Thursday, December 08, 2005

Havlat gone for the season!

He’s been out of the lineup for over two weeks and it hasn’t had a major effect on the Senators, but the news yesterday still was not good. Martin Havlat the Sens gifted winger, is out for the season destined for shoulder surgery and lenghty rehabilitation.

Havlat was hurt November 29th in a game against the Montreal Canadiens, since then he has been off to Cleveland and consultations with renowned shoulder specialist Dr. Anthony Miniaci. Miniaci recommended surgery soon and a rehabilitation period of four months maybe more.

It’s an unfortunate turn of events for Havlat, who was hoping to turn a productive year this year into a bargaining point for his next contract. Now instead of putting points on the board and making points with the GM, he’ll be busy trying to rebuild his reconstructed shoulder. Suddenly Havlat’s break out year has broken down.

For the Senators it creates a large hole in the offence, though to be fair so far the Sens have not missed a beat in goal production. Brandon Bochenski has stepped his game up over the last week, including his first ever hat trick against the Panthers on Monday night. All of which gives Sens GM John Muckler a tough decision to make. He has to try and figure out if Bochenski can keep his game on through the season, or if the Sens have to put their toes back into the trade waters.

Interesting names being bounced around for a potential role in Ottawa include Todd Bertuzzi, Owen Nolan or Steve Reinprecht to name a few of the possibilities. Whether anything comes of those rumors remains to be seen, the Sens begin a western road trip on Friday with a match up against the Canucks.

How they fare over the next week will give Muckler a better idea as to the immediacy of the need to find a replacement for Havlat. So far it’s a case of it’s not really broken, so why fix it.

But with a chance to make a long march in the playoffs this year, the Sens will want to make sure that they have the right mix of soldiers to head into battle come April. There’s a chance that Havlat will be back in time for a tour of the Stanley Cup playoffs, but no one is expecting him to bounce back all that quickly, it’s just the nature of shoulder injuries.

It’s the first real bit of adversity the Sens have faced this year, it will be the test of the teams character to see how they handle the loss of one of their main producers.

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