On behalf of the Fear The Fin staff, I am here today bidding farewell to fan favorite Martin Havlat. You see, about a week ago I paid roughly 15 hard-earned American dollars for a Martin Havlat t-shirt. I even wore it in public once. Why would I do such a thing? Because I love Martin Havlat. I'm not kidding either. This isn't some cute attempt at ironically liking some mediocre depth player. Are you guys listening to me? I truly enjoyed Martin Havlat. This is no Jonathan Wold/Jed Ortmeyer—I mean James Sheppard situation. I sincerely was a fan of Martin Havlat and I will miss him. After all, Marty is the second greatest San Jose Shark in history to hail from the Czech Republic and wear #9.
I liked Marty because despite him being adequate at hockey, he was hated by everyone. Now most people are going to read that statement and think to themselves "wow, I disliked Havlat but I didn't hate him." Readers of this blog, you don't need to lie and pretend that you're progressive enough to not hate Havlat. It's okay, I know you did. This hate of Marty Havlat however wasn't anything malicious, it was mostly a severe annoyance towards him. Simply put, he made far too much money was injured kind of a lot.
Here let me lend some personal life experience to elaborate on where that hate came from using an analogy. You see when my girlfriend gets mad at me, it's not what I said, but how I said it. When Sharks fans get mad at Martin Havlat, it's not that he's injured, but rather how he got injured. Marty will forever be shamed for the manner in which he slowly tumbled off of his own team's bench, with his knee ever so slightly touching the ice with enough force to break it. It was an embarrassing injury for sure and will set a precedent known as the "Martin Havlat Injury Trifecta."
- Injury occurs while not involved in a hockey play ☑
- Injury occurs while doing a routine activity ☑
- Injury occurs as the result of one's own doing ☑
It truly is sad how Marty injured himself and when the fans turned on him, it created an all around embarrassing situation for him. This is when I started to feel for Marty. I felt so bad for him and didn't believe he deserved the hate directed his way. Look, I'm just saying that I myself was personally brave enough to look past that unfortunate incident and sympathize for Marty. I had the ability to realize that Marty is just a human being, and at the end of the day, isn't that what we all are? Human beings?
Martin Havlat should be remembered by Sharks fans. Perhaps his greatest accomplishment in San Jose was not being Dany Heatley. Marty was a fucking All-Star at not being Dany Heatley. The Havlat-Heatley trade saved the Sharks about $2.5m in cap space for two seasons. It paid off to have Marty be injured on the Sharks, instead of having Heatley not be injured on the Sharks. Havlat's contract was one year longer but that made no matter as the team's management so cruelly bought him out of it. This act was so cruel that it in fact left Sharks fans speechless. So speechless that not a single soul complained about the buyout.
The following video is something that I put together as a token for Sharks fans to remember Martin Havlat by:
Sharks fans should have January 19, 2015 circled on their calendars as Marty will be making his homecoming return as a member of the New Jersey Devils. We will be sure to greet him with a standing ovation.
In closing, while Martin Havlat truthers will claim that he was a wild disappointment, I on the other hand will fondly remember when he would score goals for the Sharks sometimes. Marty, I will always love you.