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Well, Roy Mlakar may assume fans don't want to discuss the future, but if that were the case, would The Man be on the job? From Darren Dreger at TSN.ca:

Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk is expected to meet with Dany Heatley's agent, J.P. Barry on Thursday in Ottawa.

And based on preliminary discussions, the Senators are aware of Heatley's expectations.

It's believed that Heatley is seeking an average salary of $8.5 million and a multi-year term similar to what Daniel Briere, Chris Drury and Scott Gomez agreed to this summer.

The question is, will Eugene Melnyk pay it?

Former Senator Zdeno Chara was allowed to walk into free agency and was immediately snapped up by the Boston Bruins.

Ottawa refused to overspend to hold on to the giant defenceman, focusing instead on signing veteran blueliner Wade Redden. In light of the struggles that Chara and the Bruins were forced to deal with last season, one might wonder if on some days Chara wishes he had a mulligan!

Ottawa remains a powerhouse and Heatley is one of the Senators' most feared players on offence.

With back-to-back 50-goal seasons, his stock has never been higher. If that trend continues as an unrestricted free agent, Heatley will challenge, if not surpass, Sidney Crosby's average of $8.7 million.

Thursday's meeting between owner and agent could go a long way in determining Heatley's future in Ottawa.

I'll be shocked if they hammer something out in time, but if fans want Heatley to stay, this is the right course of action to take -- and allowing the media to get a sniff of pro-active behaviour will always garner brownie points.


Another day, another application of the hammer from Alvin, although you may not have caught this one if you weren't paying attention. We'll be the first to admit that we had reservations about his promotion to head coach (and still do), but damned if he doesn't make things interesting. Today's quote was far more subtle. Here's Ray on his wrist:

"I'm just working hard at getting back right now. I obviously want to get some games in, but I've got to make sure that I'm not going to get hurt when I get in there," said Emery. "I'm close, but I'm not where I want to be as far as playing a game. It's kind of frustrating for me right now, but I'll get in there."

And here's Alvin's response:

"I think his wrist is fine, watching him a little bit in practice," said Paddock. "He's not taking shots like he did last year where he was always favouring it. I think it's just a matter of feeling comfortable with being back in the live competition.

"It's (about) where (he's) at and feeling comfortable. It's not injuring the hand, it's just about facing shooters and not wanting to embarrass himself. It's as much that as anything."

Paddock basically said it was all in Ray's noodle. Fabulous. I'm waiting for the day when he warns Ray openly that the Manatee is warming up to bitch-slap him with his flippers, because you know he's out for that No. 1 spot.

I honestly can't believe that all fans aren't as gung-ho about Paddock's call-outs as I am. (In case you missed Sunday's paper, it was the topic of this week's column.) I came across one blog that questioned Paddock's treatment of Nick Foligno due to rookie's age (Foligno is 19). Seriously? Foligno's cockiness was palpable in June at the rookie camp, despite his average-to-subpar outing. Then when training camp hit, a hefty portion of the media were ready to anoint him to the squad, similar to Alexei Kaigorodov last year. Ten to one says that rubbed Alvin the wrong way from the get-go. Is that Foligno's fault? No. But if word has it that he's the next big thing for the Sens (and he's content to act like it), he'd better bring it. Or else.


That'll have to do for now. The Driver and I are heading out of town for a bit, so this place will be quiet until the weekend at the latest, although I don't want to stay silent for that long. I keep hoping that the pre-season will be over when we return -- idle wishes, I suppose. Be good, and I'll talk to you in a few days...yeah hey.