The Coyotes are planning to discuss a contract extension with center Martin Hanzal in the coming weeks, Sarah McLellan of AZ Central reports. GM John Chayka noted that they plan to sit down with Hanzal’s representatives before training camp gets underway later this month.
Hanzal has spent his entire nine year career with the Coyotes. He had a career year offensively last season, scoring 13 goals and 28 assists in just 64 games, setting career highs in both assists and points in the process. He also won an impressive 56% of his faceoffs, putting him in a tie for 15th league wide amongst players who took at least 300 draws last season.
The 29 year old is entering the final season of a five year deal that carries a cap hit of $3.1MM with a salary of $3.5MM for 2016-17 and is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent in July.
Hanzal is likely to begin next season in a top six role and a repeat of his 2015-16 campaign would have him in line for a sizable raise should he make it to the open market next offseason.
[Related: Coyotes Depth Chart]
Elsewhere in the West:
- More from McLellan, Arizona blueliner Michael Stone has begun skating after having surgery to repair his left ACL and MCL back in April. He isn’t yet to participate in any informal scrimmages but is still hoping to be ready for their season opener on October 15th. Stone is coming off a career year, recording 36 points in 75 games last season which earned him a one year, $4MM deal this offseason. Like Hanzal, Stone is also eligible to become a UFA in July although the team can’t sign him to any extension until January 1st at the earliest.
- Fresh off his retirement, Manny Malhotra is looking to get into coaching, writes Jeff Paterson of the Vancouver Province. Malhotra noted earlier this offseason that a couple of teams had reached out to them; one of those is the Vancouver Canucks. Malhotra spent parts of three seasons with Vancouver from 2010-11 to 2012-13. GM Jim Benning acknowledged that they are in talks with Malhotra, telling Paterson that, “He was a good player for the team for a number of years, and he’s a guy who had a special set of gifts that he offered on faceoffs and penalty killing. He was a good leader on those teams that were successful. So we’re currently looking into seeing if there is a fit with our organization.”