Sharks tried to feed on Havlat

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 11:37 AM ET

The Sharks have been circling around Martin Havlat.

While Senators GM John Muckler is not about to trade his highly skilled winger, there are rumours Sharks GM Doug Wilson tried to pry Havlat away from Ottawa last month.

There was a belief in NHL circles that Havlat's five-game suspension for kicking Bruins defenceman Hal Gill on Oct. 15 in Ottawa may have been the last straw for the Senators.

And there are whispers the Sharks weren't the only team sniffing around to see if Muckler might want to move Havlat and his $2.6-million US contract. The Rangers and Hurricanes were also rumoured to have made inquiries about Havlat.

Moving Havlat, however, makes little sense. If the Senators are going to make a serious Stanley Cup run next spring, Ottawa needs the scoring punch that Havlat can provide.

Plus, what could the Sharks possibly have offered in return? Marco Sturm? He could use a change of scenery, but that's not a deal that would improve Ottawa.

Muckler suggested the other day he won't entertain any offers until after Christmas. That could change if Muckler finds a team interested in taking Vaclav Varada off his hands, but dealing off Varada seems like a long shot for the time being.

Meanwhile, Havlat is dangerous every time he touches the puck and if he hadn't been suspended, he may very well be on pace to a 50-goal season.

The Sharks are going to have to try to bite on Havlat some other time.

bruce.garrioch@ott.sunpub.com


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