“I haven’t got an offer yet from the Coyotes. We haven’t talked.”
That was Martin Hanzal to the Arizona Republic this week, updating where negotiations are between him and the the club regarding a new deal.
Hanzal, set to become a UFA this summer, already seemed likely to be moved by the Mar. 1 trade deadline — and that was before his latest update.
Now it feels like a near certainty.
“The bottom line is I don’t have a contract for next season, and we’re two weeks away from the deadline,” Hanzal continued. “So it’s going to happen one way or the other. Obviously, I’ll be happy with whatever happens because this is hockey and if they move me, I’ll probably have a chance to win a Stanley Cup.
“That’s another upside, right?”
As has been well-documented throughout this process, Hanzal is a very intriguing add for a number of playoff-bound teams.
Last year he racked up a career-high 41 points (in just 64 games played), often skating alongside two youngsters in Max Domi and Anthony Duclair. Hanzal was also terrific in the faceoff circle, winning nearly 56 percent of his draws, and has routinely averaged around 18 minutes per night for the Coyotes, the only NHL club he’s ever known.
At 6-foot-6, 226 pounds, Hanzal would provide an immense physical presence down the middle. And after missing some time to injury — health has been a concern for the 29-year-0ld — Hanzal seems to be peaking at the right time. He has seven points in his last eight games, including a goal in last night’s 4-0 win over Calgary.
The big question now, it seems, is what Coyotes GM John Chayka wants for Hanzal. Back in late January, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported Chayka was looking to hit a grand slam, with an ask from Montreal that included prized prospect Michael McCarron and a first-round pick.