Minnesota Wild Offseason: Why No One Loses in the Heatley-Havlat Deal

Mitch MarekContributor IIJuly 19, 2011

DETROIT - MAY 6: Dany Heatley #15 of the San Jose Sharks controls the puck while playing the Detroit Red Wings in Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on May 6, 2011 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Now that the dust has largely settled from the one for one swap between San Jose and Minnesota,  I think it's an appropriate time to objectively break down this trade.  

The last couple weeks have been a literal flame war between Sharks fans, Wild fans, and dejected Ottawa and Edmonton fans all trying to decide who "won" the latest deal between the two clubs. 

Unlike the Devin Setoguchi+ for Brent Burns+ deal, which has way too many variables to consider, on paper this trade is a straight up win win for both teams.

For all the name calling, stat questioning, and durability issues that has gone on by keyboard GMs, fans should recall several main points when considering the swap:

1) Dany Heatley and Martin Havlat are different types of players.

2) Both athletes, whether fairly or not, have had character questions raised.

3) Heatley and Havlat each address a specific need for their respective new clubs.

One of the first criticisms that arose during the early discussions of the trade was pure numbers. 

In his two seasons with San Jose, Heatley posted 82 and 64 points while Havlat scored 54 then 62 in two seasons with the Wild .  Wild fans would make the argument that they received a better player without realizing the circumstances of each players' 2009 and 2010 seasons. 

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

Heatley was arriving in arguably the most consistently talented hockey club in the NHL, Havlat made a move to a crumbling rebuild team after being ditched by Chicago's management. 

When it comes to actually playing on the ice, it's abundantly clear that we are dealing with two different player types: a sniper and marquee talent vs. a secondary scorer and incredible playmaker.

A number of people who have started crawling out of the woodwork and calling Heatley a locker room cancer and a bad character guy.  While most actual NHL sources completely dispute this claim, it's an easy one to make. 

After requesting two fresh starts and denying a trade to Edmonton while receiving a $4 million dollar bonus, Heatley has been though of as having a prima donna mentality. 

I actually think that a number of embittered Sharks fans should get to know the ins and outs of Martin Havlat before they joke that they ditched drama on the Wild.  After being let go by the Chicago Blackhawks after the 2008-09 season, Havlat lashed out at Chicago's management. 

During the 2010-11 season, when Havlat believed he wasn't being used correctly as a player, his agent tweeted criticism, which caused tons of tension between Havlat and his teammates.

Regardless of how they act off the ice, both players fit perfect roles on their new clubs.  If history and past performances are any indication, this trade is absolutely a win-win. 

Minnesota gets the consistent 30+ goal scorer its lacked since Marian Gaborik departed, not to mention a big physical forward to supplement its already physical group. 

The Sharks get an awesome playmaker to supplement its many goal scorers and maybe more importantly, an absolute stud come playoff time, which is priceless to a team with a history of playoff failure.