For a team that has been to the Western Conference finals two straight seasons, the Sharks aren't treating this offseason as a time to stand still. And they've found a team in the Minnesota Wild willing to help them shake the Etch-a-Sketch.
On Sunday, San Jose made its second major move of the offseason, trading Dany Heatley to Minnesota for Martin Havlat in a winger-for-winger swap.
The deal came nine days after the Sharks sent winger Devin Setoguchi to the Wild for defenseman Brent Burns.
Heatley became known as one of the team's "Big Three" forwards after being acquired from Ottawa before the 2009-10 season, but after collecting 82 points in 82 games that season, he slumped to 64 in 80 in an injury-prone 2010-11 season.
His contract was burdensome, carrying a salary-cap hit of $7.5 million through the 2013-14 season, compared with Havlat's $5 million deal through 2014-15.
General manager Doug Wilson acknowledged that Heatley's salary was part of the impetus for the trade, saying "you have to manage the business," but also said Havlat's particular skill set was a better fit for the Sharks.
"I respect Dany Heatley tremendously. This is just a different need for our team at this time," Wilson said. "We just felt that, at this time, with where we're at and the things we needed ... Marty Havlat was an important piece."
Havlat is known as one of the fastest players in the league and someone who thrives playing with good teammates, as he did playing with Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp in Chicago, where he scored 77 points and was plus-29 in 2008-09 before departing for Minnesota via free agency. Playing with less-talented teammates with the Wild, he had 54- and 62-point seasons.
Dany Heatley traded by Sharks for Martin Havlat
San Francisco Chronicle | Jul 4