Bob McKenzie tweeted this evening that Dany Heatley has been traded from the San Jose Sharks to Minnesota for Martin Havlat.
The former Senator had a mediocre tenure as a Shark, particularly last season where he slumped to just 26 goals and 64 points despite frequently playing with the likes of Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton at even strength and on the power-play. Heatley’s decline was actually far more evident in his underlying stats, where he frequently placed well behind all of the other Sharks top-six forwards in terms of possession. I will have a more in-depth post on this topic in the near future, but for now it’s clear that Sharks general manager Doug Wilson has been actively shopping Heatley all summer.
Havlat also struggled with his new team when he left Chicago, managing just 54 points his first year in Minnesota. He climbed to 62 points last season while playing with much less impressive linemates than Heatley, and comes with a price tag that’s $2.5 million per year cheaper. The only real downside to Havlat versus Heatley is his fragility, although he’s missed only a combined 13 games over the last two seasons.
Even though Heatley’s name carries more weight in the minds of most fans, this trade is a clear win for Wilson. He saves significant cap space and rids himself of an onerous contract.