Bitter split? Havlat leaves Chicago for Wild, promises ‘real story’ – Puck … – NHL – Yahoo! Sports

Martin Havlat(notes) has agreed to be the historically fragile offensive talent to replace another historically fragile offensive talent for the Minnesota Wild, signing a six-year, $30 million contract this evening according to the Star Tribune.

Havlat leaves the Chicago Blackhawks after three seasons, his best (and healthiest) coming in 2008-09 with 77 points in 81 games to help lead the Hawks to the Western Conference finals. He had 15 points in 16 playoff games as well.

Sniff, sniff … anyone else smell smoke? That’s the bridge to Chicago that Havlat might be igniting soon, according to his official Twitter feed. The following appeared after the Wild signing:

“Excited to be in Minny where I was welcomed and appreciated by management. The real story about what happened in Chicago to come out.”

And later:

“There’s something to be said for loyalty and honor.”

Well, that didn’t come off too bitter. The Blackhawk’s long-term commitment to Marian Hossa(notes) likely spelled the end for Havlat in the Windy City. And at 6-foot-1, he obviously was over the height requirement to be signed by the Montreal Canadiens.

As for Minnesota, they’re getting a quality two-way player coming off a massively successful contract year. He led the Blackhawks with 2.89 points per 60 minutes in 81 games — that’s killer. Hard to imagine how he’ll hit those numbers again in Minnesota, but 60-65 points and the ability to make his linemates better makes this a good hockey move.

Financially … well, the cap hit’s about right considering how Marian Gaborik(notes) reset the market earlier in the day after leaving the Wild for the New York Rangers. It’s actually a lower hit than he had on his last deal with Chicago ($6 million). But for all the puckheads screaming about how five years for Gaborik is too long for someone that F-R-A-G-I-L-E … how’s six years for Marty Havlat treatin’ you?

via Bitter split? Havlat leaves Chicago for Wild, promises ‘real story’ – Puck … – NHL – Yahoo! Sports.


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