Speaking exclusively on 630 CHED's "Inside Sports with Dan Tencer", NHLPA Executive Director Paul Kelly broke his silence on the Dany Heatley saga on Wednesday night.
"I think that this been kind of twisted in a negative way, which is unfortunate for Dany. I think he's just a victim of a bad set of circumstances," said Kelly about Heatley, who requested a trade earlier in the off-season.
"While it is true that he requested a trade, it was not Dany Heatley or his agent that made that fact public. I think Dany's been unfairly treated by the media and by the (Senators) organization."
While the Senators have recently started to make public overtures that seem to indicate a willingness to have Heatley back for the upcoming season, the player himself has remained totally silent. Silence, Paul Kelly believes, is a big part of where this situation deteriorated. Speaking about the relationship between Heatley, his agent Stacey McAlpine and Senators GM Bryan Murray, Kelly says all parties didn't do a good enough job communicating at the outset. "It's clear that they didn't have enough of a conversation to clarify where they were at," Kelly said. "Unfortunately this thing has taken a bit of a bad twist. We think that Dany has been getting a bit of a raw deal. I think the day will come that he'll have his opportunity to clarify some of these things. Where it will be, nobody really knows."
At this point, the only 2 options that seem available to Heatley are a return to Ottawa or accepting a deal to go to Edmonton, assuming the Oilers and Senators could rekindle their trade partnership. On Friday night, Oilers Assistant GM Kevin Prendergast was a guest on "Inside Sports" when he expressed serious doubt that Heatley would be coming to Edmonton. "I think we've given up hope on the Heatley scenario; but, I guess it's not dead in the water," said Prendergast. "But, at this point, it looks like we'll go to camp with the same team we finished with last year outside of a new goaltender."
Despite those sentiments, Paul Kelly says Dany Heatley isn't ruling anything out. "I know that Dany doesn't harbour any ill will towards Edmonton and, in fact, would seriously consider playing for the Edmonton Oilers," relayed Kelly.
Hear the entire interview by downloading the podcast at: http://www.630ched.com/podcasts