Sharks’ Handzus signs in Slovak Extraliga

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Michal Handzus is headed home.

That was the word out of Slovakia on Tuesday as the veteran center signed with former club HC Banska Bystrica, according to the team website.

Handzus was born in Banska Bystrica and played for the club at both the junior and senior levels before joining the St. Louis organization in 1997.

Last year, the 35-year-old appeared in 67 games for the Sharks, finishing with 7G-17A-24PTS. He struggled with a hip injury over the final six weeks of the season and only appeared in two of San Jose’s five games in an opening round playoff loss to St. Louis.

In Banska Bystrica, Handzus will be coached by former Nashville Predatords forward Vladimir Orszagh. The two were teammates on Slovakia’s gold medal-winning side at the 2002 IIHF World Championships.