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Welcome Dany
Sharks got the sniper they needed
10/13/09 - By Ken Smyth

Considering the level of mutual respect between the Senators and Dany Heatley at the time of parting, Ottawa (and Edmonton) folks will say nothing bad about Jonathan Cheechoo and Milan Michalek unless they start showing up over a week late for practices or arriving at games too drunk to crawl. The real test on that side will be whether either of them stick with the Senators for more than a season.

Yes, blah blah blah, the final judgment on this deal for San Jose will come in the playoffs. Meanwhile it's been pretty fun the last couple games at the Tank. Heatley introduced himself with a hat trick on opening night. Although the Sharks' two losses were pretty convincingly bad, it now looks like the pieces of team are snapping together. Heatley and Patrick Marleau are both on a pace to score 82 goals this season. Dare to dream, it's cheap.

A couple weeks ago, some Canadian writers were saying that Ottawa got the better of things: two 30-35 goal players (talk about dreams!) in exchange for one 50 goal player. Others said that the Sharks got the best single player and so they got the better end. I like the latter reasoning.

Player trades are not like breaking a twenty for change, if they were Ottawa could have gotten a better deal with eighty one-goal-a-season players for Heatley; possibly some of them might consider a season ticket plan after they got cut.

Sports talent does not distribute itself neatly. Last season, thirty-nine players scored thirty or more goals, eight over forty; but only one, Alex Ovechkin, hit fifty. Heatley has hit the 50 goal mark twice, in 2005-06 and 2006-07 and he's type of player who could do it again with good linemates.

He also has 36 points (10 goals, 26 assists) in 34 NHL playoff games as compared to Cheechoo's 25 points in 41 games and Michalek's 16 points in 35 games.

That means something on a team like the Sharks, where top players seem fade away in the post-season. The Sharks would very likely make the playoffs this season if they kept Cheechoo and Michalek and their 35 regular season goals combined. But it's not likely that either of them will suddenly turn into a playoff stud. Not that they're bad guys, and most of us wish them well in Ottawa. But most of all, let's go Sharks!

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