Leafs GM balks at Heatley's trade talk
Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke wants nothing to do with disgruntled winger Dany Heatley of the Ottawa Senators.
Burke confirmed Wednesday that he will not pursue the two-time 50-goal sniper because Heatley went public with his trade demand.
"We're not going to be in on [Heatley]," Burke told the NHL Network. "I have certain guidelines about how players ask for trades."
Heatley, 28, has racked up 260 goals and 543 points in 507 games over seven NHL seasons since he was drafted second overall by the Atlanta Thrashers in 2000.
He had solid numbers last season, posting 39 goals and 33 assists for 72 points with a minus-11 rating in 82 games.
But that output represented his lowest totals in four seasons with the Senators.
Heatley boasted a plus-29 rating in 2005-06, a plus-31 in 2006-07 and a plus-33 in 2007-08.
Trading him could be difficult, though, because Heatley is slated to make $7.5 million US next season in the third year of a six-year, $45-million US deal he signed with Ottawa on Oct. 4, 2007.
But for Burke, it is not about money, it is about loyalty, even though just three players have had 50-goal seasons with the Maple Leafs: Rick Vaive (1981-82, 1982-83, 1983-84); Gary Leeman (1989-90); and Dave Andreychuk (1993-94).
"For a player to quietly and professionally ask for a trade, that is fair ball for me," Burke said. "For a player to pop off and say he wants out, or to leak it, in my mind you're no longer interested in your team.
"You have handcuffed the GM. As long as you're on that team, you owe them."
Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray told reporters Tuesday that he spoke with Heatley at the end of the regular season, yet learned the perennial all-star wanted out last Monday.
With files from The Canadian Press