Tag:Martin Hanzal
Posted on: October 26, 2011 9:09 pm
Edited on: October 26, 2011 10:23 pm

Maloney continues to say he's not trading Turris

KT3By: Adam Gretz

Phoenix Coyotes forward Kyle Turris remains unsigned as a restricted free agent and still appears to be holding out for a contract that pays him somewhere in the neighborhood of $3 and $4 million per season, despite the fact he's never scored more than 11 goals or recorded more than 25 points in a single season, or established himself as any sort of player that's worth that sort of cash on the restricted free agent market. General manager Don Maloney addressed Turris' apparent demands before the season and referred to his asking price as "illogical" and insisted that he has no intention of trading him because he still believes he can be a productive player.

Maloney appeared on Fox Sports Arizona on Tuesday night and offered an update on the situation.

He still believes Turris can be a productive player and he continues to say that he has no interest in trading the 22-year-old former first-round draft pick.

Said Maloney, "It’s very simple. If he wants to play in the NHL this year, he's going to play for us. We are not going to trade him under any circumstances. I don’t care who offers us anything. We like Kyle, we think he can help us and hopefully he will come back to us. Kyle is a good player. He is going to have a great future in this game."

He also added that "we would like to get him back in the league and show us that you’re a top player and then get paid like a top player."

Just because he says he has no intention of trading him at this point doesn't mean he isn't at least considering it. What else is he supposed to say? If he comes out and publicly states that, yes, he's on the market, any leverage he has obviously goes down. And the rumors are still floating out there, anyway.

The Coyotes have shown over the past couple of months that they're willing to pay money to their young players, having locked up defenseman Keith Yandle and forward Martin Hanzal to long-term deals. They're just not willing to pay for potential when the player in question still has a lot of question marks as to how productive he's going to be in the NHL.

Photo: Getty Images

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Posted on: October 6, 2011 5:12 pm
Edited on: October 6, 2011 5:23 pm

Coyotes lock up Martin Hanzal for 5 years

MH1By: Adam Gretz

In his four seasons with the Phoenix Coyotes Martin Hanzal has been remarkably consistent with his offensive production, averaging around 11 goals and somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 points every season. Not exactly superstar level production, but don't let that hide his overall value -- and importance -- to the team.

He spends most of his team in a defensive role, usually going against the other teams top lines, and doing everything he can to keep points off the board. It's a role that he's been very successful at, and on Thursday it was announced by the team that he signed a new five-year contract extension that will keep him in Phoenix through the 2016-17 season. The team did not release the terms of the deal, but according to John Shannon of Sportsnet the deal will pay him a total of $15.5 million, which is a cap hit of $3.1 million.

Said general manager Don Maloney in a statement released by the team, “We are very pleased to sign Martin to a five-year contract extension. Martin is a big, strong, skilled center and a core member of our team. He contributes at both ends of the ice and we are confident he will continue to improve to become one of the NHL’s best two-way centers.”

Critics of the deal will likely point to his point totals and question how 30 points gets you over $3 million a year, but again, that completely misses the point of what Hanzal brings to the Coyotes. Phoenix plays a defensive-style of hockey and Hanzal is one of the most important players on the roster when it comes to establishing that style of play.

And it's not all that out of line with what similar players are making around the NHL, while Hanzal is still only 23 years old and can still improve.

Just as a point of reference, the $3.1 million cap hit is nearly $1 million less per year than the deal Pittsburgh's Jordan Staal, a similar defensive-minded center with great size, signed a couple of years ago. It's also less than the $3.375 million per year contract Dave Bolland signed with Chicago prior to the 2009-10 season.

Earlier this summer the Coyotes locked up another key part of their future by signing defenseman Keith Yandle to a five-year deal worth over $25 million. On Wednesday they signed Paul Bissonette, master of Twitter, to a two-year deal.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: September 23, 2011 2:14 pm
Edited on: September 23, 2011 2:43 pm

Mike Yeo knows what it takes to win the Selke


By: Adam Gretz

Mike Yeo is entering his first year as the head coach of the Minnesota Wild and he's already starting the PR push for his best player, Mikko Koivu, to take home one of the NHL's top individual awards -- the Selke Trophy, which is awarded to the NHL's best defensive forward.

Koivu, Minnesota's captain, is entering his seventh season in the league and has become one of the NHL's best two-way centers -- and probably an underrated one, too -- and will be playing the first year of a seven-year contract extension that pays him $6.7 million per season. He plays in all situations for the Wild and has finished as the clubs leading scorer in each of the past three seasons.

In an article that appears in Wednesday's Star Tribue, via PHT, Michael Russo spoke to Yeo about his expectations for Koivu this season as the Wild attempt end a frustrating three-year playoff drought. Yeo admitted he has high expectations for the 28-year-old forward, and said he's going to make a push for him to win his first Selke Trophy. He didn't crack the top-20 in voting this past season, but did finish 11th back in 2009-10.

Said Yeo, via Russo:
"One thing I already started talking to Mikko about is I'm going to push for that guy to win the Selke Trophy [NHL's best defensive forward]. I don't know if he's going to win the Hart [MVP] next year, but I believe he can win the Selke. In order to do that, you have to get a lot of points, but you also have to be great defensively."
Emphasis mine. Yeo, of course, is not wrong with that comment.

Even though the Selke is awarded to the NHL's best defensive forward, there is no way to avoid the fact it generally goes to a player that also scores. A lot. Winners of the award have averaged over 60 points per season the year they've won it, and since 1990 there's only been one winner -- John Madden in 2000-01 -- that finished with fewer than 40 points. The finalists for the award over the past four years alone have finished with the following point totals, lowest to highest: 43, 49, 59, 59, 70, 73, 75, 76, 80, 92, 97, 97.

That's not to say that any of the recent finalists -- and winners -- haven't been deserving, as the list usually includes Pavel Datsyuk and Ryan Kesler (as it has in each of the past three years), two exceptional defensive players. But scoring does help get you noticed, which can only hurt players like Blair Betts, Samuel Pahlsson or Martin Hanzal, players that are excellent defensively, but don't score a ton of points. Koivu can certainly score, having reached the 60-point mark in each of the past three seasons. The problem will be finding a way to crack the top-three, when two of the spots have gone to the aforementioned Datsyuk and Kesler in each of the past three seasons (Datsyuk has been there the past four seasons, and deservedly so).

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com