October 23, 2005
Panicky Lowe covets Sens' Havlat
By BRUCE GARRIOCH, Ottawa Sun
RALEIGH, N.C. -- The reeling Edmonton Oilers -- losers of six straight games -- are looking for scoring help and the word is they have targeted Senators winger Martin Havlat.
There is one problem: He's not available.
Sources say Oilers GM Kevin Lowe hasn't made it a secret he'd like to add a player who can put the puck in the net because nobody on his club is currently doing the job.
While Lowe was willing to brag to anybody who would listen in the off-season that the new collective bargaining agreement would help his club compete with everybody else, that hasn't been the case at all.
Now, the word is Lowe is ready to push the panic button and there have been whispers coming out of Edmonton that Havlat might be available because he's in the Senators' doghouse as a result of the five-game suspension he received last week..
No, the Senators aren't happy Havlat kicked Boston defenceman Hal Gill in groin, but that doesn't mean GM John Muckler is ready to give up on a guy who might be the most skilled player on the team.
Making $2.6 million (all terms US) this season, Havlat, 24, hasn't reached his potential as an NHLer and the Senators realize he has all the tools to become a 50-goal scorer.
Naturally, adding him to the Oilers' lineup would make sense. Ales Hemsky hasn't performed up to his potential and Havlat would bring speed to a team that has always prided itself on being able to skate.
Sources say Muckler isn't willing to make a move involving Havlat.
Let's face it, Brandon Bochenski remains a wild card on the top line (playing with Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley) and if he doesn't show consistency, Havlat will get some ice time on the No. 1 unit.
The Senators could have dealt Havlat to the Carolina Hurricanes for winger Erik Cole last summer, but didn't make the move when the opportunity to deal Marian Hossa to Atlanta for Heatley presented itself.
Lowe can call Muckler if he likes, but it's doubtful the Ottawa GM will listen to anything involving Havlat at the moment.