Monday, September 14, 2009

Achilles has left the tent

"But where is my other friend?"

"Oh, him?" said Pug. "Oh, take him and welcome. Glad to have him off my hands. I never see such a drug on the market in all my born days. Priced him at five crescents in the end and even so nobody'd have him. Threw him in free with other lots and still no one would have him. Wouldn't touch him. Wouldn't look at him. Tacks, bring out Sulky."

Thus Eustace was produced, and sulky he certainly looked; for though no one would want to be sold as a slave, it is perhaps even more galling to be a sort of utility slave whom no one will buy.

("The Voyage of the Dawn Treader")

Thank goodness, the Ottawa Senators have finally traded our own Sulky, aka Dany Heatley. That was the headline on both front pages this morning; there had been a rumour on Friday, but it had been denied - I half suspected at the time that that might have been the signal that the story was true. But he's gone to the San Jose Sharks, and good riddance.

All the Ottawa sports writers are gleeful to see him gone, except for Wayne Scanlan of the Citizen. He's always had a soft spot for Heatley, and today he wrote a rueful "We shall not see his like again," dirge. Another thought Ottawa was taken on the deal, and we should have forced Heatley to play here until Christmas, to squeeze some goals from him while he's waiting to get on the Olympic team, and still motivated to work.

But as the Romans supposedly said, "It's better to go on foot than to ride an unwilling horse." I don't think someone of his graceless temperament would work BETTER this year than last, after publicly losing his trade gamble, and having to surrender to a coach he'd complained about. Add to that the guaranteed booing every time he took the ice, and I don't think we'd get anywhere near our money's worth out of him. I think The Mighty Achilles would take to sulking in his tent again, waiting for everyone else to come begging and pleading with him to save the day.

He's leaving Ottawa in smug triumph, seemingly oblivous to the disturbing that the trade was a close-run thing. Instead of Mr. Fifty Goals Hotshot spending a pleasant summer overseeing a frantic bidding war for his services, very few teams wanted anything to do with him. Now he's got his money and his favoured town to move to; I don't suppose he realizes that this may be the decisive move in his career or maybe even his life - the one where the world decides if he can FINALLY be a man who's word means something, or if in a few years he'll again have just as many good excuses for not having to live up to a contract as he has this year.


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