According to CSN California's Kevin Kurz, the Sharks will be parting ways with Marty Havlat, 33, by using one of their compliance buyouts. The Sharks have until Monday at 2 pm to make the news official in the NHL's buyout window. Under the compliance buyout rules, the Sharks will stay pay Havlat $2 million a year for the next two seasons, however it will not count against the salary cap.
There was some speculation that the Sharks might be able to find a trade destination for Havlat if some of his salary was retained. Announcing the buyout in advance of the draft likely means the market just wasn't there for the Czech winger's services. The buyout isn't unexpected news. This was one of the few parts of Doug Wilson's offseason plan that was clearly announced. Wilson made it known that Havlat and Boyle would not be returning right after the Sharks elimination at the hands of the Los Angeles Kings.
Martin Havlat was acquired from the Minnesota Wild in 2011 in exchange for Dany Heatley. At the time, the deal appeared to be a slight downgrade for San Jose, but Havlat came with a cap hit $2.5million lower than Heatley's. Neither Havlat nor Heatley was ever able to clearly establish themselves in their new homes and will both end up being unrestricted free agents this summer.
Despite decent possession numbers and surprisingly good chemistry with Patrick Marleau and Logan Couture, injuries proved to be the defining characteristic of Martin Havlat's time with the Sharks. He only played in 127 of a possible 212 games in his 3 seasons in San Jose. The coaching staff lost trust in him, and even despite a hat-trick on the Sharks final home game of the season, Havlat was a healthy scratch in 6 of the 7 playoff games this season.
In the same tweet, Kurz also reported that the Sharks will not be using their second compliance buyout on anyone. With the salary cap jut announced as being set at $69 million for the 2014-2015 season, where does that leave the Sharks roster after their likely re-signing of restricted free agents?
CapGeek Armchair GM Roster
Patrick Marleau ($6.667m) / Logan Couture ($6.000m) / Matt Nieto ($0.759m)
Tomas Hertl ($0.925m) / Joe Thornton ($6.750m) / Joe Pavelski ($6.000m)
Raffi Torres ($2.000m) / James Sheppard ($1.500m) / Tommy Wingels ($2.300m)
Tyler Kennedy ($2.350m) / Andrew Desjardins ($0.750m) / Mike Brown ($1.200m)
Adam Burish ($1.850m)
Brent Burns ($5.760m) / Marc-Edouard Vlasic ($4.250m)
Brad Stuart ($3.600m) / Justin Braun ($1.250m)
Mirco Mueller ($0.894m) / Jason Demers ($4.000m)
Matt Irwin ($1.000m) /
Antti Niemi ($3.800m)
Alex Stalock ($1.600m)
Martin Havlat ($0.000m)
CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
(estimations for 2014-15)
SALARY CAP: $69,000,000; CAP PAYROLL: $65,205,000; BONUSES: $1,015,833
CAP SPACE (22-man roster): $3,795,000
The Sharks still have plenty of breathing room under the cap, even with significant expected raises to RFA's Jason Demers, Tommy Wingels and James Sheppard. If there is trade interest for Brad Stuart or Adam Burish (who now seems redundant with Mike Brown re-signed), San Jose could create a large enough amount of cap space for a significant addition through either trade or free agency. We'll see if this ends up being the first of multiple moves today for the Sharks.