SB Nation's home for San Jose Sharks news, Fear the Fin, has posted their reaction to last night's big trade that saw the Wild send Martin Havlat to San Jose in exchange for Dany Heatley. When the news was first posted over at Fear the Fin, the natives were, largely, pretty restless to say the least.
Now, they've got some analysis of the trade up on their site. Here's what they think about it.
The biggest key to this deal is whether or not Dany Heatley's injuries last season (groin, broken hand) are recurring or if they were a one time issue that won't be a problem next season. Doug Wilson has historically had an excellent track record of identifying when a player is on the downswing of his career, and that factor could prove instrumental in understanding why the Sharks gave up the more prominent point producer in this trade-- as Gabe said, the Sharks got worse today by a slight margin, but not so much so as to make the cap savings irrelevant.
After the additions of Michal Handzus and Martin Havlat, there is no doubt that San Jose is going to be tougher to play against at even strength next season. With the addition of puck moving defenseman Brent Burns at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, the effects of Dany Heatley's loss on the power play should be mitigated to some degree. And while I think Dany Heatley is a better player than Martin Havlat when taken as a complete whole, the idea of becoming a better defensive team up and down the lineup is an appealing one when the addition of Burns has made the Sharks a more formidable force in the offensive zone. That's something that Havlat provides and an area where Heatley lacked.
I don't think anyone questions that, based on pure talent, Dany Heatley is a markedly better player than Martin Havlat. However, if Fear the Fin is right and Doug Wilson (their coach) is correct on his hunch about Heatley being on the downswing of his career, then this trade becomes much more even.
Keep your eyes on both Hockey Wilderness and Fear the Fin for more reaction to this trade, and on Hockey Wilderness for any more Wild news that might come across.