The off-season brings one of the most exciting times in hockey, the free agency period. Now you all know what I think the Rangers should do this off-season, but the Rangers do have other options they can look into. So through the rest of this month all the way up to July 1st (when free agency opens) we will be giving you weekly reports on players the Rangers might be interested in signing. So let's dive right in with: Martin Havlat.
The former Ottawa Senator-now Chicago Blackhawk-winger will be one of the prized free agents to hit the open market. Havlat is a brilliant player who has a great scoring touch along with great on-ice vision. This season he played in 81 games registering 29 goals and 48 assists for 77 points. Thus far in the playoffs he has played in 11 games notching 5 goals-one game winner-and 6 assists. He has great speed and does play with a little bit of an edge. The guy makes his own space and has awesome hands; he will be a great addition to wherever he ends up going.
On the plus side Havlat is only 28 years old and he is a prolific goal scorer. The Rangers could definitely use his help on the power play, especially because the guy shoots from anywhere. He has tons of playoff experience playing in 62 games. In those 62 games he has19 goals and 26 assists for 45 points, of those 19 goals 6 were game winners. He would be a great addition to both the regular season and the playoffs ... if he could remain healthy.
Staying healthy has rarely been easy for him. This season Havlat played in 81 games, a career high. Last season Havlat only dressed for 35 games, the year before he dressed for 56, and three years ago he only played 18 games. Havlat is no doubt one of the better players in the league when he is healthy, but he is very injury prone. Is it worth risking a high salary on a player who has only stayed healthy one season?
Currently Havlat is making 6 million dollars a year on the Blackhawks. I would have to assume he will be offered roughly 6.5-7 on the open market. Unfortunately if this is the case then he will be too expensive for the Rangers to afford. Plus with his injury liability he really isn't worth 7 million a year. If he would put his name onto paper for 6 million a year I say sign him, In the end he will probably be too rich for the Rangers blood, but they may take a look at him if other moves are made to clear cap room. .