For the second time in less than two weeks the San Jose Sharks and Minnesota Wild have made a blockbuster trade with one another. This one sent Sharks forward Dany Heatley to the Wild in exchange for forward Martin Havlat.
Heatley is coming off the worst full season output of his career when he scored 26 goals and had 38 assists in 80 games. Prior to last season however Heatley had 39 goals or more in five straight seasons, amassing 219 goals in those five years. Heatley has three years left on his contract that will count $7.5 million per season against the salary cap. Heatley did have a modified no-trade clause in his contract that allowed him to submit 10 teams he would not allow a trade to, but the Wild were not on the list.
Havlat had 22 goals and 40 assists in 78 games for the Wild last year. He has been seen as a talented player that has been unable to stay healthy, but has been better with that in the past three seasons. He has four years left on his six-year, $30 million contract he signed before the 2009-10 season. Havlat did have to waive his no-movement clause to allow this deal to happen.
One has to wonder if this deal is about removing Heatley from the San Jose locker room, but the acquisition of the talented Havlat should not be underestimated. Minnesota is taking the gamble that Heatley just had a down season last year and paired with Mikko Koivu he will return to his prior form given reports of an injury hampering him in the second half. The other part of this trade that must be considered is the $2.5 million the Sharks save in the deal and whether that money will be used towards another move.