Coyotes Ship Hanzal to the Wild
TSN reports the Arizona Coyotes traded center Martin Hanzal and winger Ryan White to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for a first-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, a second-rounder in 2018, a conditional pick in 2019 and minor-league center Grayson Downing.
TSN’s Bob McKenzie also reports the Wild receive back a 2017 fourth-rounder from the Coyotes. They’ll also retain half of Hanzal’s $3.1 million cap hit.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Big move by Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher as he loads up at forward for what he hopes could be a championship run for his high-flying club this spring. He obviously wants his club to have sufficient size and grit should they square off against potential Western Conference playoff opponents like the Chicago Blackhawks, San Jose Sharks or Anaheim Ducks.
Some eyebrows were raised over how much Fletcher gave up for a couple of rental players. It’s worth remembering that this year’s draft isn’t considered a deep one, making that first rounder easier to part with.
Hanzal, 30, is eligible for unrestricted free agency in July. He isn’t a scoring forward, though he’s on pace for over 20 goals this season. It’s his size (6’6″, 226 pounds) and two-way skills that should make him a solid fit for the Wild as their likely third-line center. He has a long injury history, but is on track to reach the 80-game mark for the first time in his NHL career.
White is an energetic, physical winger. He should bring an added measure of grit to the Wild’s forward lines.
Quite the haul of picks the constantly rebuilding Coyotes got from this deal. They wanted a first-rounder as part of their initial asking price (which reportedly included a good young forward) for Hanzal.
The Coyotes will either keep those picks for themselves or perhaps use them as trade bait at the deadline or during the draft weekend in June. They also might not be done dealing before the March 1 trade deadline. Right wings Radim Vrbata and Shane Doan could also be available.