Heatley affected by diminished role
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Heatley spoke during a conference call, the first time he's commented publicly since he asked for a trade in the spring.
"When I signed in Ottawa two years ago, I felt it was to be an integral part of the team," Heatley said. "Over the last two years and more recently over the past year, I feel my role was diminished. This past season, it diminished a lot more.
"I'm a player who can play in a lot of different situations. I don't feel I was given that role on the team."
The two-time 50-goal scorer says if he's still a Senator next month, he still will report to training camp.
"I have a contract and I'm going to honor that contract," Heatley said. "At the same time, I think we know there are other teams out there who are interested, and hopefully something can get done."
He signed a $45 million, six-year contract extension less than two years ago. Heatley and coach Corey Clouston did not warm to each other after Craig Hartsburg was fired on Feb. 2.
But Heatley did not waive his no-trade clause to seal the deal. He said Edmonton was not on his list of desired destinations.
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"To this date, there's only been one option and I know there's other teams out there," Heatley said. "I'd like the opportunity to go somewhere where I can play to the best of my capabilities and be the player I can be."
Heatley comes with a hefty price tag, counting $7.5 million toward the salary cap of $56.8 million next season. He had 39 goals and 33 assists in 82 games last season, the lowest point total in four seasons with the Senators.
He asked the Atlanta Thrashers for a trade in 2005.
That year, Heatley pleaded guilty to four of six charges of vehicular homicide and was sentenced to three years of probation. He was the driver of a car in a 2003 accident that killed teammate and friend Dan Snyder.
Heatley is among those invited to the Canadian Olympic team orientation camp that starts Monday in Calgary.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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