Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Hossa Traded For Heatley

First, the Ottawa Senators signed Marian Hossa to a 3-year, $18 million deal. They then traded him to the Atlanta Thrashers for Dany Heatley, and signed Heatley to a 3-year, $13.5 million contract. Defenseman Greg deVries also goes to the Thrashers. If you had told me previously that the Senators would be able to exchange Hossa for Heatley, and at the same time chop off almost $4.5 million off their payroll (deVries was scheduled to make $2.28 million this season)... I would have told you that you were nuts.

Hossa didn't endear himself to Senators fans by demanding Iginla-type money. Hossa's and Iginla's stats may be similar - see Jes Golbez's comparison chart - but that's where the similarities end. While Iginla was leading the Calgary Flames to within one win of the Stanley Cup, Hossa was hiding behind Zdeno Chara and again fading early in the playoffs.

Heatley himself comes to Ottawa with some question marks. The Dan Snyder tragedy took its toll on him and he asked for a trade out of Atlanta a week ago. However, he is one of the most promising, young stars in the league and he only needs to return to his form of two years ago to justify this trade. He obviously hopes that a return to the Great White North - to be closer to family among other things - can facilitate this.

In my humble opinion, Ottawa wins this trade. Heatley is bigger, younger and tougher. But perhaps more importantly, the Sens now have the cap space to re-sign Wade Redden. The choice essentially became one between keeping Hossa and deVries, or Heatley and Redden - and I would have easily made the same choice.

From a local perspective, I am curious to see what Redden signs for. Vancouver Canucks defenseman Ed Jovanovski is an unrestricted free agent after this season, and I believe Redden is one his comparables - what Redden signs for will impact what Jovanovski will command in the summer.
posted by J.J. Guerrero, 10:55 PM


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