San Jose Sharks forward Martin Havlat underwent postseason surgery and has no timetable for recovery — meaning he cannot be bought out during the NHL’s 48-hour compliance buyout window.
The news came down on Monday as Sharks GM Doug Wilson conducted his annual pre-draft presser.
Havlat, 32, missed seven games regular-season games with a lower-body injury and nine playoff games with a groin issue. The Czech winger was hurt during San Jose’s opening-round series against Vancouver and tried to return for the Kings series, but lasted just a few minutes in his first game back and didn’t play again.
The situation between the Sharks and Havlat reportedly became acrimonious, according to CSN Bay Area:
In what could be perceived as a sign of frustration from the organization, Havlat was given a temporary locker stall in the Sharks’ dressing room at their practice facility between games six and seven against the Kings. To put that in perspective, AHL call-ups Freddie Hamilton, Alex Stalock, Matt Pelech and Matt Tennyson all had regular locker stalls.
In the press box for Game 7 at Staples Center, Havlat sat by himself, while the other Sharks scratches sat together on the complete opposite end in the seats set aside for visiting players.
Acquired from Minnesota exchange for Dany Heatley in 2011, Havlat has two seasons remaining on the six-year, $30 million deal signed with the Wild in ’09.
He’s owed $11 million in salary, and carries an average annual cap hit of $5 million.
Havlat’s time with the Sharks has been marked mostly by injury. He missed over 40 games in 2011-12 with lower-body and shoulder ailments, but did score 27 points in the 39 games he suited up for.
This year, his production fell off, scoring just 18 points in 40 games.
The Sharks could certainly use the cap relief of a Havlat buyout.
They have only 16 players under contract for next season with just over $6 million in available cap space, and still need to make decisions on RFAs T.J. Galiardi, James Sheppard, Andrew Desjardins and Jason Demers.
Decisions also need to be made on UFAs Scott Gomez, Scott Hannan, Tim Kennedy and Thomas Greiss, though it appears Greiss’ time is up in San Jose.