SAN JOSE – Sharks forward Marty Havlat is not eligible to be bought out by the club this offseason due to injury, general manager Doug Wilson said on Monday.
Havlat, who missed nine of 11 playoff games and didn’t make it past the first period in either of the two games he did play, recently underwent bilateral pelvic floor reconstruction and there is no timetable for his return. Dr. William Myers performed the surgery in Philadelphia.
When asked if he expects Havlat will play for the Sharks at any point next season, Wilson seemed to hedge his bets. The 32-year-old winger seemed out of place in coach Todd McLellan’s system, and had a mostly ineffective 2013 season with 18 points in 40 games.
“It depends on his recovery. If he’s healthy, obviously he’s a healthy player at that point, and we’ll make that decision,” Wilson said.
Havlat left in the first period of Game 1 of the Sharks’ first round series against Vancouver. He tried to return in Game 3 of the second round against Los Angeles, but played less than five minutes.
"He was injured, he couldn't play, and it's been dealt with. Where it goes from here will be based on his recovery,” Wilson said.
Havlat has two years and $11 million remaining on his contract, and is owed $5 million in 2013-14 and $6 million in 2014-15. The Sharks could conceivably put him on long-term injured reserve if he is unable to play next season, potentially freeing up some salary cap space. The NHL salary cap will be reduced to $64.3 million next season.
The Sharks are not expected to use the compliance buyout option on any players this summer. Under the terms of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, NHL clubs are permitted two amnesty buyouts during a window that opens 48 hours after the final game of the Stanley Cup Final and closes on July 4.
“I don’t see us doing that,” Wilson said. “We’re trying to build on the momentum for how our team played down the stretch, certainly after the trade deadline.”
Teams can also hang on to their amnesty buyouts for the 2014 offseason, a possible option for the club if Havlat is healthy this time next year.
Wilson also mentioned that injured Sharks Justin Braun (broken left hand), Marc-Edouard Vlasic (broken left foot), Logan Couture (sprained left ankle) and Jason Demers (high left ankle sprain), who were all hurt at the end of the Sharks’ second round series loss to Los Angeles, will be fine for training camp in the fall.