POINT BLANK

Wednesday, 08.24.2005 / 12:00 AM ET / News
New York Islanders
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Why the Thrashers, Sens & NHL Should Be Very, Very Proud

Imagine that. According to Stacy McAlpine, the agent for Dany Heatley, Tuesday's blockbuster trade that saw his star client go to Ottawa for the amazing Marian Hossa was the product of weeks of discussion.

Somehow, in this era of rampant rumoring and psychotic cyber-Pelles who tease the die-hards with seventh-hand information, the news that one of our game's potential superstars was available in a trade for weeks never got out.

Everyone involved should be very proud, including the NHL - which has taken its fair share of shots, but had a great day yesterday.

To recap: after a car crash in the fall of 2003 that resulted in the death of his close friend and Thrashers teammate Dan Snyder, Heatley a few weeks ago requested a trade because he needed a "change of environment." This had to be tough for the Thrashers, who have been building around young studs like Heatley and Ilya Kovachuk and goalie Kari Lehtonen.

To their everlasting credit, they did the right thing. Perhaps as a reward from the hockey and other gods for their class and big-heartedness, they found a partner needing cap relief and acquired Hossa and a much-needed veteran dman in Greg de Vries. The Thrashers may have traded a franchise player, but it's very possible they became a better team for at least the next three years.

So bravo, Don Waddell and the rest of the Thrashers staff. Same to John Muckler and the Senators organization, for staying mum despite the swarming Garrioches and Panzeris in hockey-loving Ottawa. To any of the GMs that Waddell approached, our eternal respect for keeping it in-house. The professionalism of McAlpine and all the other agents involved in the transaction should be heralded, too.

(Come to think of it, we should also acknowledge the press. I know how these things work. It's rare to pull off a mega-deal like this without one reporter hearing about it until the day it's done. So if anyone out there in the hockey media knew about it and agreed to stay quiet for the sake of Dany Heatley and everyone else involved, our hats are off to you.)

The finishing touch was a lovely statement that Heatley released to the fans  of Atlanta. In part, it said:

"I feel fortunate to have come into the NHL with Atlanta and will always be proud to say I was a Thrasher. The Thrashers have acquired a world-class player in Marian Hossa. All in all, this is a win-win situation for everyone and I wish the best of luck to the Thrashers. I appreciate the support the organization has given me over the years and I'd like to thank them for honoring my request."

It's a beautiful day when a bunch of professionals get together and get it right for the good of the game, two franchises and a young man who's been through a lot. It was the NHL's best day in a long time.

During the course of the season, Islanders VP/Communications Chris Botta will write mercifully-short commentaries on the media and business of the NHL and the Islanders.

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
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11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
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13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Bailey 2 1 2 1 3
R. Strome 2 2 0 1 2
B. Nelson 2 2 0 2 2
K. Okposo 2 1 1 1 2
J. Tavares 2 0 2 1 2
C. Clutterbuck 2 1 0 1 1
C. de Haan 2 0 1 0 1
M. Martin 2 0 1 0 1
L. Visnovsky 2 0 1 3 1
F. Nielsen 2 0 1 0 1
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 1 1 0 .917 2.52

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