Earlier this week, there were trade rumors swirling around Martin Havlat of the San Jose Sharks, which is understandable: He’s a viable offensive player with a big cap hit ($5 million) through 2015 who might need a fresh start after a disappointing year last season and a slow, injury-riddled first quarter of this one.
The Ottawa Sun reported that the Ottawa Senators and New York Rangers were in talks to acquire him. Allan Walsh, his agent, shut that down by saying Havlat had no interest in waiving his full no-movement clause, so that’s the end of that for now.
So if Havlat’s staying in San Jose, what does the immediate future hold for him with the Sharks?
CSN Bay Area reports that he’ll get a look in Joe Pavelski’s wing again against the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight, after being scratched on Friday and dropped to the fourth line against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Via Kevin Kurz, Todd McLellan likes the reaction from Havlat on his demotions:
Havlat was asked what he needed to do in order to avoid having a diminished role on the team, which is how it’s been trending lately.
“Just have to play the way I play. Just worry about myself. Other things I can’t control,” he said. “I have to work hard and play my game. It’s not up to me if I’m in the lineup or not.”
McLellan was pleased with Havlat’s reaction to getting scratched for one game. “Marty is a very professional individual. He did what anybody else would do -- he worked out, he trained, he got himself ready to play in Chicago, had a good morning skate, and was ready to go again,” said the coach.
Havlat obviously hasn’t been the player Sharks fans had hoped they were getting, but then again he’s not Dany Heatley either, so that’s a bonus. What is he? The fourth best Sharks forward at even strength last season in the 23 games he played.
Fear The Fin found strong support in trying to utilize him on either the Pavelski or Couture lines rather than relegate him down the lineup, and that’s the best decision. If only because, as his agent noted, he’s not going anywhere any time soon.