PITTSBURGH -- Is Senators winger Dany Heatley seeking his ticket out of Ottawa? Sources tell me that is the case.
According to those sources, Ottawa GM Bryan Murray has been notified of Heatley's desire for a change of scenery and is mulling his options. On the record, though, Murray said Heatley is still a Senator.
"We signed him to a long-term deal and we expect him to honor it," Murray told ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun on Tuesday morning. "At this point in time, he's a Senator."
Murray could retool the Senators' roster by moving Heatley. Of course, any trading partner would have to have the budget room necessary to accommodate the remaining five years of Heatley's deal, which counts for $7.5 million against the cap. Heatley is thought to be interested in a move to the Western Conference.
The 28-year-old power forward signed a six-year, $45 million contract extension (complete with a no-trade clause) with the Senators in Oct. 2007, just four months after helping the club to its first Cup finals appearance. Since then, however, the Senators have plummeted down the Eastern Conference standings, missing the playoffs this past season.
Last season, Heatley scored 39 goals and totaled 72 points in 82 games. Those were his lowest single-season goal and point totals in his four seasons in Ottawa. He put up back-to-back 50-goal, 100-point campaigns during the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons.