A busy weekend culminated late Sunday when San Jose’s Executive
Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson pulled the trigger
on another marquee trade, shipping forward Dany Heatley to the
Minnesota Wild for 20-goal scorer Martin Havlet.
The green flag waved Friday signaling the start of the NHL’s free-agency signing period and the San Jose Sharks have been in a frenzy ever since.
A busy weekend culminated late Sunday when San Jose’s Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson pulled the trigger on another marquee trade, shipping forward Dany Heatley to the Minnesota Wild for 20-goal scorer Martin Havlat.
Havlat, 30, registered 62 points – 22 goals, 40 assists – for the Wild in 2010-11, tying him for the team high. The 10-year-veteran forward has 512 career points (209 goals, 303 assists) in 621 regular season games with Minnesota, Chicago and Ottawa.
“Marty is a player that we have had an interest in for a long time,” Wilson stated in a press release. “He can play either wing and brings creativity and breakaway speed to our group of top-six forwards. We are excited about the versatility he adds to our lineup.”
Heatley served two seasons for the Sharks, scoring 65 goals, 39 of those coming during his first year in San Jose.
“We truly appreciate everything that Dany brought to our organization,” Wilson said. “He is a tremendous professional and we wish him the best.”
Heatley is the second Sharks forward to be dealt to the Wild in the past two weeks. Fan favorite Devin Setoguchi was exchanged for defensman Brent Burns on June 24.
“When players that we have targeted become available, you need to be able to react quickly and you also have to pay a price in order to acquire them,” Wilson said. “When we made the Brent Burns trade, we knew we still needed to address our speed up front and we think the acquisition of Marty does that.”
San Jose immediately jumped on the free-agent signing ship Friday, adding defenseman Jim Vandermeer and forward Michal Handzus.
Handzus played in all 82 games for the Los Angeles Kings last season, netting 12 goals and 18 assists.
“Michal is an extremely skilled player that has a great mix of size and competitiveness,” Wilson said. “He is one of the top penalty killing forwards in this League and has the ability to play in any situation.”
Vandermeer, 31, played last season with the Edmonton Oilers, logging two goals, 14 assists and 74 penalty minutes in 62 games. The defenseman finished 2010-11 with 122 hits, good for fourth on the team, and 78 blocked shots. The Sharks will be the eight-year NHL veteran’s sixth team.
“Jim will bring physicality and toughness to our blueline while bolstering our depth,” Wilson said. “He has proven to be a great teammate in his career and will be counted on as a steadying presence.”
Prior to Friday’s signings, the Sharks re-signed a pair of left wingers, inking Jamie McGinn and Frazer McLaren to one-year contracts Thursday.
As for McGinn, the 22-year-old played in 49 games with the Sharks in addition to seven in the postseason. McGinn tallied one goal and six assists during the regular season.
McLaren, 23, appeared in nine games for San Jose last season.