July 3rd, 2011, 9:25 pm
In a move that no one could have predicted, even with a Ouija board (which makes it standard Doug Wilson), the Sharks traded one of the best scorers of the past decade, Dany Heatley, for Minnesota’s top scorer, Martin Havlat.
My initial reaction is that, player for player, this deal is terrible for the Sharks. As I tweeted a few minutes ago, before this admittedly disappointing and sub-par year for Heatley, Havlat’s best season would have been Heatley’s worst. It’s not a trade for value. It’s a trade for a team that’s looking to shed salary.
That being said, this trade happened for one or more of the following reasons:
- The Sharks no longer wanted Heatley around.
- The Sharks needed to shed salary to make room for another signing or trade.
- The Sharks just want to save some cash.
I can’t think of any more reasons than these. If the Sharks wanted Havlat so badly, couldn’t the deal have been made without Heatley being a part of it? After talking with Doug just now, it’s probably a combination of all three. The Sharks have two big players’ contracts up this time next year- Couture and Burns. If you give Burns $5M or so, and you have to pay Couture $3-4M, there’s not a whole lot of room left. By CapGeek’s numbers, that’s 12 players signed, with around $9m in cap room for 9 players. That’s a tight squeeze. If I try to put on my “DW is all-knowing” hat, which I seem to have misplaced, he saw that writing on the wall, saw the opportunity to move an odious contract, and took it, getting a guy that has the kinds of skill that DW thinks the team needs.