Havlat officially announced his retirement Wednesday, stepping away after 14 NHL seasons, the NHLPA reports. Havlat last played for the Blues -- appearing in two games last season -- but the crafty scoring winger also represented the Senators, Blackhawks, Wild and Sharks in his illustrious career. This latest report on the Czech cites "sharp pain on both sides of my groin from overuse and too many tears" as a major reason why he's decided to hang up his skates at the age of 35. Havlat contributed 242 goals and 352 assists in 790 career games and perpetually factored on the man advantage. His name is also synonymous with the word "clutch," as he collected 44 game-winning goals -- half of those came in his first four NHL seasons.
Havlat stuck it to his former team by scoring the game-winning goal in Tuesday's 2-0 win over the Devils. In his season debut for the Blues, Havlat scored the decisive goal and finished plus-1 in a surprising 14:14 of ice time. Keep an eye on Havlat, since St. Louis is a high-scoring team and he has the ability to score when given enough playing time.
Havlat will make his season debut Tuesday against New Jersey, Lou Korac of NHL.com reports. Havlat signed with the Blues on November 6, and will be making his debut just four days later against the team he suited up for in 2014-15, the New Jersey Devils. Havlat struggled in New Jersey, playing only 40 games and scoring 14 points. Havlat is slated to play on a line with David Backes and Robby Fabbri, which may lead to Havlat's indisputable offensive abilities reemerging in St. Louis.
Havlat has signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Blues, Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports, adding that the contract is valued at $600,000 in the NHL and $200,000 in the AHL. Havlat came into the picture for St. Louis on Oct. 27, when he was inked to a professional tryout contract following a significant ankle injury to winger Jaden Schwartz. The Blues also brought on Dainius Zubrus for a PTO at that time, but he's reportedly been released. Havlat adds a veteran scoring presence to a Blues team that has been slammed with injuries early on this campaign. Ironically, Havlat has sustained a long list of injuries over the course of his career and he's never played all 82 games in a given season despite 14 years of service time between five different clubs, including the Devils in 2014-15.
Havlat has been invited by the Blues to a professional tryout contract. Havlat has 14 years of service time in the NHL. He last played with the Devils last season, adding five goals and nine assists in 40 games. With a number of Blues forwards dealing with injuries, including winger Jaden Schwartz, who is out at least 12 weeks following ankle surgery, the team is looking at ways to add some healthy bodies to the roster. The report adds that Dainius Zubrus has also been invited to a PTO for St. Louis.
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