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Dany Heatley shipped to Wild
Sharks acquire Martin Havlat
7/3/11 - By Mike Lee -

Dany Heatley's tenure in San Jose ended Sunday night, when Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson traded him to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for speedy forward Martin Havlat. Heatley's 64 points last season weren't enough, making him expendable during a limited trade window that was written into his contract. His $7.5 million contract made it a no brainer, after he recorded a paltry three goals during the Sharks playoff run this past spring.

After scoring 39 goals in his first season with San Jose in 2009-10, Heatley's production dipped to 26 this past season. His inability to light the lamp during the playoffs was the biggest hole in his game. The guy they acquired to be a sniper, was limited to 5 goals in 32 post season games for San Jose.

The Sharks pick up almost the same offensive numbers in Havlat, who also saves $2.5 million off the Sharks salary cap. Havlat had 22 goals and 40 assists playing for a defensive minded Wild team that ranked 2nd to last in the western Conference in goal production.

Havlat should have more opportunities to score with a stronger offensive supporting cast.

The deal was the second blockbuster that Wilson has made with the Wild in as many weeks.

"When players that we have targeted become available, you need to be able to react quickly and you also have to pay a price in order to acquire them," said Wilson. "When we made the Brent Burns trade, we knew we still needed to address our speed up front and we think the acquisition of Marty does that.

The most glaring difference between Heatley and Havlat is the disparity in speed. Havlat immediately makes the Sharks faster. Heatley provides scoring potential, but his moody demeanor may mean an interesting season in Minneapolis.

Both players are 30 years old, and the similarities in statistics make the trade a peculiar one for Minnesoata. Perhaps Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher feels that his last acquisition, former Shark Devin Setoguchi, needs a familiar face to bring his anemic offense some scoring pop.

Havlat waived his no-trade clause to join the Sharks, after missing the playoffs the past two seasons.

"I was presented this deal today and I decided to waive the no-movement clause to go to the Sharks," Havlat told NHL.com. "I'm very excited. It's a great team with great players with chance to win a lot of hockey games."

It didn't seem to be that hard a decision for Havlat.

"For hockey players, not just for me, if your season ends April 10 it's an empty feeling. When the real season starts, you are already sitting on your couch. I enjoy playing in playoffs and that is why I play hockey."

Thenewest Sharks forward has 49 career playoff points in 67 playoff games. The speedster will get a chance to add to that total once he joins his new team. He recognizes the opportunity that his new team brings.

"They are great team and they have great chance every year to battle for the Stanley Cup," Havlat said. "It's very important for me to have a chance to battle for the Cup, to just to get in the playoffs and you never know what happens.

The deal clarifies the mystery surrounding the presence of a no-trade clause in Heatley's contract. It wasn't clear if Heatley maintained the clause after he waived it to join the Sharks in 2009.

His tumultuous career seemed to finally settle down when the Sharks acquired him from Ottawa two seasons ago, but his antics this past spring in a game that earned him a suspension for going head-hunting with his stick on a play away from the puck.

In the end, it was Heatley's failure to assimilate himself as a real team player that may have cost him his job. Wilson may have overlooked all of that if Heatley delivered in the playoffs, but he didn't. Havlat will get his chances in a few months.



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