Understanding the 'Milkbag' meltdown
How could a player who signed a $7.5 million dollar contract suddenly want out 1 year into his contract. A little look at the cir*****stances of Dany “Milkbag” Heatley’s meltdown. (Milkbag is Dany’s nick given to him by the players, he’s a little chubby and very white, not a good tan)1. PIZZA LINE – The #1 reason for Heatley wanting a trade out of Ottawa is for on ice purposes. When Heatley arrived, Spezza was the set-up man, Heater the finisher and Alfie the everything guy on the line. Spezza in Heatley’s first season took 120 shots, last season Spezza took 240. Spezza is holding onto the puck a ton more and shooting, not dishing to Heatley really at all. Heatley is a distraction for oppposing D-man now for Spezza instead of his main target. Last season as a Sens fan I would watch and yell at the players on the PP to get Heatley the puck. No doubt last season and definetly this season Heatley does not touch the puck nearly as much as he should. His shooting percentage is what it was when he arrived, but his shot totals dropped significantly, hence his goal totals last season. Spezza has turned into a scoring center instead of a passing center and Heatley wants the puck more. Heatley wants onto a team and a line where he can play with the puck more, shoot more and be the focus of the top PP unit.
2. BRYAN MURRAY – Since firing John Muckler, the Sens have not won a playoff game and missed the playoffs last season. This after being 3 wins away from the Cup. Brian Murray is a mess and the Sens have been since he took over. The Emery fiasco, Meszaros, the way he treated Redden and tried to force him out, his deadline deals last season for useless players like Claude Lapointe, Mike Commodore. trading skill like Corvo for slow players questionable moves for players like Jason Smith, makes a lot of Sens nation (and probably Heatley included) think Murray is a fool.
Murrays 2 biggest mistakes have unquesionably been been not finding a real goalie in place of the disaster that was Martin Gerber and the coaching GONG SHOW in Ottawa. Say what you want about Murray, but the proof is in the pudding, and Murray has taken a Stanley Cup finalist and model franchise and in 2 seasons turned the team into a complete disarray, a poison.
3. NO ‘A’ FOR YOU MILKBAG – From what I can gather, after the season was over Coach Cory Clouston asked Heatkey for his ‘A’ back and wanted to give it to player who plays every shift hard, like Fisher, Volchenkov or Kelly. Heatley was once considered Captain material in Atlanta and when he arrived in Ottawa, he was an Assistant on Team Canada. This apparently was the straw that broke Heatley’s camel back and triggered the trade demands that led to the letter asking for a trade.
4. MEDIA – This season, Heatley turned on the media in Ottawa and the media returned the favour, saying they had been more then kind to Heatley and started to bring up his past and question his attitude and on ice performance. Heatley I imagine hates the press after the reaction from bloggers, reporters and hockey sites calling for him to be put in prison for life. His accident was horrible and to have people turn on him after his friend died has probably left him with deep scares and resentment for the media. The Ottawa media was turning on Heatley and he wanted out before it got worse. Seeing how they treated Spezza and Redden, the guns were now turning to Heatley, he wanted to escape before it turned vile and their relationship soured to the point of hatred.
5. COACH CLOUSTON – Heatley’s sees his role on the team to score goals. No problem there, but Coach Clouston wants him to play more of a complete game like the players in Detroit. Fundamentally they could not agree on his overall game, Heatley says he gets paid to score goals, Clouston says he gets paid to perform for the coach. They have a workable relationship, but Heatley wants the freedom to score and not turn into a Hossa type player who sacrifces goals and points for a good back-check.
6 – CLOSER TO HOME/FRESH START – When Dany left Atlanta, Ottawa was not necesarily his first choice. I think now he wants to play in a new market, get a fresh start with the media and coaching staff, maybe be closer to home and get his stats back into the 50 goal, 100 point range. Get into a new environment where he will have a new challenge and get out of Ottawa were nothing has gone right for the last 2 seasons and things seem to be going south faster then anybody could have imgained when Heatley singed 2 years ago.
6. AGENT SCREW UP – When Heatley’s agents made the trade request, they made a serious miscalculation and have obviously put his client in a massively horrible spot, NOBODY WANTS HIM. Huge agent screw up in the Heatley camp. Heatley hired JP Barry over Stacey Maclapine when he wanted out of Atlanta. Thinking they had done the trade request once before with positive results they probably thought there would be a great market for a 50 goal man. Now Heatley’s name, his reputation and the Ottawa Senators have all taken a massive hit. Huge screw up by the agents, Heatley is left looking selfish, uncoachable and follish. His role on Team Canada 2010 is being quesitoned as his commitment to winning and his loyalty to anybody but himself.