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THN.com Blog: Communication breakdown

Dany Heatley had his worst season since the lockout with 72 points and has demanded a trade out of Ottawa. (Getty Images)

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Dany Heatley had his worst season since the lockout with 72 points and has demanded a trade out of Ottawa. (Getty Images)

For today’s blog, here’s some hockey news mixed in with some not-hockey news:

• If the intent of Dany Heatley’s press conference last week was to reconstruct his battered image and detail the many reasons why he still is demanding a trade out of Ottawa, the mission was not accomplished.

Indeed, all the press conference did was further enrage the hockey commentariat. And it wasn’t only the local media pundits in Ottawa who weren’t willing to believe Heatley’s excuses; he also got carved by veteran writers from Edmonton, Toronto and the grand majority of hockey-loving locales.

The best thing Heatley could’ve done at the media-meet-and-(sort-of)-greet wasn’t to stubbornly stick to vague explanations as the rationale behind his decision. Instead, he should have swallowed his pride, recommitted to the Senators organization for the short term and allowed GM Bryan Murray to revisit a potential trade once his player-swapping colleagues stop pitching lowball offers for Heatley’s services.

It’s too late for that to take place, though. That’s why you won’t see an iota of empathy for Heatley outside his circle of family and advisors; once again, he’s in a mess of his own making – and until he mans up, buckles down and makes his employer’s best interests his first priority, the only teams that will be interested in taking him off Ottawa’s hands will be franchises even more desperate than he is.

And you know what that type of hastily arranged marriage eventually will lead to – another trade demand.

• Really, KFC? The “Double Down” Sandwich, featuring a bacon-and-cheese center with two pieces of fried chicken as the bun? At this rate, are napkins made out of popcorn chicken that far away?

• Somebody better advise NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to dust off his “I disagree with the premise of your question” answering machine, because if the president of the Women’s National Basketball Association is correct in suggesting her league has a better TV deal than the NHL has, Bettman’s got a lot of wriggling and rationalizing to do.

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• Finally, I saw this headline over the weekend:

Plane hit by 3 cars after Calif. freeway landing

Stunned at the peculiar wording of the headline, I read on:

Aug 23rd, 2009 | SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- Authorities say a small airplane was struck by three vehicles just after it made an emergency landing on a California freeway.

(…)

California Highway Patrol Officer James Richards says three cars were unable to avoid the plane and crashed into it. He says the occupants of the plane and the cars were not injured.

 
At the risk of sounding like an automobile industry advocate, I believe this is a clear case of blaming the victim. If the cars propelled themselves upward and played smash-up derby with the plane 5,000 feet in the air, nobody would be more proud of that headline than I, but the laws of physics render moot that possibility. Who wrote this story, the plane’s insurance adjuster?

Adam Proteau, co-author of the book The Top 60 Since 1967, is writer and columnist for The Hockey News and a regular contributor to THN.com. His blog will appear regularly in the off-season, his Ask Adam feature appears Fridays and his column, Screen Shots, appears Thursdays.

For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, Subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.

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