Two dudes blogging and podcasting about the San Jose Sharks, straight from sunny California.

post Jaw, Meet Floor: Heatley Swapped for Havlat

July 3rd, 2011, 9:25 pm

Filed under: blog — Written by Mike

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:

  1. The Sharks no longer wanted Heatley around.
  2. The Sharks needed to shed salary to make room for another signing or trade.
  3. 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.

More later.

37 Comments to “Jaw, Meet Floor: Heatley Swapped for Havlat”

  1. Justin says:

    This trade seems almost as crazy as some of the trades proposed in the Crazy Trade segment. Would have liked to have gotten a little more out of the deal but Heatley is gone and in the end, that is all that really matters.

    • Pete says:

      Was thinking the same thing, in regard to getting more coming back our way. Would’ve been nice if we could’ve gotten Coyle back in the bargain. Looks like shedding that salary is what mattered most.

      Havlat is set to make 5 MM a year. Hence, Cap-wise this will help; but, I can see that 2.5(?) MM saved — getting eaten up rather quickly.

      I’ve liked Havlat’s game the past few seasons. It was time for Heater to move on.

  2. Tom says:

    Playing the hindsight game – if I could restart the 2011 PO’s – getting the same performances out of our players… I’d swap Havlat for Heatley straight up.

    I think that’s the point here. Heater just wasn’t getting it done come April and May. And just happened to have the worst contract from the team’s perspective.

    When a player moves of Heatley’s caliber, you rarely get any value back. Havlat is a legit top six forward. It’s a much better return that a third liner, a pick, and a prospect.

    I like the deal. But I don’t think DW is done.

  3. MJ says:

    i love this trade.

    frees up some money to go bigger on the next move in the top nine. and adds some flex room on the contract with no nmc/ntc in-place.

    it will be interesting to see what DW is planning to do next. what do the current lines look like if no more trades are made?

    • Pete says:

      Presumably, Pavelski will move up to The Top Line. He’s earned it. Great hands. Great wrist-shot.


      PATTY – PAVS – JUMB0
      ?????? – DESJARDIN – FERRIERO


  4. Doug says:

    Have to believe the money saved will be spent on adding another impact 3rd line player to play with Handzus and if I were Torrey Mitchell….I might not be buying any real estate. He could be next folks.

    Could we see an offer sheet from Doug Wilson? Perhaps he heard Blake Wheeler, an American kid, isn’t super stoked about freezing his kettle corn off in Winnipeg? Just typing out loud…

    • Khaaz says:

      Oh hell yeah dude. Blake Wheeler would be perfect for us; he’d play great alongside Thornton imo. He’s huge but still skates pretty well, he kills penalties, he’s a right handed shot (Thornton’s fav), and he can score goals.

      Unfortunately though, I think Winnipeg would match any offersheet under 3.1 mill, and anything between 3.1 and 4.7 mill would cost us a 1st and a 3rd round pick. I’d be willing to give up a first and a 3rd for Wheeler though.

      • Patrick says:

        You’re not even allowed to make an offer sheet unless you own the picks necessary to compensate the other team, and the Sharks gave up next year’s 1st rounder in the Burns trade.

        Furthermore, they gave up next year’s 2nd rounder at the deadline to get Ian White, so they can’t even make an offer sheet in the $1.6-$3.1M range.

        No doubt $2.5M of cap space is valuable, especially with Couture and Burns to sign next year. I just don’t see a lot of great options for using it this year. There aren’t any UFAs left I really want, they can’t make a decent offer sheet, and there really aren’t any assets left that I want to trade.

      • Patrick says:

        My mistake – I forgot the 1st for Burns was in last week’s draft, not 2012. So they can make an offer in the $3.1-$4.7M range, but not above or below without the 2nd.

  5. pete says:

    To me, it seems like alot of the times when the sharks get a big name player they’ll give up a rsoter player(s) and always give up either a 1st or 2nd round pick (some times 3rd).

    I would like the trade more if they got some kind of decent pick out of this like teams always get from the sharks.

  6. David says:

    I love this trade. Heatley just hasn’t looked that fantastic since he has arrived. I know that it has only been a couple of years, but the Sharks window for winning the cup is closing. This trade gives us a player that is cheaper than Heatley, who is the same age, and a player that when was on a good team two years ago scored 77 points. Havlat was not the star on that Blackhawk team but still produced well. I think this trade is really good for both sides. I think Havlat can’t carry a team and is better when he is surrounded by talent. I think the opposite is true with Heatley. He is better when the focus is on him to do well.

  7. Joe579 says:

    Looks like you gentlemen have plenty more podcast fodder!

  8. Emily Hall says:

    This trade makes sense to me. I know Mike likes stats, and if you look purely at stats, yes Heater is better, but Havlat has more fire and less baggage than Heatley (and cheaper too). To say that the Sharks should have gotten more for Heatley because “he’s one of the best scorers of the last decade” is ignoring what he’s done lately (not much) so his trade value is lower.

    Havlat seems pretty damned pumped, and if he can be a 25-30 goal scorer next season, this is great trade.|SJS|home . Yep, this trade is ALL WIN for the Sharks.

  9. evilducks says:

    It’s possible I could like this trade. It depends entirely on what we do with that space. If it’s nothing more than empty space this is a horrid trade. If we don’t clean up the UFA market with some awesome vets on 1 year deals then I don’t like this deal. We have nothing left I want to trade and I’m not a huge fan of the remaining UFA’s.

    Why didn’t we have room for White again?

    • Tom says:

      At 2.85m… I still shocked DW didn’t sign White. That’s a steal for a player who would be needed cone PO time.

      Unless DW has another big name D he’s targeting now…

      • evilducks says:

        Only one left is Kaberle… I don’t want Kaberle.

        • Tom says:

          Mos def don’t want Kaberle.

          I was thinking trade or offersheet. And yes I realize as of now we don’t currently have the picks.

          • evilducks says:

            Thing about offer sheets is it has to be your pick, we couldn’t trade for somebody else’s pick and use that one.

            • Tom says:

              Good to know. I didn’t realize that.

              Looking at the CBA compensation chart… there are still a couple levels of offersheets we could make based on the picks we have.

              And trades can happen in-lieu of an offersheet for similar compensation. Like what Burke did with the Kessel deal.

              At this point I think we should assume DW has something in mind! 🙂

              • Ruben says:

                I liked White, but I just don’t see where he would fit on this team. Do we really want a 3rd pairing of Demers and White? When you have Braun sitting around who is probably 90% of Ian White?

                Him going to Detroit, though, is a bummer…

              • Tom says:

                If Braun really is THAT good, and I don’t think he is, then cool. But from my POV, it’s about having healthy bodies come PO time. But this can of course be addressed at the deadline too.

                But back to the offer sheet idea. GM usually don’t like to offer sheet a player unless there is a problem already hindering resigning. I’m hearing Phoenix is actively pursuing trade options – as well as just resigning Keith Yandle.

                I realize it’s a pipe dream but what about unloading either Vlassic and going after Doughty? I have to think there’s something amiss in la-la land for them to not have a deal yet.

                And even on the standard trade front – Couburn might be had cheaply bc PHI might need more cap relief.

                I think there are options varying from legit-to-outright-fantasy!!! LOL.

              • evilducks says:

                Braun isn’t Ian White yet, though he is slightly bigger and has the potential to get there. I just think having both would be great and no, a 3rd pair of White and Demers doesn’t scare me at all. They’re both fast and proven that they are committed to defense in their own end.

  10. gosharks says:

    This is a salary dump and a change in philosophy by DW. He saw the last 2 Stanley Cup champs were composed of great defenses and strong two-way forwards. So he dealt away his 2 weakest defensive forwards in Heatley and Seto.

    The question is, will the Sharks improved D make up for the loss in offense? Over the last 2 seasons Heater and Seto combined to score 107 goals. Havlat and Burns netted 60. That’s a loss of 47 goals.

    Also, keep in mind Havlat’s contract is a year longer than Heatley’s. Havlat is a 20-25 goal-scorer the offense-starved Wild have been overpaying at $5 million a year. Just think how that contract will look when he’s 33.

    I think this is a bad trade and an overreaction to a poor playoff showing by the injured Heatley. If DW wanted to save money it would have been better to keep Heatley’s goals and creatively deal the $2 million Nittymaki makes on the bench.

    • Patrick says:

      By the last year of Havlat’s contract the salary cap should be well over $70M, so even if he’s in decline, one more year at $5M will be far from crippling. Plus it will be after the roster-pocalypse of the Thornton, Marleau, Boyle and Pavelski contracts all expiring in the same year, so who know’s what the roster will even look like.

      Heatley scored 5 goals in 32 playoff games with the Sharks. It wasn’t just one poor playoff showing. Even if he heals and starts the regular season healthy, the wear and tear he accumulates during the season seems to catch up with him in the playoffs, and that’s only going to worsen now that he’s over 30. I don’t care if he puts up 50 goals during the season – if he gets top-6 minutes and top-3 PP time in the playoffs yet produces no better than a 3rd liner, his value is less than $0 as far as I’m concerned.

  11. Patrick says:

    I think DW overpaid by a little bit to get Burns – but I’m totally fine with it because we really, really need a guy like Burns, and Coyle/draft pick are unknown quantities that won’t help for a few years anyway.

    I also think DW overpaid by a little bit to dump Heatley – but I’m totally fine with it because I think the cap space will be very useful next year, Havlat will be a solid player, and DW has a proven track record of knowing when to cut the cord.

    Where I have a problem is that when you combine two minor overpayments with the same team, it adds up to a big overpayment. Heatley/Seto/Coyle/1st for Burns/Havlat/2nd looks extremely lopsided. Almost comical, actually. With MIN knowing they’re a year away from getting Gaborik’d by Burns, I think they still make that trade if you replace Seto with Mitchell, or replace Coyle with a much lesser prospect, or whatever.

    I know it doesn’t work that way and building a roster is a dynamic process and blah blah blah. I guess the bottom line is that I’m much much happier with the Sharks roster today than I was two weeks ago, so I can’t complain too much. But it’s tough not to look back at both trades and not be a little regretful now about what we gave up for Burns.

    • Tom says:

      I realize it’s hindsight – but could we have traded Heater for Burns straight up? And then kept a cheaper Seto and our first?

      • Nick says:

        A really interesting question we will never know the answer to… That really would of been nice.

  12. Ruben says:

    I think this is an actual talent-for-talent trade for DW. I think he sees the groin injury to Heatley, the inability to create his own shot, and sees a guy in Havlat that is a poor man’s Marleau that will score 20-25 goals with anyone and may score 35 with Joe Thornton without needing extensive PP time.

    Think about it, if Heatley had another season just like this one, would it have been possible to move that contract? The Wild are banking on Heatley returning to a 75-80 point player with 30+ goals. But pure goal scorers (like pure sluggers in baseball) decline rapidly in their later years. I think this year it will be a wash in terms of production, and after that Havlat will outproduce Heatley for the remainder of their careers, for $2mil less.

    That being said, it would make me feel a whole lot better about our offense if our 3rd line was Wellwood-Pavs-Miettinen and not Mitchell-Handzus-some guy like John Madden.

    Antii Niemi must be loving these trades and signings…

    • evilducks says:

      I don’t know if you can call 30 years old “later years”

      • Ruben says:

        For goal scorers, it actually seems to be more like 26…

        Heatley will be a 31 year old this coming year. It’s just not pretty for guys like that. Best case scenario for a guy with Heatley’s history is, what, Tkachuk? Cicarelli? What are the legitimate odds Dany Heatley pulls a Brendan Shanahan, stays productive through his early 30’s, which I think is his absolute high end? Maybe 5%?

        Now imagine what Heatley and his contract does to a team if he has a Joe Niewendyk or Jarri Kurri career, and is scoring below 20 goals. I certainly don’t wish that on Heater, but history suggests it is very possible.

    • Tom says:

      I think this is all about the PO’s. And regular season stats aren’t gonna indicate the winner of this deal, PO performance will.

      I know who I’d want.

      • Ruben says:

        To be fair to Heater, he was a PPG player when the Sharks traded for him. And I’d hate to have traded away Joe Thornton last year based on his playoff history.

        I don’t think the winner of this trade will be decided this year. Come 2013-2014, it should be much clearer.

        • Tom says:

          The difference I see is this:

          Jumbo has gotten better each year in the PO’s since he’s been a Shark.

          Dany Heatley has gotten worse each year in the PO’s since he’s been a Shark.

          I think DW knows this of course, and to his credit, stuck while the iron was hot.

          • Ruben says:

            True true. I can’t imagine Heatley could have gotten any worse in the playoffs than he was this year, the trend line was definately negative…

            And it looks like DW answered the poll question with “OVERHAUL” for sure!

            • Pete says:

              After going 1-8 in two consecutive trips to the Campbell Conference Finals, heads were bound to roll. Heatley and Seto were the casualties.

              And much as I also like Ian White as a player; if he had played *better* — he’d still be around, too . . .

  13. evilducks says:

    Sharks somehow talked Thomas Greiss into being a goalie for the Worcester Sharks again… That guy needs a new agent.

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