SAN JOSE — Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said forward Marty Havlat has worked hard to get back into the lineup following offseason surgery but faces competition if he wants to dress for games on a regular basis.
Since he made his return from pelvic surgery in June, Havlat has just two points in eight games. After San Jose's game against Vancouver on Thursday in which he had no points, hits, shots, giveaways or takeaways, Havlat was a healthy scratch for the Sharks' game in Edmonton on Friday.
Havlat, 32, returned to the Sharks' lineup for Sunday' game in Chicago and was held pointless with one takeaway in the 5-1 loss to the Blackhawks.
"Now he's back at 100 percent and playing, and there's competition," said Wilson, who mentioned Brent Burns, Tomas Hertl and Matt Nieto as players who have given the Sharks depth at forward. "That's what good teams want. He's going to have to compete and that's really what it is."
A report in Monday's Ottawa Sun said the Senators have talked to Wilson about acquiring Havlat as they search for more forward depth. The New York Rangers are also interested in Havlat, according to the report, which Wilson would not address directly.
Havlat has one more year on his contract, which includes a full no-movement clause, according to his agent, Allan Walsh, at a cap hit of $5 million. The report suggested Havlat would waive that no-trade clause to return to Ottawa, where he was drafted in 1999 and had 235 points in 298 regular season games from 2000-2006.
"No one has ever suggested to him anything about a trade," Walsh tweeted Tuesday. "He is happy in San Jose and solely focused on playing hockey."
Regarding the healthy scratch for the Edmonton game, Wilson said coach Todd McLellan and his staff make the decision on who plays each game and that Havlat should be judged the same as every other healthy player in the lineup.
"He's been skating, had full practices. He missed training camp and exhibition games, but he's played eight games to get back to that point of being a player that the coaching staff can use," Wilson said.
"Marty is a very talented player and we have some very talented forwards — take a look at the depth of high end forwards that we have now. It creates competition, and as a player once you're back healthy, you have to earn your opportunity and ice time. That's the way this game is."