Tag: Martin Hanzal

Jonathan Bernier

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


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.”


Coyotes waive Summers, McMillan (Updated)

Edmonton Oilers v Arizona Coyotes

The Arizona Coyotes have placed forward Brandon McMillan and defenseman Chris Summers on waivers, per TVA.

McMillan, 24, is probably the more noteworthy of the two, as he appeared in 38 of Arizona’s 41 games this year, scoring one goal and three points. A former third-round pick of Anaheim (85th overall, 2008), McMillan had a solid rookie campaign for the Ducks — 11 goals, 21 points in 60 games — but failed to find similar success with the Coyotes after being acquired in exchange for Matthew Lombardi at the ’13 trade deadline.

Summers, 26, had an even higher draft pedigree — he was the Coyotes’ first-round pick at the 2006 NHL Entry Draft — but has never made good on that promise, appearing in just 61 games over the course of five years with the organization. In 14 games this year he’s posted a minus-12 rating while averaging just over 13 minutes per night.


Some other transactions from the Coyotes today that put the Summers/McMillan moves in perspective:

— Martin Hanzal was placed on IR.

— Brandon Gormley is out tonight.

— Philip Samuelsson has been recalled from AHL Portland.

Related: Coyotes’ poor play ‘falls directly on us leaders,’ says Doan