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Martin Havlat looking ahead

August 11, 2011

Wild no more. 

New San Jose Shark Martin Havlat was interviewed by yesterday while training in Montreal, and went into some depth about the event of the summer. He discussed his shoulder injury, suffered this spring at the IIHF Championships, and his surprise in being the “replacement” for Dany Heatley, who joins his former club, the Wild, among other things.

The streaky but skilled winger is preparing himself for the upcoming season, and is in the middle of rehabilitation. He said he is “very excited” to be heading to a team that has “every chance of winning a Cup.”  He noted that he has “some idea about the role I’ll play on the team” but that the specifics won’t be addressed until training camp.

He spoke like a man with a lot to prove, and one with a lot of question marks that require answering. I don’t think Havlat yet qualifies as a player that was in need of a “change of scenery.” He struggles with adjustments, to new coaches and teammates. It often takes him much time to find his groove, thus seemingly canceling any quick benefit. Tack on his injuries, and it becomes clear Havlat is a player still unfulfilled. But with a team that is as deep as San Jose, and as experienced, surely Havlat will be able to mesh. He scored 57 points in 56 for the Blackhawks as recently as 2006-2007, but injuries have limited him since then. Last season with the Wild he went 22-40-62 in 78 games.

He went from being a “face of the franchise” guy alongside Miikko Koivu in Minnesota, in another piece of the (hopefully) Championship Sharks. It seems like a good fit.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 8, 2011 22:57

    Editor of Shark Circle here. Havlat’s definitely got all the skill in the world. He just needs to stay healthy. Whether a healthy Havlat is enough to put the Sharks over the top, who knows, but he’s a very good player when healthy. More dynamic than healthy. Healthy did the little things to produce though, that top goalscorers do. Havlat will play a prettier game, but can he play a more productive game? We shall see.

  2. Sasha permalink*
    September 9, 2011 19:50

    Thanks! I definitely agree with you on that–Havlat has got all the skill in the world. I truly think this year could be an unparalleled year in his career. In San Jose it might finally be the right time, the right place, the right circumstances. No doubt he is one of the most skilled forwards in the league, highly underrated in many regards. Smooth as silk, deft hands. Players like him don’t come along too frequently. I don’t think he’ll make or break the Sharks in the playoffs, but you never know.

    Heatley was healthier, more complete, to be sure. But Havlat, as you say, is prettier. I am very excited to see how both the Wild and Sharks do this year.

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