LOS ANGELES - Paging Marty Havlet. Paging Marty Havlat. Please report to the front of the net.
OK, maybe that's a bit harsh. And I like Marty, but where the heck was he on the six-game road trip that ended with a thud Saturday afternoon at Staples Center?
Havlat had a goal at Dallas and an assist on Dave Bolland's OT winner at Toronto. That's it. Other than that he was pretty much a non-factor, especially in tough games at San Jose and Anaheim.
Heck, Ben Eager had 2 goals on the trip.
Havlat is frustrating the Hawks and don't be surprised if GM Dale Tallon starts shopping the winger, who is making $6 million to not be a difference maker. Havlat is going to be an unrestricted free agent after the season and there's no way he will be asked back. No chance. None.
Up until now I thought the Hawks needed Havlat to make the playoffs, but now I don't think they do. Maybe there's a team out there that wants to take a chance on him and would offer a player in return. You just can't give Havlat away at this point.
A lot of teams could change their thinking when free agent Mats Sundin finally signs somewhere. What if the Canadiens don't get Sundin? Would they want Havlat? It's possible. Or the Penguins.
But Havlat wasn't the only Hawks forward to leave the scoring to Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp on the trip. Andrew Ladd and Troy Brouwer went without a goal. Bolland had 1. Jonathan Toews had 2 - in the same game - and Dustin Byfuglien skated through the three games he played nearly invisible.
What were the Hawks thinking when they gave Byfuglien a three-year, $9 million contract anyway.
The outcomes in San Jose and Anaheim could have been different with Havlat, Ladd, Bolland or Brouwer stepping up.
It only Tallon could make a deal for another top-six forward, but he can't, not being about $300,000 under the cap. That's the result of the big contracts he gave to Byfuglien, Brent Sopel and Cristobal Huet. Dale's hands are tied, but he helped tie them himself.