While former Arizona GM Don Maloney was originally looking to sign center Martin Hanzal to an extension this summer before he wound up being let go, his replacement in John Chayka doesn’t seem to be as enthusiastic about the idea, writes Craig Morgan of Arizona Sports. Morgan reports that Chayka held talks with Hanzal’s representatives shortly after he took over but those talks were pushed to the backburner.
Chayka’s comments certainly suggest they’re in no rush to get a new deal done with the 29 year old:
“If there was something that made sense, we would probably take a closer look at that because Marty’s been a good player for us. But maybe it’s not a bad thing to get into the season and see how things play out.”
Hanzal has spent his entire nine year career with the Coyotes. Last season, he had a career year offensively, picking up 13 goals and 28 assists in just 64 games, setting career highs in both assists and points. 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.
Hanzal is entering the final season of a five year deal that carries a cap hit of $3.1MM and a salary of $3.5MM. He will be an unrestricted free agent after 2016-17 and should be in line for a sizable raise if he can repeat his efforts from last season.
More news and notes surrounding the Coyotes:
- Also from Morgan, there is no update to the Tobias Rieder contract situation. The two sides are believed to be several hundred thousand dollars apart per season. Rieder’s agent Darren Ferris suggested earlier this summer that Rieder would be open to signing in the KHL if a deal can’t be reached.
- Nick Cotsonika of NHL.com sat down with Chayka with the focus being on their youngsters, particularly Christian Dvorak and Dylan Strome, both of whom are expected to contend for a roster spot in training camp. Some have suggested that with Strome’s case in particular, he has achieved all he can at the junior level (he is too young to play in the AHL) and that sending him back could be detrimental to his development. Chayka is at least mindful of that concept, noting “I do think there is, obviously, a fine line between overbaking your prospects. I think there’s some detriments that can occur if you do that as well. But at the same time, there’s no rush for these players.” The Coyotes are expected to have a few spots open for younger players next season.