Havlat talks for first time after surgery

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Havlat talks for first time after surgery

SAN JOSE Injured Sharks forward Marty Havlat gave his first public comments following surgery for a partially torn left hamstring on Friday morning, as he wandered into the Sharks locker room at HP Pavilion on crutches and with his leg in a brace.

Although hes disappointed to be missing the next six-to-eight weeks after surgery on Wednesday, Havlat echoed what Doug Wilson said in that the injury could have ended his season.

After surgery was better news than what we heard before, so hopefully its going to be good, said Havlat. Before the surgery, it didnt sound that good. I think everybody is pleased with the results and what they saw in there.

REWIND: Havlat out after surgery

Havlat, who said the injury was not related to anything hes had in the past, explained again what happened on the play midway through the third period of a 3-2 win over Edmonton last Saturday. He was hurt as he was stepping over the boards for a shift on the penalty kill, when he crumpled to the ice.

I just got stuck there a little bit, then I put all my weight when I was falling down on the leg, and my ankle twisted a little bit, he said.

The injury comes just as Havlat seemed to be playing better after an inconsistent start. He scored just his second goal of the season earlier in the game against the Oilers, following up a two-assist effort against Colorado two days prior.

RELATED: Martin Havlat 2011 game logs

I was trying to get my game back and was a little better the last couple of games, but unfortunately this is what happened and Ill have to deal with that again like I did last four or five times, he said, referring to past injuries. Its a little longer rehab than most of the injuries, but thats the way it is, and this is just another hurdle I have to jump over.

Havlat missed all of training camp and the first three games of the regular season recovering from offseason left shoulder surgery. He missed the majority of the 2005-06 season with a right shoulder injury while in Ottawa, playing in just 18 games. After a trade to Chicago that offseason, Havlat played in 56 games with the Blackhawks in 2006-07 but just 35 games in 2007-08 with shoulder and groin ailments.

This is the first time hes been out for an extended period of time due to a leg or knee injury.

Report: Division rival interested in Joe Thornton

Report: Division rival interested in Joe Thornton

The mere thought of Joe Thornton wearing a Kings sweater may be enough to cause some Sharks fans to lose their lunch.

But it might be a possibility.

According to LA Kings Insider Jon Rosen, the Kings consider Thornton to be a “priority” should be hit the open market as a free agent. While the two sides are currently allowed to express mutual interest, NHL rules forbid them from discussing terms of any deal until Saturday at 9 a.m. PT.

Rosen points to a number of individuals in the Kings' organization that have ties to Thornton, including general manager Rob Blake, who played on the Sharks with Thornton from 2008-10. Mike O’Connell was Thornton’s general manager in Boston and currently serves as the Kings’ senior advisor to the general manager. Glen Murray, a former teammate and frequent linemate of Thornton’s with the Bruins for three-and-a-half seasons, is in Kings player development.

The Kings, under new management since replacing Dean Lombardi with Blake, and head coach Darryl Sutter with John Stevens, have put a priority on finding players this offseason that can get pucks to dangerous scoring areas. 

Adding one of the best passers in the history of the NHL would surely help in that regard. Thornton sits 13th in the NHL all-time with 1,007 assists.

Rosen writes: “Los Angeles has been a dominant possession team without being a high scoring team for the better part of the last six-plus seasons, and it was articulated earlier in the off-season that the team needed to do a better job of taking advantage of that possession discrepancy. In trying to find players with the ability to turn possession into actual production, the team has placed an emphasis on finding players capable of distributing the puck into high-danger in the attacking zone. There might not be another player in the NHL – let alone unrestricted free agents – who is as gifted of a passer of Thornton, which places the team’s needs in concert with the future Hall of Famer’s skill set.”

As reported here previously Thornton, who turns 38 on Sunday, is seeking a deal of three years. That might not be agreeable to the Sharks, who are likely to sign Martin Jones and Marc-Edouard Vlasic to long-term and expensive contract extensions that would kick in with the 2018-19 season.

Of course, Thornton could also be using the Kings as leverage to get a new deal in San Jose, where he would prefer to remain.

Tierney, Sorensen among players qualified by Sharks

Tierney, Sorensen among players qualified by Sharks

The Sharks have issued qualifying offers to restricted free agent forwards Chris Tierney, Marcus Sorensen and Barclay Goodrow, while cutting ties with three players in the system.

Tierney, 22, posted 11 goals and 12 assists for 23 points in 80 games last season, serving primarily as the fourth line center. He has 64 points (24g, 40a) in 202 career games over three NHL seasons, all with the Sharks.

Sorensen posted one goal and three assists in 19 games with the Sharks last season, his first in the NHL. The 25-year-old played in all six playoff games against Edmonton, scoring one goal and one assist.

Goodrow, 24, skated in three games for the Sharks last season with one assist. He has 16 points (4g, 12a) in 77 games over three seasons with the Sharks, although has played in just 17 NHL games since the start of the 2015-16 season.

Forward Nikita Jevpalovs, defenseman Patrick McNally and goalie Mantas Armalis - also known for his career as a male model - were left unqualified and are now unrestricted free agents.

Earlier in the offseason, the Sharks signed pending restricted free agents Joonas Donskoi and Melker Karlsson. Donskoi received a two-year deal at a salary cap hit of $1.9 million, while Karlsson was signed to a three-year deal at $2 million annually.