Dany Heatley traded to Minnesota for Martin Havlat

By Gabe Myles

Another day, and another blockbuster trade between the Sharks and the Wild.

The Sharks made their second big trade with the Wild in ten days as they traded Dany Heatley to Minnesota for Martin Havlat.

Havlat has four years left on his contract and will be paid $21M. His cap hit is $5M. Heatley had three years left on his contract with a $7.5M cap hit. He was owed $19M over the next three years.

Havlat scored 22 goals and had 40 assists in 78 games last season. He was selected to play in the All-Star Game in Raleigh, North Carolina as well. He’s been pretty injury prone throughout his career, as he’s only had two seasons in which he played more than 75 games. Both of those seasons have been in the last three years though. Havlat has only missed 14 games in the last three seasons, which is outstanding considering his injury history. He adds a lot of speed, which was badly needed by the Sharks ever since they traded Devin Setoguchi. He’s creative in the offensive zone as well, which was also something the Sharks were lacking.

As for Heatley, his huge cap hit is now off the books. Not including the 2003-04 season when he only played 31 games, he tied a career low in goals last season with 26, and he set a career low with 64 points. His production was dropping dramatically from his Ottawa days, and his playoff production was anemic considering his cap hit. He will reunite with Setoguchi in Minnesota, potentially on the top line centered by Mikko Koivu.

According to a tweet fromTSN’s Darren Dreger, Heatley had a limited no trade clause. Before July 1st (a few days ago), Heatley was allowed to pick ten teams that he wouldn’t accept a trade to. Minnesota was obviously not one of them. Havlat had a no-trade clause as well, but he agreed to waive it to come to San Jose.

With the move, the Sharks save $2.5M in cap space. Brent Burns and Logan Couture are scheduled to be free agents after this season (Burns a UFA, and Couture an RFA), and both are in line for huge raises, potentially $3M or more.

I didn’t think it was possible to move Dany Heatley’s contract without making a major downgrade. At first glance, the Sharks did extremely well getting an all-star player in return.

Doug Wilson made a huge statement with this trade. Things needed to change if the Sharks want to get over the hump and not only make the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in franchise history, but win the whole thing as well. He feels that this trade could put them over the top. Time will tell, but this is a huge risk that could pay huge dividends in the near future.

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