It's not often you see a trade of this magnitude and your initial reaction is simply one of relief! But that's the case with me right now. I'm just soooooooo happy it's done and over with.
Of course, as the season plays out we will all judge this trade to death but I think the most important part of this trade is the intangible part: clean slate. There is nothing more important, in my opinion, for the Sens this year than to put everything aside and just be a respectable hockey organization again. Over the last few years, we've gone from "model franchise" cup finalists to laughing stock, dysfunctional trailer trash. Nothing could be better for this team and it's fans than to be rid of this selfish doucher.
Now then, the trade itself. We knew all along Murray had a tough job to do, trading a very expensive player with a bad attitude and a trashed reputation. I think Murray did alright. He certainly held out as long as he absolutely could and I give him the Brass Bawls award for that, considering the incredible pressure he must have been under. It seems to me this trade must have been available to him many times this summer but he only took it when he knew there was nothing better to be had and with training camp beginning.
Michalek I like a lot. No problem with this guy at all. He's young and has lots of upside. He'll get you 25 goals and is apparently sound in all aspects of his game. A second round pick never hurts, either. Cheechoo is obviously the key to this deal and one I suspect Murray didn't really want but again, had no choice but to take. I heard someone, I believe it was Pierre McGuire but I could be wrong, say that the reason Cheechoo's numbers had dropped was because he has fought injuries and as a result had his role on the team changed. He was no longer looked to as the goal scorer. If this is true and he's healthy, and he can find some chemistry with Spezz, then maybe he can get back to a 30-40 goal guy. If he doesn't, we now have Kovalev.
And right there is another angle to this trade I really like. DEPTH!!! We FINALLY have some good scoring depth which has been an Achilles heal to this team for years. If Cheechoo can perform well we now have 2 killer scoring lines and of course the extra depth means our third and fourth lines will be that much better too.
And finally, certainly neither of these guys could be any more one dimensional than Heatley. For all his regular season goals, a guy who refuses to do anything other than stand completely still, with his stick cocked, will never be anything other than easily covered in the play-offs. Imagine what Zetterberg would do to him? He could shut Dany down in his sleep, something the Sharks are likely to discover in about 6 or 7 months. I don't see this trade helping the Sharks solve their play-off woes one bit.
In the short term, this trade may look like a win for the Sharks and as Dany (Isn't that how a girl spells Danny?) fills the net in the regular season, which I'm sure he will beside Thorton, we'll be tempted to think we may have been fleeced, especially if Cheechoo struggles. But I suspect that as we get into the spring, we may find that we now have what the Sens have needed for so long: not the better player, but the better team.
Heatley, you suck like a Leaf and I hate you for putting us through what you have, just when it looked like the team was finally coming around. I hope you blow out a knee right before the Olympics. And as Stooli would say, "Get the Hell outta heeeeryaaaah!!! Get the Hell outta heeeeryaaaah!!!"