There will probably be a day, somewhere way down the line, when Dany Heatley finally opens up about wanting out of Ottawa. Maybe not in a month, or a year, or even 10 years, but at some point he won’t be able to resist the opportunity to explain his decision to request a trade from the Senators.
The erstwhile Sens sniper is back in the news ahead of his return to the capital and the first interview went to Sportsnet Senators reporter — and Citizen prediction panelist — Ian Mendes.
So, what new information did he provide? Pretty much none. Heatley did address some of the wacky rumours that were floating around the city while general manager Bryan Murray diligently tried to work out a deal that wouldn’t harm the team too badly (Heatley’s bizarre behaviour and bloated cap hit didn’t exactly endear him to league execs).
“You just realize it’s all BS basically,” he told Sportsnet. “A lot of people come up with things and come up with theories, but that’s kind of the new world with technology and blogs and things like that. It seems like people come up with all sorts of stories. But the bottom line is it was a very simple thing: I needed a hockey change and that’s what I felt was best for me.”
Actually, Heatley’s saying even less now about the situation than he did way back when. Here’s Heatley in his exit scrum just moments after finding out he was a Shark: “There are a few things, I’m not going to get into specifics on those things, but there are personal things that I felt a change was the best thing for everybody involved.”
So was it just a hockey decision, or was it a personal issue? Heatley still hasn’t clarified: “I think the main thing is a change. I just needed a change. Some people can’t accept that. I know there’s been a lot of stuff speculated and lot of stories told. But the main thing is I felt like it was time for me to change and get a fresh start somewhere and I’ve enjoyed my time in San Jose.”
Senators fans obviously want answers, especially considering how badly things turned out for Ottawa in the end. Jonathan Cheechoo didn’t even make it through a full season here and washed out of the league. Milan Michalek is a decent offensive plugger who can play in his own end as well, but he’ll never provide anything close to the thrill of a potential 50-goal man.
Answers? It would be nice, but fans shouldn’t expect anything more than verbal gymnastics when Heatley does roll into town this week.