The last few months, it seems like we've had a rash of stories about former Chicago athletes who have gone on to "play well" for other teams: Kyle "Ortman," Cedric Benson, Nick Swisher, Javier Vazquez, Mark DeRosa, Jason Marquis, Nikolai Khabibulin, the list goes on and on.
What people have to realize is all these guys were let go for a reason. I'm sick of hearing about ex-Chicago players and their supposed "greatness," so I was pretty happy that Martin Havlat looked like crap last night in his return to the United Center as a member of the Minnesota Wild. Havlat, the Blackhawks leading scorer a year ago, had no points and only one shot on goal and was a minus-2 in the Hawks 3-1 victory over the last-place Wild.
Havlat is off to a slow start this year, with only one goal and four assists in nine games. He's an awful minus-10 and has been battling a groin injury.
Sound familiar, Hawk fans? Havlat struggling with an injury, playing well below his talent level. That's why the Hawks didn't meet his contract demands last offseason. I actually think Havlat is a damn good player. I'll never boo him and I have nothing against him. Most people in Chicago like him. But the Hawks don't miss him.
I don't think it's a coincidence that Havlat had his best season as a Hawk in his contract year. Now that he's got his money, he'll be less interested and less inclined to play through injury. He's on a losing team, just like he was when he first arrived in Chicago. He doesn't have any great offensive players around him. I'd be surprised if he duplicates the 29-goal, 48-assist season he produced for the Hawks last year. Either injury or disinterest will cause him to fall short.