Martin Havlat, the speedy forward that scored nearly 600 points in close to 800 career games, has announced his retirement after 14 seasons in the NHL.
“That was fast,” Havlat said in a statement, released by the NHLPA. “I feel like I was just getting started in the NHL a short while ago. I would love to continue playing but my body will not allow me to play at the level I expect from myself.
“I feel very fortunate to have played in the NHL for 14 years. Rest assured, I am retiring as a grateful man.”
Some career highlights, per the PA:
— Armed with great speed and a blistering wrist shot, Havlat impressed in his debut season (19-23—42) to finish as a Calder Memorial Trophy finalist in 2000-01, and he was also named to the NHL All-Rookie team. A testament to his knack for timely goal-scoring in Ottawa, with 23 game-winning goals in 298 regular season games, Havlat was recently named to the Senators’ 25th anniversary team as voted by the fans.
— Havlat spent three seasons in Chicago, which he punctuated with an impressive 2008-09 season when he set career-best marks in assists (48), points (77) and plus/minus (+29) in 81 games. He led the team in assists and points, while he placed second behind teammate Jonathan Toews’ 34 goals. For his efforts, he was named the Blackhawks’ team MVP.
— Havlat signed a six-year contract as a free agent with the Minnesota Wild in July 2009. In 2011, he made his second NHL All-Star Game appearance. Havlat averaged 58 points in 75 games during his two years in Minnesota (40-76—116 in 151 GP).
Havlat also spent time in San Jose, New Jersey and St. Louis. Internationally, he starred at numerous tournaments for his native Czech Republic, which included gold medal-winning performances at the 2000 World Juniors and World Championships.
“I will miss playing the game I love so much, Havlat said. “It is time to start a new chapter in my life.”