While several Eastern Conference teams, in particular the Boston Bruins, were mentioned by agents as a possible landing spot for Heatley, the speculation is that his preferred list includes a group of Western Conference teams, perhaps as many as eight: the San Jose Sharks probably top the list, followed by the Dallas Stars, Los Angeles Kings, Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues, Edmonton Oilers, Vancouver Canucks
and Calgary Flames.
Both the Blues and the Kings would have young prospects to offer in return, but the word on the street is that the Kings will pursue Marian Hossa if he doesn't re-sign with the Red Wings.
The Sharks could offer Patrick Marleau. His $6.3-million salary would nearly offset Heatley's $7.5 million salary cap hit, but Marleau is not a natural winger, nor is he a superstar in Heatley's class.
Heatley's family lives in Calgary, and the Senators would gladly take defenceman Dion Phaneuf in exchange, but it'll be difficult to squeeze Jarome Iginla and Heatley into the same spotlight. As well, the Senators would still need to acquire a forward to replace Heatley.
Edmonton has numerous young players to offer, and Heatley has played for both head coach Pat Quinn and associate coach Tom Renney on various Team Canada teams.
Plus, Edmonton, like Calgary, is a hockey market. A chance to win the Stanley Cup at some point in his career might mean something to Heatley.
Vancouver needs scoring, but is going to spend a big chunk of money re-signing the Sedins, Daniel and Henrik. That may not leave them able to take on Heatley's salary, unless they were to do something wild, such as offer goalie Roberto Luongo. Sometimes teams do dumb things, but not often.