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Heatley a Shark...or not
Rumors run wild after ESPN article
9/10/09 - By Mike Lee -

Dany Heatley is a San Jose Shark. At least that's the story according to an ESPN report published on Thursday evening, that has the hockey world scrambling for details. ESPN hockey analyst reported that Heatley is part of a three-way deal that would send Patrick Marleau to the Los Angeles Kings, and Kings' Alexander Frolov and Jarret Stoll to Ottawa.

Everyone with any authority for such a transaction has denied the report, including Sharks general manager Doug Wilson, who told ESPN.com that the story was, "an absolute fabrication."

If anything, Wilson isn't known to be a liar, and the responses from Senators GM Bryan Murray and Kings GM Dean Lombardi seem to corroborate any such transaction.

While Marleau's ability to deliver in the clutch has been called into question all summer, moving him in order to take on a fat contract that's tied to a player who is itching to leave a bad situation simply seems out of character for the Sharks.

Wilson vowed to make changes over the summer, but revamping his roster with a player than many in Ottawa feel is a malcontent seems like an odd way to shake up his lineup. There's no doubt that Heatley is a bona fide superstar, but trading one top line player for another doesn't address the Sharks main problems.

Heatley hasn't shown himself to be a leader, nor has he delivered in the clutch. San Jose needs to bolster the 2nd and 3rd lines that were non-existent in the playoffs. Shipping Christian Ehrhoff and Brad Lukowich provide the cap space to maneuver, but taking on Heatley's hefty contract would hand-cuff the Sharks.

The $7.5 million dollar cap hit that San Jose would inherit would be partially offset if Marleau's $6.3 million contract are sent packing, but again, the holes still remain. The addition of veteran centerman Scott Nichol has been the only notable offensive addition this off-season, incurring an additional $1.2 hit against the cap just doesn't make any sense.

In any case, the rumor mill got things buzzing late in the day. ESPN continues to report the story, although even they have backed off a bit, reiterating all of the denials from the trio of GMs.

What is fact is that both Dan Hinote and Mathieu Dandenault will be in camp on Saturday as training camp tryouts.


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