Brian Burke was right. I don't like to say those words but I can't argue with his position.
Regarding the recent Dany Heatley trade request debacle in Ottawa, Burke went on the record saying that he and Toronto weren't in the market for the high scoring winger. His reasons ranged from the tactful "...I have certain guidelines on how players ask for trades," to the blunt "I'm not kissing anyone's ass to play in my town, so to hell with you..."
Tell us how you really feel, Brian.
I can't blame the guy though. Once a guy requests a trade it shows he has given up. He's given up on you as a GM, your coach, and every other guy in that locker room. Now am I saying everything can be worked out without a trade? That requesting a trade should never happen? No, not at all, but the fact that Ottawa GM Brian Murray was surprised by this request tells me a lot. It tells me Heatley didn't come to Brian and say "Hey, I'm not getting along with the coach so well. What can we do?" or "I'm not playing as many minutes as I'd like to, what can we do about that?" Heck, in hockey video games a player will tell you he wants more minutes. Dany didn't want to fix the problem, he wants to run away from it.
By requesting the trade Dany actually made it harder for Murray to move him. First, he has shown all 29 other teams that he could do this to them. If a team is looking for a team player, a character guy, someone who is out there to win it for his team as well as himself, they might think twice on Heatley.
Second, Dany has made it difficult for Ottawa to get a truly fair trade for him. He is a high value player, no doubt. He is an elite offensive talent, but now that everyone knows Heatley wants out, teams can hold back a little bit. Murray might not get all that he could in return, which is a real shame considering the team just shelled out a high dollar contract on the guy.
What this all boils down to is an attitude problem. Something you'll hear time and again from a team right after they win Lord Stanley's Cup is "I'm just glad I could do it for all the guys in this room" or "I really wanted to do this for my team." That's how you win cups. In Carolina there is a sign above the door leading out to the beaches from the locker room that reads something like "It's not about me, it's about the guy behind me." That doesn't seem to apply to Dany Heatley and no matter how much it pains me to say it, I'm with you on this one, Burkey. I wouldn't be in the market for Heatley either.
Although, he would be a boon to my roller hockey team...