After all, Heatley is absolutely the real deal. Anyone who thinks he will be a "bust" is allowing their (understandably negative) feelings get in the way of the fact that Heatley is absolutely one of the top five goal scorers in the league. He could genuinely flirt with joining Alex Ovechkin in the ultra-rare 60 Goal Club.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
The bleak salary cap future for San Jose and Chicago ... without an anti-semite to save them
Should FTF go from "Fear the Fin" to "Fuck the Future"?
It's tough to avoid that question with San Jose's bold trade of Dany Heatley and a 5th rounder for Jonathan Cheechoo, Milan Michalek and a 2nd-rounder. Certainly, it's a smarter cap-based move than shipping Patrick Marleau to Ottawa because Patty M's cap hit will dissolve after next season. Yet it begs the question: why exactly do the Sharks feel like the doomsday clock is approaching zero already?
Ever since the San Jose Sharks reached The Next Level after the Joe Thornton trade, the team kept getting older and older. The team seems to keep producing young talent, only to ship them out in favor of guys who - while often superior - are getting a little longer in the tooth.
Steve Bernier, Matt Carle, Michalek and many others have been shuttled out to make room for Rob Blake, Dan Boyle and other expensive veterans. Again, it hasn't always been the wrong move but old over new is a trend that ultimately caught up with the Colorado Avalanche and might (evenutally? maybe?) catch up with Detroit.
Going forward, the Sharks have three extremely big contracts: Thornton ($7.2 million per year through 2010-11); Heatley ($7.5 million through 2013-14) and Dan Boyle (with his satanic $6.66 million through 2013-14). Now - don't get me wrong - I'd rather shell out about $21 million for Heatley-Thornton-Boyle instead of wasting almost $13 million on the Cristobal Huet-Brian Campbell shit sandwich.
But what will become of San Jose's depth?
Devin Setoguchi could be in line for a really nice raise if he puts up another feisty, 30-plus goal season. Joe Pavelski faces one more season in which he'll be an underpaid gem, then he could see some really nice green. Even big contract guys like Evgeni Nabokov and Marleau will either need to be re-signed or replaced by comparable talent.
That being said, this trade makes Heatley an absolute top-10 fantasy hockey talent and re-establishes Jumbo Joe as a great guy to snag if you cannot get one of the Big Three.
It also will make San Jose one of the teams I'll watch the most closely once the season starts. (Ah, the glories of Center Ice)
More than anything else, it's going to be interesting as hell. Will the Sharks prosper from pushing all their chips to the middle of the table? Or will some bad metaphor gangsters break their knee caps after this Shaky Chemistry Gamble fails profoundly?
I can't wait to find out.