Yesterday, the Minnesota Wild acquired Martin Hanzal, who was a long-time center for the Arizona Coyotes. They gave up a first-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, a second-round pick in 2018, a conditional pick in 2019 and forward Grayson Downing for Hanzal. Minnesota also acquired center Ryan White and a fourth-round pick in 2017.
Hanzal is nearing the end of his five-year, $15.5 million dollar contract ($3.1 million average per year). He is able to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st of this year.
Hanzal, a 1st-round selection in the 2005 draft, led the struggling Coyotes in goals this season, with 16, and has 26 points through 51 games so far. He is a big centerman, standing at 6’6″ and weighing 226 pounds. He was one of the top centers on the trade market.
There is a lot of talk about whether or not the Wild gave up too much for Hanzal. He is a really big player, and big players are what the Wild have been lacking. Hanzal might be a good fit, especially considering that he is still able to score while playing physical. He’s a strong player who can show his toughness in the corners. The Wild did give up a first-round pick, but they are most likely going to get one of the last picks in the first-round of the 2017 draft anyway. Hanzal has proved that he is a good player in this league, and he will be able to make a strong impact with the Wild.
Coyote’s captain Shane Doan voiced his displeasure of the trade during the intermission of their game yesterday against the Buffalo Sabres. “Well, it’s really hard. Obviously he’s a huge part of our team and someone that you get to play with for 10 years and you appreciate and you understand how valuable and how … um you can’t really replace him and the fact that we just continue to uh … seem to go … I don’t know. It’s hard to understand exactly, I mean you understand people’s hands are tied and you just don’t get it,” Doan said. Doan has spent his entire career with the Coyotes/Jets organization, and he is the franchise’s all-time leading scorer. Hanzal had been a teammate of his since 2007. It was clear that Doan was frustrated with the trade. He really wanted to say a lot more than he did, but he was able to keep his composure.
Minnesota looks like they are going all-in this year, and they don’t want to fall anywhere short of the top.
The Wild, coming back from their bye-week, will take on the LA Kings at home tonight. The game starts at 7:00.