One of our staff writers offers his opinion on why he doesn't think the recent trade between Minnesota and San Jose in the NHL will improve the Sharks' Stanley Cup chances.
NHL.com reported very early on Monday that Dany Heatley, a member of the 2010 Canadian Olympic team, has been shipped from the San Jose Sharks to the Minnesota Wild.
The trade sees two strong players exchanged as Heatley leaves San Jose with Martin Havlat now heading to California.
There is not a lot between these two players from several perspectives: they are both 30 years old, they both play the right wing forward position, and in 2010/11 they both had between 60 and 65 points on the regular season (Heatley 64, Havlat 62).
The Sharks, a franchise desperate to make the Stanley Cup Finals, are probably hoping to shake things up a little bit as Heatley was a disappointment during parts of the last post-season.
San Jose first joined the NHL back in 1991-92 and they have yet to make the Stanley Cup Finals in any of their seasons. Their other appearance came in 2003/04 when they fell to Jarome Iginla's Calgary Flames.
The Sharks have been a franchise in the thick of things for several years as, besides their two most recent seasons, they finished first in the Pacific Division in 2001/02, 2003/04, 2007/08, and 2008/09.
But the Sharks have suffered playoff upsets on so many occasions in the past, that they fail to strike any fear into their underdog playoff opponents with the eighth seeded Anaheim Ducks taking the Sharks out in the 2009 post-season and the eighth seeded Edmonton Oilers doing the same in 2006.
Acquiring Havlat, who signed with the Wild in 2009 for a deal worth $30 million over six years, in exchange for Heatley, a player who has been tough to trade in the past (in 2009 he used his no trade clause to avoid going to Edmonton), does not help San Jose directly.
San Jose, despite swinging for the fences, have underachieved with so many different players over the years that you have to wonder if the failures within the franchise are rooted in the back offices as opposed to the front line players.
Changing Heatley for Havlat won't do much to improve San Jose's chances in my opinion but look for the Sharks to have a strong 2011/12 regular season.