‘We wouldn’t want to lose Marty Hanzal,’ says Coyotes owner

AP
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Tricky situation at play between Arizona and veteran center Martin Hanzal.

Hanzal, who scored a career-high 41 points this year — despite playing in just 64 games — established some great chemistry with prized rookies Anthony Duclair and Max Domi, and further cemented himself as one of the club’s veteran leaders.

He also endeared himself to ownership.

“It’s pretty tough to replace a big, strong guy like Marty Hanzal,” Coyotes president Anthony LeBlanc said, per AZ Central. “We see what his effect is when he’s on the ice.

“I think that my gut reaction is we wouldn’t want to lose Marty Hanzal.”

Under normal circumstances, the kind of year Hanzal had would pave the way towards a contract extension.

But as often is the case in Arizona, things aren’t normal.

The club is still without a GM following the firing of Don Maloney and Hanzal, 29, isn’t in any huge rush to re-sign — he has one year remaining on his five-year, $15.5 million contract.

But uncertainty about his future has already started.

Is Hanzal, an injury-prone guy, part of the club’s long-term future? The Coyotes some gifted young centers in the system, including Dylan Strome and Christian Dvorak. So would it behoove them to use Hanzal as a trade deadline chip, something they’ve pulled off successfully in the past? (See: Vermette, Antoine)

From Hanzal’s perspective, he’s spent his entire career in the desert. He says he definitely wants to stay.

“It’ll be nice if I can sign here,” he said. “I love it here. I’ve been here for nine years. I want to spend my career here, but we’ll see how it goes this summer.”