Published: Tue, February 28, 2017
Sci-tech | By Jose Becker

Player Profile: Martin Hanzal

The Arizona Coyotes traded one of their longest-tenured players, center Martin Hanzal, along with forward Ryan White to the Minnesota Wild Sunday in exchange for draft picks and prospect Grayson Downing. If the Wild advance to the conference finals, then the pick becomes a second round choice.

The 30-year-old ranked third on the last-place Coyotes with 26 points, including a team-leading 16 goals. Instead, reports indicate the Wild, Predators, and Penguins were among the top suitors before Arizona and Minnesota finalized a deal.

The 17th overall selection in 2005, Hanzal has dealt with injury problems for much of his career; since the 2010-11 season he has not played in more than 65 games in a single season. White has a 42.9 5v5 CF% on the fourth line this year, or -4.69% relative to the rest of the team.

White, who turns 29 next month, has seven goals and six assists in 46 games this season for the Coyotes.

Hanzal is an excellent player but there's no way around the fact that this is a steep price for Minnesota.

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"It's been a good 10 years, but I'm really looking forward to being in the playoffs and stepping on the ice to help Minnesota", Hanzal told The Sports Xchange's Craig Morgan in a phone interview.

Among active pro athletes, only Shane Doan and Larry Fitzgerald had played in the Valley longer than Hanzal, who recorded 117 goals and 196 assists during his 10 seasons in Arizona.

For the Wild, this move is the clearest indication that General Manager Chuck Fletcher believes now is the time to win.

GM Stan Bowman has said the Blackhawks wouldn't be making any big moves before the trade deadline, so their lack of activity around Hanzal fits with that. "We wish him the best of the luck in the future".

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