Michal Handzus 2

Trade: ‘Hawks get Handzus from San Jose


The San Jose Sharks have traded one of their big-bodied forwards.

It’s just not the one you’d expect.

With trade rumors swirling around Ryane Clowe, the Sharks flipped the script and sent center Michal Handzus to Chicago in exchange for a fourth-round pick, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

Handzus, 36, will head to Chicago for the second time in his career. He was traded to the ‘Hawks in 2006 (in exchange for Kyle Calder), but suffered a torn ACL just eight games into the season.

It should be noted that, prior to getting hurt, he was a point-a-game guy.

As for holdovers from that ’06-07 ‘Hawks team? They include Patrick Sharp (who also played with Handzus in Philly) Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook.

Handzus has been with the Sharks for the last two years after spending four seasons in Los Angeles. He has 1G-1A-2PTS in 28 games this year and is averaging 13:32 TOI per game.

The Slovak’s real value will come in the faceoff circle, as he’s won over 55 percent of his draws this season for the Sharks.

He’ll also give Chicago size down the middle — he’s 6-foot-4, 220 pounds — and some additional playoff experience, having appeared in 74 postseason contests.

Oh yeah, “Zeus” should give the ‘Hawks another option in the shootout.

He’s been one of San Jose’s go-to shooters this season, taking a team-high seven attempts, converting three times (he and Logan Couture are tied for the team lead in shootout goals).

Should also be noted the move reunites Handzus with countryman Marian Hossa — the pair were teammates for Slovakia at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, where they finished fourth.

Another Sabre hurt: Gionta (lower body) day-to-day

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On the eve of their season opener, the Buffalo Sabres got another bit of bad health news.

Captain Brian Gionta missed practice and is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, per head coach Dan Bylsma. The ailment puts the 36-year-old’s availability for Thursday’s game against Ottawa in jeopardy.

The ailment also puts Gionta alongside a slew of hurting Sabres. Defensemen Zach Bogosian and Josh Gorges were on the injured list when Buffalo’ roster was released this morning, along with rookie Brendan Guhle and veteran Cody McCormick.

There is a bright light for Buffalo, however.

Gorges skated on Wednesday and could possibly dress tomorrow, per Bylsma. If he does play, it’ll likely be on a pairing with Rasmus Ristolainen.

Blues put Berglund on LTIR, use savings to sign Gomez

Scotte Gomez
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As was the case last season, Scott Gomez accepted a professional tryout offer because he went unsigned over the summer and once again he has used that opportunity to extend his career.

The St. Louis Blues announced that they have signed Gomez to a one-year contract. They didn’t disclose the financial terms, but it’s a two-way deal that comes with a base salary of $575K at the NHL level, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jeremy Rutherford.

In order to free up the space necessary to sign him, St. Louis moved Patrik Berglund to the long-term injured reserve list. Berglund had shoulder surgery in August and isn’t expected to be available until January.

Gomez, 35, is coming off of a resurgence campaign where he recorded 34 points in 58 games on a Devils’ team that finished near the bottom of the pack offensively. The two-time Stanley Cup champion will be bringing more than a 1,000 games worth of NHL experience to St. Louis.

He’s not the only veteran forward to make the team off of a PTO as the Blues signed Scottie Upshall on Monday.