Senators move on

The Ottawa Senators were anything but sad to take to the ice Sunday without Dany Heatley, the best goal-scorer in their history.

The Ottawa Senators were anything but sad to take to the ice Sunday without Dany Heatley, the best goal-scorer in their history.

It was nothing personal against the disgruntled left-winger, who had his trade request finally granted after a deal was struck Saturday with the San Jose Sharks.

But the end of the summer-long saga came much to the relief of his former teammates and makes the team better, at least in the estimation of captain Dan­iel Alfredsson.

“I still think we could have worked it out and we would have been OK, but this is obviously something that would have happened eventually, and getting it done earlier is a big plus,” Alfredsson said following the team’s first on-ice session of training camp.

Even longtime linemate Jason Spezza, Heatley’s closest friend on the team, admitted the deal that brings right-winger Jonathan Chee­­choo, once a 56-goal scorer, and left-winger Milan Michalek was in the best interest of all involved.

“It was a tough situation for both of us,” Spezza said. “He wanted out and I wanted what’s best for our club.”

The teams also swapped 2010 draft picks, with the Senators giving up a fifth-round selection for San Jose’s second-round choice.

Earlier this summer, Heatley claimed he wanted out because of his unhappiness with his diminished role, particularly under coach Cory Clouston. Later, he hinted at personal reasons as the cause. In the end, he never did reveal why he sought a move.

 
 
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