It seems to be rather popular among the Insiderrp crowd to pretend that Dany Heatley is on the trading block. Roughly two weeks ago, King Insiderrp, II had Heatley donning a Penguins sweater before the season started. It was not difficult to debunk that one, failing four tests, and passing one other only if you were willing to accept the Wild would take three mediocre players for one aging scorer.
We weren't willing to do so, nor was anyone else in the world of rational thought.
Today, the Kingdom of Never Never Land News reports that King Insiderrp, II has suggested Heatley is on his way to the Tampa Bay Lightning. This tool really is the gift that keeps on giving. Hopefully next Heater is off to somewhere exotic, like Bora Bora. Now THAT would be a story.
Join me as I tear this rumor a new one.
Debunking the Rumor
Salary Cap Space
The Bolts have $6.9 million in available cap space for the coming season. Heatley's cap hit remains steady at $7.5 million. In other words, the Bolts need to return at least $600K to the Wild to make this work. Not completely out of the realm of possibility, but it is a bit tough to swallow that the Wild would simply give Heatley up for Adam Hall.
Hell, it is tough to believe the Wild are giving up a guy like Heatley for less than a package of picks, as mentioned just this week by Mr. Russo. (Note: Russo did not say Heatley. He said "contracts" for picks.) In other words, Chuck Fletcher doesn't seem altogether too interested in a deal that brings back a player at all. We'll get to that in a minute.
For now, know that trading Heatley would most likely need to be for picks, something the Bolts simply do not have the room to do.
Cap Space is a Fail.
The Wild giving up a player would be more than OK, so long as only one player comes back, or no players at all. If it is going to be one player, you can bet the Wild are going to want someone with some talent in return if it is straight up, one for one. It just so happens that Steven Stamkos has the exact same cap hit as Heatley does. Now there's a trade Fletcher makes, folks.
Ryan Malone would qualify, but are the Wild really interested in a guy who scores roughly the same amount as Heatley, is two years older, and signed for an extra year beyond Heatley's deal?
Oh! Hey! Look! The Bolts just inked Benoit Pouliot! This one is solved. Heater for Benny. Done deal!
Roster Space is a Qualified Pass
The Wild still sit with 49 contracts, according to Russo. The Wild simply cannot take on an extra player or two in any deal. It would have to be giving Heatley up for picks or only one player. The list of individual players that would be attractive to the Wild would be rather short from the Bolts. Matt Carle just signed there, so trading him would be a bit tricky. Victor Hedman is nothing special with his $4 million contract. Vincent LeCalvalier isn't going anywhere, nor is Martin St. Louis and his 35+ contract.
Available Contracts is a fail.
No Trade Clauses
NTCs abound on these two teams. Heatley still has one, Carle has one, Vinny has one, St. Louis has one, Carle has one, Malone has one... All of the players that may be involved (and remember, a player has to be involved to make the cap work) have NTCs. None of the players on that list seem overly excited about uprooting their lives.
No Trade Clauses is a fail.
The Sniff Test
This is my favorite part. The Bolts can't offer up a package of picks, because the cap doesn't work. They can't offer up a prospect, because that still doesn't lower their cap. They can't offer a package of players, because the Wild don't have the contracts to do that. The players the Wild would be interested in aren't leaving the Bolts, and Heatley isn't likely waiving his NTC to go to Tampa. They always seem to forget Heatley seems to like it here, and has these two brand new star players to play with.
Finally, Russo reported this:
Fletcher from Friday: "Just let things play out. Let's just see where we're at before we start making moves. We're deeper on defense, and up front, our depth is exceptional. We're as deep as any team in the league up front. And we have really good depth in goal. So I think the important thing is let's see where we're at and let's see where we are health-wise, let's see who plays well and who doesn't and let the players sort everything out for us - whether its from a health perspective or a performance perspective and make adjustments as we need to instead of guessing."
Contrary to the idiotic trade rumors invented by Twitter "insiders," Fletcher says he literally has nothing going right now in terms of trade talk with other teams.
Here again, King Insiderrp, II would tell you that Fletcher is more comfortable telling Russo a lie to cover the fact he is working on a deal to move Heatley. I would tell you Feltcher is not going to flat out lie to a reporter. It just isn't what GMs do. They might not tell the reporter everything, or anything at all, but unless there are mandated privacy policies, generally GMs don't want to ruin the relationship with a reporter. If Fletcher tells Russo there have been no talks, there have been no talks.
The point here is, it's August. How many block buster trades go down in August?
Once again, this all adds up to a blow hard trying to rile people up (and it worked yet again if you read Twitter feeds) and get people to keep following him. Hell, he bought followers, and then claimed someone did it for him. It's just unreal that people continue to buy this crap.
Side note: the deadline to submit a blog sample to his Holy Moronicness to be his Wild blogger has passed. I can't wait to see which loser he got to do that for him. I really should have submitted something.