I was at the barn when the Heatley for Havlat trade came across my Twitter feed. (My title would work a lot better if either one of them was a water sign, but it’ll have to do.) Verizon has painfully selective coverage at the barn, so I was able to get the news but not respond to it or read any articles for clarification. That was frustrating.
Dennis Bernstein did a good article about what Heatley may or may not do for his new team. Among other things, the article mentions how excited Devin Setoguchi was about the trade. That makes me happy too. If you’re going to be uprooted without warning, it’s nice to have a friend along for the trip. I wish them both much luck.
Sharks fans have a litany of complaints about Dany Heatley, though few can deny he was one of team’s top scorers while he was here. He contributed quite a bit to the team’s identity as a high-scoring team, even if he never matched his record highs from before coming to San Jose.
Appropriately, Minnesota Wild fans have matching complaints about Martin Havlat. That’s wonderful because, until the complaint transfers come through, Sharks and Wild fans get to be really happy about the deal. We hear each others’ complaints, and take the Missouri stance of “show me.” I dearly hope neither player “shows us” what those other fans are talking about.
Of course I was ecstatic to find out that Wilson had brought a Czech to the team. Also it’s nice to see him adding a fire sign (Aries) to balance all those water signings. It may cause some turbulence but luckily the team’s head coach is an air sign. He’ll sort it out, I have faith.
Havlat, like Handzus, played in the IIHF World Championships last May. He played six games in the tournament before sustaining a shoulder injury on May 9. I guess that’s when it happened, he didn’t play after that. I saw some mention of the injury on the message board, it seems that it has been addressed.
It took me some time to figure out what the designation “BP” was in the IHHF stats, but apparently it means “Best Player” for the team of that game. Havlat got one of those on May 6 against Slovakia.
I guess you could say that the Minnesota team is slowly becoming The Great Lakes Sharks. Or you could say the Sharks are becoming the Wild West. It is a little strange to have so many players going back and forth between the two teams. The Sharks only got two Minny players this year (so far) but since they were among the Wild’s most high profile ones, those two seem like a lot.
Minny now has three ex-Sharks, off the top of my head, and two of those have been pretty high-profile too. Sounds cozy. There was much speculation that the two trades were not coincidental, that any imbalance in one was offset by the other. The Sharks got some cap room in the Havlat-Heatley trade, but they will need it to make the most of the Setoguchi-Burns trade. Yes, very cozy indeed.
I think Havlat is the unknown quantity in all this. A fresh start might be just the ticket. Where there is hype there is usually fire, but he hasn’t ever put up the numbers that Heatley did, even when Heatley was underperforming. How to stoke this fire is the question. Maybe the prospect of being on a highly competitive team will ignite Havlat, or maybe Todd McLellan has his work cut out for him.
No matter what, there is one absolute certainty here, something that cannot possibly disappoint me: Havlat is and always will be Czech.
Vítejte, pan Havlát.