Havlat made his Olympic debut as a 20-year-old in 2002, often playing on a line with his childhood idol Jaromir Jagr. Unable to play in 2006 due to a shoulder injury, he will bring eight seasons of NHL experience to the Olympics this time around. His three goals in 2002 led the team in scoring.
At the 2004 World Cup, he led his team and finished tied for third in tournament scoring with six points (3-3-6). He had a goal and an assist in the semi-final game against Canada, but the Czech Republic fell one goal short of the final, losing 4-3 in overtime.
Havlat got his first taste of gold at the 2000 World Championships helping the Czech Republic defeat Slovakia 5-3 for the win.
I'm just excited about the opportunity. I've been on the ice earlier than usual and in the weight room, pushing around a little more weights than usual. Every day I go into a workout with a smile on my face and ready to go. When you do have a little more responsibility, you want to take your lunch pail and get ready to work.
— Brian Elliott to Jeremy Rutherford of the Post-Dispatch on being the Blues' No. 1 goalie