Marty Hanzal

AP

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

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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.”

Wideman ‘was excited to get back’ from his suspension; Flames drop 4-1 decision to ‘Yotes

Associated Press
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CALGARY, Alberta (AP) In a season highlighted by the emergence of some youngsters, Arizona’s veterans helped snap a 10-game road winless streak Friday night.

Brad Richardson scored twice after Antoine Vermette put Arizona ahead early in the third period and the Coyotes beat the Calgary Flames 4-1 to end the skid streak.

The 33-year-old Vermette put Arizona ahead 2-1 early in the third period, and then Richardson scored his two goals to clinch it.

“We know the situation we’re in, but we’re trying to push, trying to become a better team. There’s a lot of young guys here that are kind of learning their way. These are big games for all of us,” Richardson said.

Boyd Gordon also scored for Arizona, and Louis Domingue made 24 saves. Shane Doan had two assists and has 41 points this season, giving him his 14th season with at least 40. The Coyotes are 2-8-1 in their last 11 games.

Calgary got back defenseman Dennis Wideman after an arbitrator reduced his 20-game suspension for physically abusing an official down to 10 games earlier in the day.

“I’m just excited to get back and get playing and help the Flames win some games here,” Wideman said. “I know that this was pretty chaotic the last couple weeks and a bit of a distraction.”

Arbitrator James Oldham announced Wideman’s suspension would be reduced, ruling that the Calgary defenseman did not intend to injure linesman Don Henderson. That paved the way for him to return to the lineup. He had already sat out 19 games.

“First and foremost, I just want to wish Donnie Henderson a speedy recovery. I realize that he’s still working through his injuries and trying to make his way back and I hope to see him back out on the ice as soon as possible,” Wideman said. “As far as the ruling goes, I’m happy it was reduced to 10 games. I still maintain that it was completely accidental and I had no intent on hitting Donnie at all.”

Mikael Backlund scored for Calgary, and Joni Ortio made 22 saves. The Flames are 1-1-1 halfway through a six-game homestand.

Vermette’s power-play goal put the Coyotes ahead 2-1 3:15 into the third. He sneaked out of the corner and from the side of the net, then shot in a cross-ice pass from Martin Hanzal.

“Our power play needed to be generating a little more, a little better execution,” Vermette said. “On that play, our entry was pretty good, we executed a few tight plays and eventually we used the width of the ice. It was a great play by Marty Hanzal to see me backdoor.”

Arizona got an insurance goal at 14:18 of the third when Richardson backhanded in Doan’s rebound, then Richardson added an empty-netter.

Calgary took a 1-0 lead on a short-handed goal 21 seconds into the second period. Michael Frolik cut in from off the wing on a 2-on-1 and neatly slid a pass across to Backlund, and he buried his 15th into the open net.

Backlund has been on a roll lately with 10 goals in his last 18 games. This comes after he scored just five times in the first 50 games.

Arizona tied it at 15:01 of the second on a short-handed goal of its own. Gordon blocked Dougie Hamilton‘s shot leading to a 2-on-1 in which Justin Martinook sent a pass across to Gordon, who batted it in out of the air.

Gordon has two goals in his last three games after 48 games without a goal to begin the season.

Two of his best stops came close together midway through the period second with the game tied 1-1. First he denied Micheal Ferland‘s 15-foot snap shot from the slot. Then he turned aside a dangerous chance by Mark Giordano.

NOTES: The Flames were without TJ Brodie (upper body) and Sam Bennett (upper body), who are both day-to-day. … Kenny Agostino was called up from Stockton of the AHL.