Was traded to the Ottawa Senators for winger Marian Hossa and defenseman Greg de Vries today. Overall it was a pretty good trade for both teams. The Thrash get a legit scorer who can be counted on for 35 goals and 70 points in Hossa and de Vries is a badly needed veteran blue liner. Ottawa is getting a potential hall-of-fame candidate and playoff monster in Heatley, whose potential is absolutely huge.
Heatly wanted out of Atlanta, and I can't blame him. Number 15 was my favorite Thrasher from the moment we drafted him, when the Islanders picked that goalie first overall instead of Heater I was beside myself with joy. He was the shining star of the franchise and, hell, even the league in his first couple of years in the NHL, winning the Calder Trophy and the All-Star Game MVP. Then everything completely derailed when he was in an accident coming home from a team function with friend and teammate Dan Snyder. A few days later on October 5th, Dan died from his injuries. I remember the date well, because I lost my grandfather that day as well.
That was one of the lousiest days I've ever had, I visited him that morning at the nursing home pretty much knowing that there wasn't much time left. I left the hospital and tried to act normally, got some lunch, went to the outlets to buy some jeans and eventually went home to watch game 5 of the playoff series between the Braves and Cubs. A half hour before the game started I got the call. I knew then for a fact that the Braves would lose game 5 and the series, he was a bigger Braves fan than I was and he wouldn't have checked out early if they were going to win. I watched the game anyway and suffered through the eventual outcome. I was sad but relatively ok, and I decided to surf the web after the game, check some scores, catch up on Fark, that sort of thing. The very first headline I saw when I got online was for Dan Snyder's death which was a nice final punch in the guts for the day. My grandfather was gone, the Braves had blown it again and now my favorite player had a wrecked knee and a homicide charge looming. Needless to say October 5th is not one of my favorite days.
Thanks to Atlanta's excellent prosecutors (sarcasm tag ON)charges were finally pressed several months after the fact at the protest of pretty much all parties involved. I'm not saying that no charges should have been filed, but why do it months later when he's finally rehabilitated from his injuries and trying to play again? Instead of right after the accident? When the family of the deceased is publicly supporting him? The legal troubles paralelled the hockey troubles. The hurt knee could still be a lingering problem. The lockout wiped out almost a year of his service time since the games missed the year before were held against him for the lockout year's counted service time. While playing in Europe, he suffered another career threatening injury when an errant puck shattered the orbital bone in his left eye. The past couple of years in Atlanta have totally sucked ass for Dany and I don't blame him one bit for wanting to get out of here and just start over. On August 9th, Dany Heatley asked Thrashers GM Don Waddell to trade him. Today he was traded to the Senators.
I've lost a bunch of favorite players from my favorite teams:
Phil Niekro signed with the Yankees and I didn't cry.
Bob Horner left to play in Japan and I didn't cry.
Gerald Riggs goes to the Redskins and I didn't cry.
Dale Murphy gets traded to the Phillies and I didn't cry.
Dominique Wilkins gets traded to the Clippers (the Clippers!?!) and I didn't cry.
Jamal Anderson blows out his knee. Twice. I didn't cry.
Tom Glavine stabs us in the back. No cry. Lots of cussing though.
Hell, the entire Flames TEAM gets uncerimoniously shipped off to Calgary and I didn't cry.
Dany Heatly was traded to Ottawa today.
I'm still crying.