San Jose’s struggling offense should get a boost Friday in New Jersey when Martin Havlat makes his debut for the Sharks after missing the first four games of the season while still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.
“Marty will play,” Sharks coach Todd McLellan said today, as reported by CSNBayArea.com. “That’s what I’ve been told and the doctors cleared him. If anything changes between now and then it will be a surprise to everyone.”
Havlat was traded from Minnesota to San Jose on July 3 with Dany Heatley going to the Wild in return.
The Sharks have scored just 10 times in their first four games, three of them regulation defeats. So the addition of Havlat comes at the perfect time for a group that’s used to filling the net. The 30-year-old is coming off a decent 2010-11 season with Minnesota, where he notched 22 goals and adding 40 assists on a team that scored the fifth fewest goals in the NHL.
Havlat’s best season came in 2008-09 when he led the Chicago Blackhawks with 77 points and was named team MVP. But when the ‘Hawks inked Marian Hossa to a big contract the following summer, Havlat reluctantly signed a six-year, $30-million deal with the Wild.
Havlat is expected to start the game against the Devils on a line with Logan Couture and Ryan Clowe.