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Sharks land Heatley
SJ sends Cheechoo and Michalek to Ottawa
9/12/09 - By Mike Lee -

The Dany Heatley saga finally played itself out on Saturday afternoon, exactly the way he wanted it. Ottawa shipped the disgruntled forward to San Jose along with a 5th round draft pick. In return, the Sharks send right wing Jonathan Cheechoo, left wing Milan Michalek and a 2nd round pick in 2010 to the Senators.

The deal ends the summer long soap opera that pegged Heatley's desire to play for a contender, with the Sharks desire to bolster their lineup after a disappointing 1st round elimination from the playoffs last season.

Rumors swirled on Thursday, that the Sharks had worked out a deal to move Patrick Marleau to Los Angeles, as part of a three team deal to land Heatley. That report turned out to be false, but it peeked speculation that a deal was in the works.

Senators GM Bryan Murray confirmed on several occasions that he was in discussions with a suitor, but he hadn't found the deal he was looking for.

The Sharks were hamstrung to some extent because of the absence of any salary cap space. That problem was resolved by shipping two hefty contracts to Ottawa. Cheechoo and Michalek account for $7.3 million in combined cap obligation. Heatley will earn $8 million this season, but the 6-year deal he signed in 2008 has an annual cap hit of $7.5 million per season.

Heatley will earn $8 million the next two seasons, then takes a pay cut to $6 million in 2012-13, and another cut to $5 million in 2013-14.

His 39 goals last season ranked him 9th in the league. In seven NHL seasons, he has amassed 543 points (260 goals, 283 assists), including 99 power play goals.

He eclipsed the 50 goal mark twice (2005-06 and 2006-07), and has scored at least 40 goals four times.

After winning the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy as the league's highest goal scorer in 2006, Cheechoo's numbers have declined. He was relegated to 3rd and 4th line duty last season.

Michalek never realized the potential that the Sharks expected after his first round selection (6th overall) in 2003.


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