how it was presented to him. Something caused it. As in physics, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
It has turned out to be a bad situation for everyone.
By: Anonymous: Ottawa Fan () Thursday, July 30 2009 @ 11:21 PM GMT
I am going to share with you the opinion of an Ottawa resident and team fan.
Bryan Murray, on behalf of the team owner, negotiated long and hard to pursue a contract extension for Dany Heatley. The ownership made it clear that he was a cornerstone of the organization and they wanted him to remain in Ottawa as a loyal member and committed to the orgamization.
To further this sign of loyalty he was provided the no trade/movement clause he wanted.
In my opinion, and many of the Ottawa fans, when a no trade clause is negotiated by a player it means that the player is asking for the protection from the team that they will not move him. Essentially they are asking for loyalty and security.
What fans in Ottawa are upset about is simply this...
Dany Heatley asked for loyalty, he indicated that he was loyal by resigning and wanting the no trade clause (i.e. he did not want to be be traded from Ottawa) and then in return for all that he wants a trade at the slightest sign of "conflict".
Players and coaches work these things out...they happen every day. Players don't run from them.
Fans see this action, and his silence on the issue has not helped in the slightest, as weak, lacking character and a complete slap in the face to an organization that brought him here and has been nothing buy loyal and supportive of him ever since.
What I hear people saying is that they see him now as "the spoiled child who takes his toys and goes home" when things don't go his way.
Fans are very confused and disillusioned..."How do you ask for a no trade clause and then turn around and ask to be traded?" And then on top of all that.."How do you ask for a trade but then want to control the process by turning down options that are available for a trade?"
Lets face it people...if it was really so bad in Ottawa that he just had to get out why would he then turn down a chance to get out?
Feelings of fans in Ottawa have nothing to do with Dany Heatley the man. It has everything to do with the actions of the man...or lack of action in some cases.
And in my opinion fans have every right to hold that opinion. He has done nothing to avert it.
I understand where you are coming from--and you may be correct, if that's the right terminology--but a no-trade clause isn't about loyalty...far from it!
It's about the player having a say in where he is going to go. The Sens agreed to it, knowing full well that Dany has to accept any such movement. You can rail at Heatley all you want, and I believe you have some credibility there, but don't dismiss Murray's ploys (ie accepting an offer and making it PUBLIC before Heatley endorsed it!).
The problem is that fans look upon these athletes as they do upon amateurs, and expect the player to conform to the team first mentality. Oh wouldn't that be wonderful! Well ask Bobby Baun and any number of oldtimers about loyalty.
Heatley never signed his contract with Clouston as coach. That to me justifies Dany asking for a trade. It happens every day in this NHL.
By: Anonymous: Tom () Saturday, August 01 2009 @ 08:19 PM GMT
Halladay is asking for a trade DURING THE SEASON and the fans aren't going mental on him and questioning his character.
People change jobs all of the time because it isn't working out well where they are. I changed schools 3 times to improve my situation and it was a good move each time. I had a gauranteed job and wage and a choice where I went.
I don't know why he wants to move but anyone working in a place he doesn't want to be should have the ability to move on.
I wanted my abilities to be given the chance to flourish and maybe Dany feels the same way. I don't know but have that feeling.
If you or I want to change jobs, we give two weeks notice and are free to do so. That's the benefits of living in a free society. Apparently, this doesn't apply to contract hockey players.
If Dany doesn't show up to training camp, then that is a different matter--because he is under contract. I believe that the fact that Ottawa changed coaches and philosophy after Dany signed long term justifies his requesting a trade. He has the right to request a trade, no matter how distasteful that right is to fans. Lindross was vilified for having the audacity to demand a say in where he would ply his trade. People verbally attacked his mother!! Shameful.
I'd love to see Heatley in a Leafs uniform. He'd be their first pure scorer since Andreychuk.