Thursday, August 25, 2005

Smart moves by the Sens

Well first off my apologies for my absence of the last week, family matters took me out of town and away from the world wide web and it's HockeyNation blogsite. But back we are and now to catch up on the developments of yet another busy week for the NHL.

Nice to see my Sens make a move that should pay off sometime in the area of oh, lets say May and June. With Marian Hossa's I'm bigger than the team approach taken care of nicely by John Muckler, the Sens GM has sent a message to his players that it's a team effort in Ottawa. A message that the worker bees had best remember and perhaps will be greatly relieved to see as the Sens make a move to benefit the team as a whole and not just yet one more over expectant player.

Hossa who is obviously a gifted player decided that he was worthy of big money numbers that would have placed him above the team Captain and current franchise player Daniel Alfredsson. Hossa has provided Ottawa with many exciting nights in the regular season, but like a few of his fellow Sens the playoffs seem to send him to the witness relocation program at times.

By signing him to a deal and then eliminating his distraction, Muckler pulled off an amazing move. He brought in what should be a Grade A asset in Heatley, created room in his salary cap ratio which will come in handy on the Redden and Chara contracts and most importantly eliminated a player who had said he wanted to play hardball with management.

Dany Heatley needed a break from the fishbowl that had become Atlanta, now his past problems no doubt have impacted on his career since that fateful night and one wonders if he'll ever be the player he was destined to be. But in an era of second chances in the NHL, Heatley will no doubt want to take full advantage of the change that Ottawa will provide. How he handles the pressure will be an interesting study into what his future path will be like.

As for Hossa, I'm not sure what kind of advice Mr. Hossa received from his agent but putting a gun to John Muckler's head has never particularly been an effective ploy. Ted Nolan who committed far less sins than Hossa and his agent found himself exorcised from hockey for a number of years by crossing Muckler, so Hossa should be thankful that the only heat he will feel will be the warm Georgia sunshine.

As for the hockey aspect of all of this, in the end of course it will be the team that gets closer to the Stanley Cup that will claim the victory in this trade. With Ottawa already a pretty strong team now made stronger by Heatley, the edge should go the way of the Sens. Hossa will fit in well with the Thrashers and if he truly does enjoy his Springs to be carefree and hockey free he may find Atlanta more to his liking.

Hossa put in a number of good years for Sens fans something that they should not forget, but the tone of the negotiations with the Sens was ugly from the start. By taking that approach Hossa and his agent sent the message that perhaps the Sens might be better off without his efforts on his behalf.

With a quality player in Heatley in return and the cash on hand now to make two other current Sens more comfortable in Ottawa, the Hossa legacy may be a building block to the Stanley Cup final for Ottawa.

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