Today's question came via IM from Dan in Sherwood Park:
Hey Derek do you think the Oilers would be interested in Martin Havlat if the Sharks took back salary? They really need forward depth and there is nothing left worth talking about on Capgeek.
Thanks for the question Dan.
Havlat would be an outstanding addition, especially if the Sharks took back salary, if he wasn't on the disabled list. Havlat was identified as a compliance buyout candidate at the end of last season, but because of reoccurring groin issues (herniations) he had surgery to repair the groin. The specific surgery Havlat endured is called a pelvic floor reconstruction. I'd never heard of this before and had no idea what the surgery entailed, so off to the information highway I went.
First thing is first: you probably want to avoid image searches for pelvic floor reconstructions. That is a very graphic set of search results. Second thing: the procedures and recovery I found spoke of tissue reformation lasting 3 to 6 months and normal physical ability returning after 3 months and the ability to perform strenuous physical tasks at 4 to 6 months. These procedures weren't written for professional athletes, but let's assume Havlat will be ready to practice 4 months after surgery, or mid-September. That means he'll get back to game shape sometime around November.
While that doesn't seem like an impractical timeline for the Oilers, there are some other hangups involved. Havlat's cap hit is $5 million in each of the next two years. The Oilers can't afford to take on that sort of cap hit without the Sharks carrying something back. The Sharks are over the cap for now, and if they manage to deal Havlat, taking enough back to satisfy the Oilers' needs becomes prohibitive for the Sharks. The Sharks can't afford to take back any of the Oilers' junk, either.
Lastly, Havlat is a right wing, the only spot in the lineup where the Oilers enjoy a bit of depth.
While the Oilers desperately need help up front, Martin Havlat isn't the answer. His health is uncertain, his cap hit makes things dicey for both Edmonton and San Jose and he plays in the one spot the Oilers have a bit of depth. As for nothing else available to fill the need, check back this afternoon for more.