SAN JOSE -- Sharks general manager Doug Wilson would not directly address trade rumors involving Marty Havlat on Tuesday, but he made it clear the veteran forward faces competition if he wants to again dress for games on a regular basis.
A Monday report in the Ottawa Sun said the Senators and New York Rangers -- two teams with records one game under .500 -- have talked to Wilson about acquiring Havlat, who has just two points in eight games since he made his return from offseason pelvic surgery late last month.
After San Jose's game against Vancouver on Thursday in which he had no points, hits, shots, giveaways or takeaways, Havlat, 32, was a healthy scratch for the Sharks' game in Edmonton on Friday. Havlat returned to the Sharks lineup for Sunday's game in Chicago and was held pointless with one takeaway in the 5-1 loss to the Blackhawks.
"Now he's back at 100 percent and playing, and there's competition," said Wilson, who mentioned Brent Burns, Tomas Hertl and Matt Nieto as players who have given the Sharks depth at forward. "That's what good teams want. He's going to have to compete and that's really what it is."
Havlat has one more year on his contract, which includes a full no-movement clause, according to his agent, Allan Walsh, at a cap hit of $5 million. The report suggested Havlat would waive that no-trade clause to return to Ottawa, where he was drafted in 1999 and had 235 points in 298 regular-season games from 2000-2006.
"No one has ever suggested to him anything about a trade," Walsh tweeted Tuesday. "He is happy in San Jose and solely focused on playing hockey."
Wilson said the Sharks have been careful not to rush Burns back from his injury, hoping to avoid any setbacks if he returned to the lineup too quickly. Burns has not played since Oct. 19 when the Sharks played Calgary at home. San Jose plays Tampa Bay on Thursday and New Jersey on Saturday.
"He's a big, strong guy. He can help us, but we're not doing anybody any favors if he's in and out," Wilson said. "I think he's really close, but you're better off asking him. We're a better team when he's in the lineup, but we're not going to do anything stupid that prevents him from being here long term. He's too important."
Burns has skated with the team in recent days but has not yet participated in a full practice. Burns had four goals and four assists in eight games this season before the injury, and the Sharks were 7-0-1 with him in the lineup. San Jose is 6-3-4 in his absence.
A San Jose fire department spokesman said the two-vehicle crash was reported at 11:42 a.m. at Taylor and Stockton streets in San Jose and involved a sedan and an SUV. Both air bags deployed and one person in the sedan was taken to the hospital as a matter of protocol because of the severity of the crash. An update on the person taken to the hospital was not available.
Staff writer Robert Salonga contributed to this notebook. Follow Curtis Pashelka on Twitter at twitter.com/CurtisPashelka.
Tampa Bay (14-6-0) at Sharks (13-3-5), 7:30 p.m. CSNCA