Sharks F Marty Havlat undergoes surgery
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — San Jose Sharks forward Marty Havlat has undergone surgery to help repair the injured groin that sidelined him during the playoffs and will not be an option to be bought out of the final two years of his contract this summer.
General manager Doug Wilson said Monday that Havlat had a bilateral pelvic floor reconstruction earlier this month and will be sidelined indefinitely.
“It’s not an uncommon injury for hockey players,” Wilson said. “The severity, both sides, time will tell. I don’t have a crystal ball to it. That was the diagnosis, that was the procedure, and there was not a timeline to the back end of it.”
With Havlat injured, the Sharks will not be able to use one of the two compliance buyouts in the new collective bargaining agreement to get out of the final two years of his $30 million, six-year contract.
Wilson had previously not said whether the team would use a buyout this summer. He said Monday he does not expect that to happen as the team looks to build on a strong finish to the season that ended with a Game 7 loss in the second round to Los Angeles.
“The big thing now is just to maintain the momentum that we have from doing our reset on the fly,” Wilson said.
Wilson would not commit to Havlat being on the team next season, saying no decisions can be made until he is healthy again.
Havlat has been mostly a disappointment since being acquired from Minnesota in a deal for Dany Heatley two years ago. Havlat has missed 51 regular season games with various injuries during his two seasons in San Jose, posting 15 goals and 30 assists in 79 games.
Known as a strong playoff performer, Havlat played only briefly in the postseason this season because of the groin injury. He got hurt in the first period of the opening game in the first round against Vancouver and tried to come back in Game 3 of the second round against Los Angeles.
He left again in the first period with a similar injury and did not play again as San Jose was knocked out in seven games by the Kings.
Wilson said Havlat needs to change his game a bit to become more of a “north-south” player to fit the Sharks’ aggressive style but thought he could have been a valuable contributor against a team like Chicago in the playoffs.
“When he played the right way he was a very effective player,” Wilson said. “He’s a playoff type player in certain series.”
Wilson has already been busy this offseason, having agreed to a five-year contract extension with star center Logan Couture that will keep him off the free-agent market next summer. That contract can’t be announced until July 5 when Couture enters the final year of his current deal.
The Sharks also signed forward Raffi Torres last week to a three-year, $6 million deal that prevented him from being an unrestricted free agent July 5 and signed a deal with Czech prospect and 2012 first-round pick Tomas Hertl to join the team next season.
San Jose also gave a contract extension to coach Todd McLellan, who has led the Sharks to the playoffs all five seasons that he’s been at the helm. McLellan has a 220-108-48 record and has guided San Jose to three Pacific Division titles and two trips to the Western Conference finals since taking over before the 2008-09 season.
The team still needs to decide what to do with Brent Burns, who was acquired two years ago to be a dominant defenseman but excelled after being moved to forward midway through last season.
Wilson said a decision would likely be made next week on where Burns will play next season. The Sharks currently have more depth at defense but there could be a major hole for a power-play defenseman when Dan Boyle is eligible to be an unrestricted free agent next summer.
″(Burns) can be a dominant defenseman in this league. He’s proven that in the past,” Wilson said. “It’s where we need to use him. The timing of that, this year was we needed to use him up front, and he filled a great need for us. We wanted to play an attacking game. Shoot, I don’t know how you defend against him because he doesn’t know what he’s doing so how do they know? But that was part of how we wanted to play. We’re coming after you, we’re attacking, and he fit perfectly.”
The Sharks also have plenty of picks in what Wilson believes is a very strong draft coming up Sunday following some late-season trades that moved Douglas Murray, Michal Handzus and Ryane Clowe. San Jose has its own first-round pick, three second-round picks, a fourth-rounder, a fifth-rounder and two seventh-round picks.
NOTES: D Justin Braun had an operation on his injured left hand, which bothered him all season. ... USA Hockey announced that the San Jose Jr. Sharks program was one of four programs picked as a USA Hockey Model Association Program.