Note: this post will be updated later after the Heatley presser is over, and possibly again after Brian Murray’s press conference.
Update: Post has been updated with the actual transcript from the Ottawa Citizen.
Ok, it hasn’t been that long since the last update, but because Dany Heatley always gets to be front page news, and because he gave a press conference about why he hates you (yes, you specifically), and because there’s actually a couple of other news items from around the NHL again, you get this update. But damn Heatley if he’s going to be headline news here…
Theodore’s Two Month Old Son Dies
Some sad news in the hockey world as Jose Theodore’s two month old son has died. No update has been given on the cause of death, at this time. You can’t help but look back to almost a year ago when tragedy struck Jussi Markkanen’s family. Not much can really be said here, but our sincere condolences go out to the Theodores.
Big Georges’ Fight Camp
Somewhat Oilers news, Georges Laraque is in town holding some impromptu training sessions in which Steve MacIntyre and Zack Stortini were in attendance. Georges has been giving the two tips on how to defend themselves, and how to make millions of dollars without actually fighting anyone. “It was just a matter of giving him a couple of tricks and pointers from a veteran on how to defend yourself and be aggressive,” Laraqued commented, on his lessons with Stortini. Laraque also had some pretty glowing words of the man formerly known as Huggybear:
As a player, Zack is a really good player. He’s a good skater and he can play hockey. He’s not a one-dimensional tough guy. He doesn’t worry about what people say about his fighting style. And when he fights heavyweights, big people like me, he has to know how to defend himself. The goal in a fight is not to get punched — you don’t want to get knocked out. So I showed him a couple of pointers on how to protect himself. It all depends on how big a guy you’re fighting. If a guy is a lot bigger than you, you can’t fight open, you have to be smart and you have to fight smart.
I hold no secret that I’m a fan of this guy. He really won a lot of people over last year. Big Georges is the best fighter in the league, when he fights. So learning from a guy like that could springboard Stortini’s fighting abilities (which have already started to show improvement).
Heatley is currently holding a presser right now. Here is the transcript from the conference:
DANY HEATLEY: Hello everybody, I’d like to thank everyone for joining today’s call. I know there’s been a lot of speculation and rumour regarding my trade request from Ottawa, and I want to clear the air on some of these issues. I’d like it to be known that my request to be traded from the Senators has not changed. I’d also like to say that I did not make this trade request public, nor did my representatives. It’s very unfortunate that it did become public.
Over the past couple months I’ve been in Kelowna training and skating to get ready for the Team Canada camp. I’m excited and I look forward to being in Calgary and having an opportunity to earn a spot on the team.
I always love playing for my country and playing for Canada in Vancouver would be an incredible honour. If you have any questions I’m ready to take that.
REPORTER QUESTION: When did you decide that you wanted out of Ottawa Dany?
DH: It’s not something that I woke up one day, came outside and said I was ready to ask for a trade. I think it’s been brewing and something I’ve thought about privately for quite a long time. I waited until after the season to really be sure, I really thought about it at that time and I think in the middle of May, we verbally communicated to the Senators that I’d like to be traded.
REPORTER QUESTION: Could you just elaborate on the entire Edmonton portion of the summer that we’ve had here and is there anything you’d like to say to Edmonton?
DH: It’s nothing to do with Edmonton personally. I think when we asked for a trade, when we started talking to Ottawa about the trade, we wanted to go about it together, we wanted some options and to this date there’s only been one option. At the time the one option was Edmonton and I just wasn’t ready to make a decision at that time and still not ready to make that decision until there are other options.
REPORTER QUESTION: Do you have anything to say to Edmonton?
DH: Well we had a lot of talks. I appreciated talking with Steve and Kevin. Again, Edmonton’s a great hockey city and it has nothing to do with the city of Edmonton.
REPORTER QUESTION: You said you wanted to try and clear the air. I imagine you’ve heard a lot of speculation out there about why you requested the trade. Can you give us some of the reasons. We’ve heard it’s Cory Clouston…is that the basis of this?
DH: You know, I think the main reason, it’s definitely not Cory solely. I think the main reason for me is when I signed in Ottawa two years ago, I felt it was to be a integral part of the team. I think overt he last two years and more recently over the past year, I feel that my role has diminished. I think especially this past season, I think it diminished a lot more. Again, it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. Again, the diminished role is the biggest thing. I feel I’m a player that can play in a lot of different situations. I’m an offensive guy, but I take pride in all aspects of the game and I don’t feel I was given that role on the team.
REPORTER QUESTION: Dany, do you realize that your actions have negatively impacted Edmonton and Ottawa, given they were kind of in a holding pattern. If you do realize that, do you have regrets about how this has been handled?
DH: I definitely disagree with how it became public, I think that’s the main reason it’s become such a huge story, obviously. Again, I don’t know how it became public. We know that we asked for a trade verbally in the middle of May. I think they, the Senators, asked for a letter asking for a trade in writing the beginning of June. We know we gave them that letter, and a few days after that it became public. I regret the way it’s been this summer, it’s been a tough summer and it hasn’t been fair especially to Edmonton and Ottawa, but that’s the way it went.
REPORTER QUESTION: Do you have concern, are you surprised a deal couldn’t be made? You’re a 50-goal scorer. After that, you’ve been portrayed as selfish. Is that a big worry for you?
DH: No, I think anyone that’s every played with me knows I’m a team guy. I think again, the way this has gone this summer, it’s unfortunate. As far as my reputation, I know that anyone I’ve ever played with or played for has always thought of me as a team player and a good teammate.
REPORTER QUESTION: Mr. Heatley, did you not feel that you owed an explanation to Senators fans, including the ones to whom you were their hero, the ones who paid to see you, who bought your jersey with your name on it? Why the long silence? Why when this did come out, why did you not then come out and reveal specifically the reasons why you demanded a trade?
DH: First of all, I love the fans in Ottawa. I think it’s a great city. That’s why I signed long-term there. The reason I didn’t speak until now is simply because there’s a process that had to take place and in all fairness to Ottawa and the other teams involved, I didn’t feel it was necessary or purposeful to come out publicly and create more of a circus than it already was. It’s unfortunate again that it became public and that’s not what I wanted and the main reason is just to not complicate things and out of respect to the teams involved.
REPORTER QUESTION: Did your family support your silence?
DH: Yeah, my family’s been here all summer. My family’s been supporting me all summer.
REPORTER QUESTION: Is a return to Ottawa in the cards for you and how difficult would that be?
DH: I have a contract. I’m going to honour that contract. If I’m still a Senator at training camp time I’ll be there ready to go. I’m a hockey player and I’m going to play to the best of my abilites wherever I am. But at the same time, I think we know there’s other teams out there that are interested and you know hopefully something can be done.
REPORTER QUESTION: After asking for a trade out of Atlanta and now asking for a trade out of Ottawa, do you worry that your, not just your on-ice value but questions about character and stability are one of the big factors in maybe not being able to get a deal done?
DH: Again, I think I’ve been on a lot of teams and a lot of Team Canadas and played with a lot of players, played for a lot of different coaches. I think everyone that I’ve played with or playe for knows I’m a good team guy, a good teammate. I don’t worry about that. I don’t worry about the question of my character. Again, the two trades have been totally different circumstances. I think coming out of Atlanta was a life decision, it was an off-ice thing. This trade is purely hockey and I think there’s two totally different trades there.
REPORTER QUESTION: Why do you think it’s taken so long for the Senators to move a player of your caliber?
DH: I don’t know. I think I’m confident that something can get done. Again, the request stands. I think and I know that there’s teams out there that are interested.
REPORTER QUESTION: Wanted to ask how you felt abou tthe Oilers doing what they can courting you, flying out to Kelowna to convince you. Were you ever close to saying yeah, let’s make this happen?
DH: Again, I thought we had some good talks with Steve and Kevin but again it has nothing to do with Edmonton, it has everything to do with what we stated at the start of the trade. We want options. I’ve always wanted options. I think I need some options in order to make the right decision.
REPORTER QUESTION: Why is Edmonton not the option? How do you feel about your public perception?
DH: I know hockey fans in Canada are passionate. I love that about Canadian hockey fans. I love playing for Canada, I love playing in Canada. It has nothing to do with Edmonton, it has everything to do with the options. That’s the bottom line. To this date there’s only been one option and I know there’s other teams out there.
REPORTER QUESTION: So they were never really an option then?
DH: They weren’t on our initial list of teams that I gave the Senators to talk to. Again, that trade, when that trade came up it came as a big surprise and I wasn’t ready at that time, nor am I now, to make that decision.
REPORTER QUESTION: I’m just wondering if there is no trade and you do report to camp if you’re prepared to turn in the assistant captain’s ‘A’?
DH: I’ll be at camp if I’m still a Senator and I’ll be ready to go.
At this point, Heatley’s agent attempts to end the call, but Heatley says he’ll answer two more questions.
REPORTER QUESTION: You signed the biggest contract in Sens history, what do you have to say to Sens fans about signing that contract and then saying you want to move on?
DH: This has noting to do with the contract. This is a straight hockey decision. Again I have nothing against the fans of Ottawa and the city of Ottawa. This is my feelings of a diminished role playing hockey and I’d like an opportunity to go somewhere I can play to the best of my capabilities and be the player I can be.
REPORTER QUESTION: Could you characterize the last conversation you had with Cory Clouston? Was it tense?
DH: I wouldn’t say it was tense. I would say it was open. Again I gave him my feeling and my thoughts and my opinion and he gave me his.