So this is what the NHL does to me. I'm stuck in hockey purgatory - Oregon has absolutely zero hockey coverage in its newspapers - and the Senators unload disgruntled superstar Dany Heatley to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for wingers Milan Michalek and Jonathan Cheechoo without giving me any sort of notice. Honestly, this move makes San Jose look less like a basking shark and more like a great white shark. They have significant firepower upfront to balance their stingy defensive play, and their powerplay units suddenly look like an all-star squad. Ottawa gets back a speedy winger in Michalek to help their transition game, and acquire a veteran forward who looked lost in the offensive zone last season. However, Cheechoo alongside Spezza and Alfredsson might be exactly what he needs to rediscover his scoring touch.
I'm not going to go into what this does for both teams as I'm tired from a long day of traveling by bus to a rather awesome activity, but I will post some excellent links to check out regarding this move, and then weigh in below.
- Black Aces has a pretty good view from the Ottawa side of the coin. Granted, I feel that Ottawa has taken a step back with this move, but if Cheechoo can find the twine like he did a couple of seasons ago, people in Ottawa may find themselves asking "Heatley who?". And Michalek is poised to have a monsterous season if he finds himself on a line with Kovalev.
- Mike Chen of Kukla's Korner notes that Heatley and Thornton had some pretty good chemistry in international play, and I can't see those two players not complimenting each other. Heatley for the Richard and Thornton for the Art Ross? Not out of the question.
- Connie from A Queen Among Kings is thoroughly relieved that neither Alexander Frolov nor Jarret Stoll are leaving the Kings. Honestly, dealing Frolov would have killed all the momentum that GM Dean Lombardi was building with this youth movement. Oh, and ESPN's John Buccigross should stick to his mailbag instead of reporting incorrect info.
San Jose, you're looking at a big season again if things start falling into place for your team. Thornton, Heatley, and Setoguchi could be a ridiculous line this season for point production, so come to the rink ready to cheer. However, just remember this: you've acquired a player who tore a room apart when he was demoted to the second powerplay unit, so be prepared if the ship starts taking on water. I feel that head coach Todd McLellan won't let that happen, though.
I'm off to bed, kids. I have another busy day tomorrow, so I'm checking out.
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!