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Deadline passes, but no deal on Heatley

by Dan Rosen /
The Edmonton Oilers wanted Dany Heatley, and the Ottawa Senators were more than willing to let him go. But the two-time 50-goal scorer wasn't willing to change teams -- at least not right now -- and that refusal will cost the Senators $4 million.

TSN reported early Thursday that Heatley declined to waive his no-movement clause and agree to a deal that would have sent him to Edmonton. In return for Heatley, who has asked Ottawa General Manager Bryan Murray for a trade, the Oilers would have sent Andrew Cogliano, Dustin Penner and Ladislav Smid to Ottawa.

The Senators were hoping to send Heatley to Edmonton on Wednesday, enabling them to avoid paying him a $4 million bonus that was due by the end of the day on July 1. But despite a reported face-to-face meeting between Heatley and the Oilers on Wednesday night, he didn't agree to the deal before the deadline -- leaving the Senators on the hook for the $4 million.

According to media reports, Heatley had given Murray a list of teams he would go to -- and Edmonton was not one of them. Sun Media reported the New York Rangers, San Jose, Boston, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Detroit, Calgary and Chicago were on the list -- but Edmonton was not. Many of the teams to which Heatley would have accepted a deal are tight against the salary cap and not likely to have the flexibility to take on Heatley's contract, which reportedly has five years and $37.5 million remaining.

If Heatley had been dealt Wednesday, the team that acquired him would be on the hook for the $4 million. Instead, Ottawa will have to pay him the bonus and may wind up stuck with a disgruntled player in the fall if it can't work out a deal.

Any hopes Heatley had of going to the Rangers may have evaporated Wednesday night when New York signed Marian Gaborik to a five-year contract -- one night after freeing up cap room by dealing center Scott Gomez to Montreal. Calgary (Jay Bouwmeester), Chicago (Marian Hossa) and Vancouver (Daniel and Henrik Sedin) also made major free-agent signings Tuesday or Wednesday.

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