Monday, July 6, 2009

The end of the No Trade

One thing Dany has done through all of this is make no movement clauses more difficult for other players to get in their contract negotiations.
How many GM’s around the NHL are thanking the heavens they are not in the spot Bryan Murray is in. John Ferguson Jr threw no-trade contracts around like nickels and it helped make Toronto more of a mess as they tried to turn things around. Now after just 1 year of a 6 year deal Dany wants a trade and wants to decide where he goes.

It is difficult to move a player who is due 8 million dollars this season. It is more difficult when he gets to pick the team. It is ridiculously difficult when the player you are trying to move has had his reputation ravaged around the NHL as badly as Heatley has been ripped apart.

Trading a player who many other teams believe to be selfish and not a team player is very hard when the guy makes 2 million. Its even tougher when the guy makes 8 million.

Have a look at the LA Kings website. Ron Hextal works for the Kings and there is a video of him speaking at a “State of the franchise” luncheon. He is asked about Heatley since L.A. is appearantly one of the places Dany wanted to go. Hextal admits that their #1 priority is a high scoring left winger, but says the red flags went up because Heatley had problems with his coach in Atlanta, Craig Hartsburg and now Corey Clouston. Wow!

When you are exactly what a team needs and wants and they don’t want you for non-hockey reasons, that’s a shot. Hextall also pointed out the number of prospects they’d have to give up and Dany’s hefty contract go into the mix as well, but if you watch the video, the very first thing he talks about are character issues. Hextal even starts with “I don’t like to say anything negative about players, but….”. Yikes. Camp Heatley better think about a personal image consultant like the Hollywood stars use, because his personal image right now appears to be mud all across the NHL.

Right or wrong there are many teams which now feel this way about Heatley. He may get his wish to leave Ottawa, but it will be a very long time (or maybe never) that his reputation is restored.

See you at the rink.


kal cole said...

In the same way that Alex Daigle's $12.5M contract was the genesis for the entry level contract, the Heatley saga will be the end of the no-trade as we know it.

It wont disappear but I see it changing. It wont be for superstars anymore. It will be used as a reward for middle-of-the pack players>

How about No trades only go to players
-with at least 5 years
-who are about to enter their 3rd contract
and will earn less than the team average.

Right away this rules out the top stars who have signed multi-year deals. However if a fan favorite, grinder, mucker like Chris Neil or Georges Laraque want one. No problem.

Everybody wins that way.
If things go south and they dont want to waive the NTC, they're not impacting the team like a Heatly or Sundin could.

On the player's side. They won't have to get stressed about uprooting their families at the drop of a hat to go to some other city.

Just my 2 cents!

Anonymous said...

It's a nice sentiment Dean but I disagree.
Teams will give no-trades and they will give long-terms to go with them.

Murray's problem is he inflated too many salaries and gave too many NTCs. Out of the core, ALfredsson, VOlchenkov, your #1 goalie and maybe another forward should have them.

Right now we have Heatley (doesn't want to be here, ugh...), Spezza (has yet to mature into a hard-nosed, two-way guy and will be 27 soon), Alfredsson (historical, face of the franchise), Fisher (why???) and Kuba (why???).

That isn't the player's fault.
General managers simply need to show restraint. They won't though, but I'll be a monkey's uncle if the NHLPA agrees to limit NTCs or NMCs.

What I would *like* to see if contracts staggered as follows:

Rookie contract - 2-3 years.
Post-rookie contract - 3-4 years
UFA contract - 2-4 years.

No more of these bloatrous 7-12 year deals. Teams don't have 7 year windows to win the Stanley Cup. They have 2-4 years. Why pretend otherwise?

A month to training camp, seems too long...