Heatley may be forced to start season in Ottawa

August, 20, 2009
08/20/09
2:37
PM ET
It was 2 months ago during the Stanley Cup finals that ESPN The Magazine's E.J. Hradek broke the story that Dany Heatley wanted out of Ottawa.

The star winger remains property of the Senators despite the club's best efforts to deal him.

"There's still nothing happening," Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray told ESPN.com on Thursday. "I wish I had something new to say, but there's really nothing."

A deal with the Edmonton Oilers was nixed by Heatley himself. The Oilers, wisely, have since withdrawn the offer. The San Jose Sharks have looked like the most logical destination given their desire to shake up their roster and the tantalizing potential of a Heatley-Joe Thornton partnership. There have been talks between the Sharks and Sens, but to no avail.

So, I asked Murray, with the clock ticking toward the start of training camp in mid-September, do you start to think about having Heatley return to your team despite everything that's happened?

"I plan to continue to talk to teams, but I think fairly soon we're going to have to make that call," Murray said. "Maybe we have a call with [agents] J.P. [Barry] and Stacey [McAlpine] and tell them what's out there and that it's not happening and inform Dany that, unfortunately, there's no option for him right now.

"I continue to talk to people, but nobody has come up with any real offer that is worthwhile for me."

Given the vitriol in Ottawa this summer from fans and media, one wonders how Heatley could possibly return and wear that uniform again. But Murray thinks his market could accept it.

"I believe so," said Murray. "Certainly the players have great respect for Dany. I think the marketplace, there would probably be some initial criticism, but beyond that, all people want from players is that they try hard and play well. Dany does that."

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