by SENShobo on 07/02/09 at 10:58 PM ET
From the Ottawa Senators’ website,
“I’m just worried about our team moving forward and the city of Ottawa and us bringing a championship here and winning,” Spezza said when asked about the pending trade of Heatley to the Edmonton Oilers – a deal that won’t happen unless the two-time 50-goal scorer waives the no-movement clause in his contract. “That’s the focus for our players and if Heater wants to be here with that, then we’d accept him back.
“He’s (been) a great teammate when he was here and if doesn’t want to be here, then he’s got to let us move on.”
Looking past the obvious challenge of seeing the Senators anywhere near a championship even before this debacle, more than Neil or Fisher’s previous surprise at the situation, this has been the first real sign of a stand by the team. ‘Giggles’ stepping up and being respectful towards his longtime linemate, while quietly putting the team first, is enough to give you some hope that the team can rally together finally after all the falling outs they’ve had.
When Emery was bought out, the media made enough of a scapegoat of him that the team didn’t need to stand up and speak. When Redden left for New York, he had fallen enough in standing (and was a free agent) that there was no reason to stand up and speak. Now, however, the third-highest goal-scorer since the lockout wants to lose the team he only too happily agreed to be a part of, a leader of, just one year ago.
It would be nice if someone could tell him that requesting a trade to one of the Bruins, Rangers, Red Wings, Blackhawks, Canucks, Sharks, and Kings is something of a sore point, nearly all of them first rate organizations, most of them perennial achievers. It would be great if someone could tell him that a team overflowing with defencemen probably didn’t want to pick up another dead weight in Rozsival or Redden, and that no movement clauses are to prevent movement, not to force and control it like a high-stakes game of chess where everyone comes out a loser.
The door’s going to be open a long time for Heatley to explain how things could go sour in so little time, apparently over such justifiable trivialities as have been put forth, and it might never come to a close.
But if Heatley pushing himself away from this team can get them to finally pull together, to get players like Spezza to finally step up in ways we’d been hoping patiently for, then maybe this tragedy doesn’t need to end with hemlock for all.
Here’s to hoping, anyway, after all the grief of the past few weeks.
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