Tag: Martin Hanzal

Martin Hanzal, Martin Erat

Coyotes’ Hanzal puts ‘shooting pain’ in leg behind him


If the Arizona Coyotes are going to be successful in 2015-16, it will come down to grinding away wins like they managed to do years ago.

Towering center Martin Hanzal has been a big part of those more successful runs, yet his unyielding style has taken its toll on his body.

Really, his description of the left leg issues that plagued him last season was pretty disturbing, even if his overall message to Fox Sports Arizona was positive.

“I had pain that was shooting down my left leg and there were days where I couldn’t feel my leg,” Hanzal said. “They kind of cut the piece out that was pushing on my nerve and that was the reason I couldn’t feel my leg. Now it’s all good; all healed up.”


The 28-year-old acknowledged his frustration regarding all the time he’s missed over his career. Just look at his games played totals over the years, handing a partial mulligan to the lockout-shortened 2012-13 campaign:

2009-10 (made the playoffs): 81 games played
2010-11 (made): 61 GP
2011-12 (made): 64 GP
2012-13 (missed): 39 GP*
2013-14 (missed): 65 GP
2014-15 (missed): 37 GP

That’s a lot of missed games, and it’s not as if players who historically deal with injury issues consistently become more durable with age.

Head coach Dave Tippett admits those issues are “a concern,” and health problems only seem more frustrating when you consider his praise of Hanzal:

“When you look at the teams in our conference, he can play head-to-head with those big centers and he touches a lot of different situations for us,” Tippett said. “In a hard game, he’s one of those guys that helps you win.”

Of course, he can’t help the Coyotes if he’s unable to suit up, which is an all-too-frequent issue for the powerhouse pivot.

Hanzal to have back surgery, likely out for season

Phoenix Coyotes v Vancouver Canucks

Martin Hanzal is unlikely to play again this season. The Coyotes announced today that he’ll have back surgery, rendering his chances of returning before next season “remote.”

Hanzal has eight goals and 16 assists in 37 games. A big forward who plays with an edge, it was thought the 27-year-old might be a coveted player leading up to the March 2 trade deadline.

Obviously, this news changes things.

Per Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic, Coyotes GM Don Maloney expects Hanzal to make a full recovery.

Hanzal is signed through 2016-17 for a cap hit of $3.1 million.

Related: Even Ekman-Larsson could be ‘up for grabs’ as Coyotes take ‘a step back’

Even Ekman-Larsson could be ‘up for grabs’ as Coyotes take ‘a step back’

Oliver Ekman-Larsson

We already know the Arizona Coyotes are willing to trade Antoine Vermette.

We also have a pretty good idea that Keith Yandle is available.

But Oliver Ekman-Larsson? Would they really trade him?

“Oliver Ekman-Larsson is a player that we would certainly be very, very reluctant to part with,” GM Don Maloney said today on TSN 1200 (audio), “but as far as I am concerned, when you’re sitting with our record, and we’re three or four worst records in the league, then everybody is up for grabs.”

Ekman-Larsson is a young defenseman who plays a ton and boasts all sorts of offensive talent. And just so we don’t misconstrue what was said, Maloney actually brought up the 23-year-old as an example of someone who was unlikely to be traded.

Maloney’s point was simply that nobody — save for captain Shane Doan, who’s “not going anywhere” — is untouchable as the Coyotes begin the process of “taking a step back” and “resetting” the organization with younger players.

Besides Vermette and Yandle, the Coyotes have a number of other veterans who could draw trade interest prior to the March 2 deadline, including forwards Martin Erat and Martin Hanzal and d-man Zbynek Michalek.

Related: Maloney says plan ‘may result in some long nights ahead’

Leafs’ luck: Bernier gives up long distance goal, things unravel in third

Jonathan Bernier

Yikes. Sometimes that’s all you can really say about an especially bad goal.

Every tally has been precious for the offense-starved Toronto Maple Leafs, so giving up a soft one hurts that much more. That’s exactly what happened early in the third period tonight, as Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored from his own blue line on a sleepy Jonathan Bernier:

Rule of thumb: when people are bringing up Vesa Toskala’s name in Toronto, you know things are going poorly.

Update: Yep, the third period ended up being pretty rough for the Maple Leafs overall.

Phil Kessel first-period goal wasn’t nearly enough for the Maple Leafs to secure a standings point. Martin Hanzal scored the game-winner at the 3:47 mark of the third period and Sam Gagner found the net for an insurance tally with three-and-a-half minutes left.

Almost as disturbing for Toronto is that a flailing Arizona team hogged the puck. The Coyotes generated a 45-25 shot advantage on Thursday with a 21-6 second period being most glaring (even without featuring a single goal).

It’s one thing to be dominated by a contending team; it’s another to be handled thoroughly by a squad seemingly in free-fall mode. Bad times for the Maple Leafs.

New owner Barroway bracing Arizona for rebuild

PNI coyotes main 0102

Recently, Coyotes GM Don Maloney unveiled the vision Andrew Barroway — who took over as Arizona’s majority owner last month — has for the future of the team.

“I spent the weekend with Andy at the All-Star Game and really got a sense of who he is and what he’s all about,” Maloney said, per Fox Sports Arizona. “He really does want to do this right.

“He wants to build for the long term and he understands that there is some suffering involved to do what you need to do to build a winner that is sustainable.”

Acknowledgement of potential suffering is intriguing. Remember when former Sabres GM Darcy Regier alluded to it in Buffalo during the start of Buffalo’s rebuild?

“It probably needs an understanding from our fan base that what Terry [Pegula, Sabres owner] is asking of us is to try a lot of things,” Regier said in the spring of ’13. “He is in search of creating a Stanley Cup champion.

“It may require some suffering.”

Regier, of course, was fired just a few months after making that statement, only to resurface last July in — surprise! — Arizona, where he’s currently embedded as assistant GM.

At this point, all signs point to a major rebuild in the desert. Beyond the quotes above, Arizona has just five players under contract beyond 2015-16 (Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Mike Smith, Martin Hanzal, Lauri Korpikoski, Joe Vitale) and a slew of young prospects looking to make the leap, led by World Juniors standout Max Domi.

This makes the Mar. 2 deadline all the more intriguing. The Barroway transaction closed quicker than some speculated (reports suggested it wouldn’t be done until the end of the season), which has afforded Maloney an earlier opportunity to figure out what ownership wants, and how to execute it. The names of Antoine Vermette and Keith Yandle have been prominent in rumors and the club has another chip to play in veteran d-man Zbynek Michalek, a UFA at season’s end.

Some think it would behoove Arizona to re-sign some of these players, especially a productive veteran presence like Vermette. But based on the message Maloney’s getting from Barroway, spending money doesn’t sound like it’s a key part of the plan.

“We want to stay as flexible as possible,” he explained. “If we need to grow this thing and run at a low payroll for a couple years, so be it.”