The Chicago Blackhawks understandably (maybe even mercifully*) parted ways with Michal Handzus this offseason, but the veteran forward hopes to land a deal with another NHL team at some point. He’s been talking with “several teams” yet hasn’t come to any agreement yet, according to the Chicago Tribune’s Chris Kuc.
At 37, it’s become obvious to most observers that Handzus probably can’t hack it as a second-line center any longer. It’s never a good sign when people describe you as a “possession black hole” or an “old man chasing a turtle,” after all.
Still, the broad brilliance of the Blackhawks roster could arguably make average players look downright bad, and it’s conceivable that the “dependable” center could at least provide helpful depth experience … even if he ends up being a healthy scratch most nights.
One area of disappointment is that he wasn’t even all that dominant in the faceoff circle last season, which was one of his more reliable strengths in better days. He actually won slightly less than half of his draws (329-335) in 2013-14, so his main selling point would likely be his considerable NHL experience.
It’s not exactly a tantalizing outlook as of this moment, yet plenty of teams trust a fading veteran more than untested young players, so it wouldn’t be shocking if Handzus finds a fit and provides solid value. Then again, this could just easily be the end of the line …
* – Considering the vitriol directed Handzus’ way from some Blackhawks fans.