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Russo’s Rants - Heatley-Wild trade chatter; Coaching search continues with Laviolette sitdown

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But from everything I hear, this is between Todd Richards, Peter Laviolette and eventually Paul MacLean. I don’t know exactly where Craig MacTavish sits right now. As for Heatley, there seems to be a perception out there that if the Wild loses Marian Gaborik, it can just go out and acquire $7.5 million players. It’s a lot more complex than that, especially since it’s unknown where the salary cap will dip to in the next two or three years and because the team spent $6 million a year on Niklas Backstrom. That $4.08 million salary cap hit for Pierre-Marc Bouchard the next four years tightens things up as well. Yes, the Wild could take Heatley’s $7.5 million cap hit the next five years, but it would affect any flexibility or ability to plug other holes, like center and defenseman though the end of his contract. And remember, Mikko Koivu’s a UFA after two seasons and Brent Burns after three seasons. It’s imperative in today’s day and age to think that far ahead. With that said, however, I am sure Chuck Fletcher will investigate what Ottawa GM Bryan Murray would want in a package if — and I repeat, if — he moves Heatley, who’s top-three in goals per game the last several years along with Kovalchuk and Ovechkin. He’s a true superstar, and if you want to make a splash as a first-year GM, well, Heatley would be more like a tidal wave.

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