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Multiple Reports: Ottawa Interested In Penner, Smid (Updated!)

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This rather optimistic piece of news comes courtesy of TSN's Bob McKenzie:

Meanwhile, before free agency officially kicks in at noon eastern time on Wednesday, Ottawa's Dany Heatley could be on the move.

Edmonton is abuzz with rumors the deal is close and it's becoming obvious now there is a deal to be made between the Oilers and Senators.

Ottawa wants Dustin Penner as part of the package dating back to Sens' GM Bryan Murray's days in Anaheim with Penner and as much as Edmonton would like to move Penner and his $4.25 million cap hit, Heatley's $7.5 million is a tough nut to crack.

Throw in a young roster Defenceman - Ladislav Smid used to be in Anaheim, too - and a prospect or another young roster player and that's a deal that could fly.

It seems pretty clear that the team Steve Tambellini is competing against is the New York Rangers, who added some possible trade pieces (McDonaugh, Higgins) and cleared cap room with their earlier trade of Scott Gomez. It also seems likely that one way or another, the answer will be known by tomorrow - because tomorrow is when Ottawa is slated to pay Dany Heatley a 4-million dollar signing bonus.

Penner and Smid is an interesting core to build a package around. I like both players, and Edmonton has invested a lot in both of them, but at the end of the day neither is a vital component of the roster. Let's make that third prospect a good one, for the sake of argument - we'll call him Jordan Eberle. The cap hits don't quite match up, so to balance that side of things let's toss Steve Staios and Jason Smith into our hypothetical trade. Would you make that deal?

UPDATE: David Staples isn't a fan of that move; he likes Smid a lot and thinks that Penner is a useful player. Needless to say, I've agreed for a long time that Penner's useful (albeit probably not 4.25MM/yr useful) but you don't get quality players without sending away quality players, so this isn't a case of "good riddance to bad rubbish".

UPDATE II: This rumour has some legs to it. Robin Brownlee just confirmed over at OilersNation that Ottawa is looking at a package including Penner and Smid in exchange for Heatley. The details are still fuzzy, and the details matter a lot.