The rich just got richer in Minnesota, as the Wild have reached an agreement with the Arizona Coyotes on a trade to bring in talked-about deadline target Martin Hanzal. The Wild are “all-in” this season, as Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports that Minnesota will send a first-round pick, second-round pick, and conditional pick that can go as high as another second-rounder to Arizona. The deal has since been confirmed as a 2017 first-rounder, 2018 second-rounder and 2019 conditional pick for Hanzal, Ryan White, and a 2017 fourth-rounder. The condition for the pick is as follows: if Minnesota wins one playoff round this year, it becomes a third-rounder and if they win two, it becomes a second-rounder. TSN’s Bob McKenzie adds that minor leaguer Grayson Downing will also head to Arizona and that the Coyotes will also retain 50% of Hanzal’s salary cap hit in the deal.
Hanzal is a big addition for the Wild, who have been so dominant this season that many did not expect them to make a major move at the deadline. Instead, GM Chuck Fletcher adds Hanzal to a lineup that already has Mikko Koivu and Eric Staal down the middle. One of the top names on the market, Hanzal could have slotted into the first line on a team like the Montreal Canadiens, who were long rumored to be his likely destination, but will likely skate on Minnesota’s third line, showcasing the depth that this team has. Hanzal was leading the Coyotes in goals this season with 16 and is coming off a 41-point campaign in 2015-16. A big pivot who can crash the net and play a hard-nosed game, Hanzal will add a physical element that has sometime been missing for the Wild.
The cost for the career Coyote center is a steep one though. Not many people expected the Wild to be where they are in 2016-17; they have 84 points and have a significant lead in points and games on the Chicago Blackhawks for the top spot in the Central Division and Western Conference. With that in mind, the Wild brass have clearly bought in to the Stanley Cup hype this season. To acquire Hanzal, a mere 26-point scorer this season, they have mortgaged the future with first, second, and to-be-determined selections. Granted, the Wild’s first-rounder this season will likely be somewhere between #26 and #31 and their second-round selection next season could be pretty far down as well, but it is still a steep price to pay, especially considering Minnesota was already without a second-round pick in 2017 due to their acquisition of Chris Stewart. More than anything, the deal has also set the bar for the forward market as we approach the deadline. If you already considered this to be a quiet trade season, the Hanzal deal has set a market price that could silence quite a few more deals between now and Wednesday.