Honest to goodness, when I read that the Senators were giving Marian Hossa a three-year contract for $5 million, $6 million, and $7 million, my first thought was that Ottawa was looking to move him.
Under the NHL cap, contracts are averaged, so $18 million over three years averages to $6 million a year. The only reason to stagger the money like that would be to let him play in Ottawa for a season and then trade him away, saving the Senators a cool million while getting Hossa all the money he felt so strongly he deserved.
So imagine my shock when I saw the Senators had traded him a few hours later.
For Atlanta Thrasher Dany Heatley.
How crazy is that?
It seems Heatley wanted out of Atlanta, due to his part in the 2003 crash that killed his teammate Dan Snyder.
So Ottawa gets an NHL star just starting to hit his prime. Heatley gets to play for a solid team that looks destined for the playoffs.
Atlanta, however, gets a moody-yet-offensive weapon. But they also get defenseman Greg de Vries. I think defense was a big part of this for Atlanta. Obviously, they wanted to get back an offensive player, but I think they also wanted an experienced, super solid defenseman, something Ottawa has a surplus of.
The Thrashers had their hands tied. One of their star players wanted out for personal reasons.
It looks like they figured out how to make the best of a tough situation.
Plus, the Thrashers can always flip Hossa when the time is right.
And, I’m guessing Peter Bondra is no longer coming to Atlanta.