Havlat Retires, Baertschi Concussion & More

Martin Havlat has decided to hang up his skates. The veteran forward announced his retirement after playing in the NHL for 14 seasons through the NHLPA‘s official website Wednesday morning.

Havlat played for 14 seasons in the NHL split between the Ottawa Senators – who drafted him 26th overall in 1999, Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild, San Jose Sharks, New Jersey Devils and St. Louis Blues. He amassed 242 goals and 594 points in 790 games in a career that was hampered by injuries. For those who saw Havlat when he was healthy, he was one of the young stars in the league who had an incredibly bright future. Unfortunately, the industry of professional sports provides no guarantees.

Below is a statement from Havlat:

That was fast. I feel like I was just getting started in the NHL a short while ago. I would love to continue playing but my body will not allow me to play at the level I expect from myself. As a result, I am announcing my retirement.

“I feel very fortunate to have played in the NHL for 14 years. Rest assured, I am retiring as a grateful man. I will be forever thankful to the Ottawa Senators for helping make my childhood dream come true. I also had the privilege of playing for other exceptional organizations. I am grateful for the time spent with each team and the great teammates I had the pleasure to be around on and off the ice.

I would love to thank all the fans, especially in Ottawa and Chicago for the unforgettable memories. Special appreciation goes out to Marshall Johnston, Jacques Martin, Joel Quenneville (unfortunately, I had only one season to play under the best coach in the league), Dale Tallon and Chuck Fletcher. All these men had a tremendous impact on my life and career. I would also like to thank all the doctors and trainers who were there to try and keep me in one piece; I know it was not easy. I would like to thank my agents Allan Walsh and David Schatia, for being more than just agents, fighting for me and doing the best they could.

“Finally, the greatest words of gratitude go out to my parents, my partner Ivanka and my two beautiful girls because without their love and sacrifice, my career would not have been possible. I will miss playing the game I love so much. It is time to start a new chapter in my life.

– Martin Havlat

Sven Baertschi Concussed

Sven Baertschi suffered a concussion against the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night, the Vancouver Canucks announced. Baertschi took a hit behind the play by Predators’ forward Cody McLeod that led to the 24-year-old leaving for the Canucks’ locker room.

The former 13th-overall draft pick from the 2011 NHL Entry Draft has had his best season in the NHL so far with the Canucks this year. After struggling to catch on in Calgary with the Flames, Baertschi had his best statistical campaign in Vancouver in 2015-16 with 15 goals and 28 points in 69 games. This season, Baertschi has scored 13 goals and 27 points in just 50 games.

There is no timetable for Baertschi’s return yet.

Odds & Ends

– After the Dallas Stars latest loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday, Tyler Seguin vocalized the fact that he and his teammates are tired of losing, and consequently, are tired of talking about losing.

“We’re all just so sick of talking about it,” Seguin said, per Mike Heika. “We have to look in the mirror, dig deeper, we have to all be professionals and try to get out of this together.”

The Stars have been in a rut lately, compiling a 3-5-2 record over their last 10 games. If things don’t turn around soon, the club will be in danger of missing the playoffs after having a breakout season just one year ago.

– According to a report on Courier-Post, the Philadelphia Flyers and Russian President Vladimir Putin could play an exhibition game in Russia.

“They never release Putin’s schedule until 24 hours before because of security reasons, so Putin, if he’s around, he wants to play the game against us.” Former Flyers defenseman Joe Watson said.