Longtime NHL forward Martin Havlat, who played with the Chicago Blackhawks from 2006-09, officially announced his retirement from hockey on Wednesday. The news came from the NHLPA, which released a statement on his behalf.
“Hockey is a team sport and you can’t do everything on your own,” Havlat said. “You need to work with your teammates — your friends — to be successful. You learn you’re never alone. Sometimes you think you’re alone but there is always someone to pick you up. I know I will miss that, but it’s time to start a new chapter.”
Havlat became well-known in Chicago after posting a career-year with the Blackhawks during the 2008-09 season. He set highs in goals (29), assists (48), points (77), plus-minus (+29), shots on goal (249), and games played (81). For his efforts, which led the team in scoring, he finished 10th in Lady Byng voting, and 46th in Selke Trophy voting.
That was pretty much the peak of Havlat’s career, as the Blackhawks let him walk as a free agent in 2009 while they signed Marian Hossa instead. Havlat signed a deal with the Wild, and openly criticized the Blackhawks for how they handled negotiations with him before his departure.
The winger played well over two seasons in Minnesota before he was sent to the Sharks in exchange for Dany Heatley. That’s roughly where Havlat’s career took a downturn, as he recorded just 40 points in 88 games with San Jose before spending some brief time with the Devils and Blues.
In 790 career NHL games with the Senators, Blackhawks, Wild, Sharks, Devils, and Blues, Havlat recorded 242 goals, 352 assists, and 594 points. He appeared in two All-Star Games (2007, 2011) and finished third in Calder Trophy voting in 2001.