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Minnesota Wild Offseason: Sharks, Wild Swap Again: Havlat for Heatley

ST PAUL, MN - MARCH 22:  Martin Havlat #24 of the Minnesota Wild skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Xcel Energy Center on March 22, 2011 in St Paul, Minnesota.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Mitch MarekContributor IIJuly 4, 2011

The Minnesota Wild and San Jose Sharks have stunned the hockey world again. 

Just days following the blockbuster Devin Setoguchi and Brent Burns trade, the two teams agreed on an even one-for-one swap: goalscorer Dany Heatley for playmaker Martin Havlat.

Though Havlat's contract included a no trade clause, apparently discussions to waive the clause had been ongoing for about a month before the deal.  Though he was tied for last year's top point scorer, Havlat had trouble finding chemistry with his Wild teammates and, at times, was visibly out of tune with the mood of the team. 

Havlat's contract runs four more seasons and provides a little salary cap relief for the Sharks, as Havlat is due $5 million per season.  With this trade, the Sharks have nabbed a very creative playmaker and two-way forward on a team with no offensive troubles.

On the other side, the Wild have absolutely stunned their fan base.  I don't think anyone ever thought a move like this was in the cards.  Most fans thought their get this summer was Devin Setoguchi and were pleasantly surprised to see a former 50-goal scorer suddenly in the fold. 

Just look at the comparison between last year's top line and this year's potential top line:

Brunette - Koivu - Miettinen

Bouchard - Koivu - Heatley

Where did this come from!? I can only express the utmost excitement for this year's squad.  A goal-starved team suddenly has the most scoring potential it has had in years.

The Sharks and Wild once again pulled off an even swap, both teams addressed a need, whether it was scoring, creativity or a rattling shake up.

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