SAN JOSE -- It's not as if Marty Havlat isn't trying to work himself out of whatever "no man's land" status he finds himself in with the Sharks.

The creative flourishes are still there at times, but the 32-year-old Havlat isn't having near the success he had earlier in his career -- maybe because of a series of injuries, maybe because the north-south style of play demanded by coach Todd McLellan isn't usually his preferred route up and down the ice.

So Havlat decided the Olympic break was a good time for him to try and improve an aspect of his game.

"Marty's working on some things skating-wise," McLellan said, "and we need him to be a very important player for our organization. That hasn't changed since he got here, not one bit. He's healthy. He has to find ways to contribute and it's not always about scoring. It's what he does defensively, physically."

Neither McLellan nor Havlat would go into details about the exact nature of what Havlat was focused on, but while many of his teammates were enjoying their time away from the ice during the Sochi Olympics, the Czech native laced up his skates.

"I did a little more, but nobody stopped doing everything," Havlat said. "I think it was very important to stay in shape and just to work on stuff you think you can improve. Hopefully it's going to pay off."

In the first two games after the Olympic break, Havlat skated on one of the top two lines with Logan Couture and Patrick Marleau. But in Sunday's 4-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils, he was on a makeshift third line with James Sheppard and Brent Burns.

Havlat has missed 82 of the 192 regular season games the Sharks have played in the three seasons he's been with the team, mostly because of injuries though he has been a healthy scratch eight times this season alone. Overall, his production has dropped from .69 points per game in 2011-12 to .32 this season.

If the Sharks could find a taker, Havlat might appear to be a candidate to be moved before the noon Wednesday trade deadline.

But there are two major obstacles to that happening: a no-trade clause and the $5 million salary-cap hit in the year remaining on the contract the Sharks inherited when they acquired him from the Minnesota Wild for Dany Heatley on July 3, 2011.

Teams that have the salary-cap room to take a gamble on Havlat aren't likely to be the ones he might be willing to play for. Beyond that, Havlat's agent, Allan Walsh, has made it clear in the past that his client is happy in San Jose and not interested in going anywhere.