OTTAWA (Reuters) - Ottawa Senators traded disgruntled forward Dany Heatley to the San Jose Sharks for Jonathan Cheechoo and power forward Milan Michalek Saturday.
With NHL training camps set to open, the trade ends a bitter off-season standoff in the Canadian capital that began when Heatley demanded a move out of Ottawa after a falling out with coach Cory Clouston.
Ottawa had been seeking fair value for the Heatley, one of the NHL’s top goal scorers, and believed they had deal done earlier this summer with the Edmonton Oilers.
But Heatley, who has a no trade clause in his contract, refused the trade, leaving few options but to return to Ottawa for training camp.
"When I looked (Heatley) in the eye and talked to him, I knew the minute he walked out the door that I had to trade him," Senators general manager Bryan Murray said on the team's website (senators.nhl.com). "I didn't think there was any chance (he'd change his stance)."
Heatley has twice scored 50 goals in a single season and recorded 543 points (260 goals, 283 assists) in seven seasons with Ottawa and Atlanta.
Last year the 28-year-old sniper finished ninth in NHL goal scoring with 39 and is a strong candidate for a spot on Canada’s team at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
Heatley represented Canada at the 2006 Games and has played in six world championships, winning gold in 2003 and 2004.
Cheechoo is also a former-50 goal scorer, potting 56 during the 2005-06 season but the rugged winger has never come close to matching that performance, collecting just 12 goals and 29 points last season.
Michalek, the six overall pick in the 2003 NHL draft, is rated an emerging talent with 23 goals and 34 assists for San Jose last season.
”We’ve put the focus back where it should be and that’s on the people wearing the (Senators) uniform,“ said Murray. ”We give ourselves a chance to be a tight-knit team.
“I wish (Heatley) good luck. I hope he’s happy. I hope he plays well out there.”
Writing by Steve Keating in Lemont, editing by Dave Thompson