Free agent forward Martin Havlat is still without a team, but he may be closing in on a solution.
The Ottawa Senators have talked to Havlat’s agent Allan Walsh about the possibility of Havlat coming to Senators camp on a professional tryout (PTO), according to the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch.
Havlat spent last season with the New Jersey Devils, but, as has become a regular occurrence for the 34-year-old veteran, injuries kept him from playing a full season. He played just 40 games last season, scoring five goals and nine assists.
Those 14 points represent an ongoing decline in Havlat’s offensive productivity. His 1.0 P/60 at even strength last year was the lowest of his career. In fact, he’s only been below 1.5 twice in his career at all. P/60 can certainly be effected by usage and minutes played, but his 12.3 even strength minutes per game is on par with what he’s had over the last three years and more minutes in other years makes it more difficult to have a high P/60, which should be alarming to prospective teams.
The flip side of that coin is that his -7.6% ZSO%Rel is the worst of his career, but you get to a chicken or the egg situation there, because when a player is underperforming by leaps and bounds it’s difficult to keep handing them offensive zone starts.
Havlat may not be alone in considering PTOs. A number of veterans have taken steep discounts on contracts — recently Matt Cullen and Jarret Stoll both signed one-year deals for under a million — while many more are without deals at all and may be looking at PTOs as their best option of getting onto a team.
Dustin Nelson writes about news and the Minnesota Wild for The Hockey Writers.