It’s been talked about for quite some time. Martin Hanzal has been considering retirement for quite a while, but he finally decided to retire from professional hockey, according to Arizona Coyotes’ beat writer Craig Morgan. The 33-year-old Hanzal was a solid forward for many years with the Phoenix/Arizona Coyotes, but back injuries cut his career short. He finished his career scoring 127 goals, 338 points and 574 penalty minutes in 673 career NHL games.
“It’s a little bit of a relief because the last couple of years I wasn’t sure if I’d play another NHL game or be healthy again so now it’s official: I am retired from the NHL,” Hanzal said by phone. “If I was healthy, I would probably still be playing, but after three back surgeries and especially after the last one, I just can’t do it anymore. I was doing everything I could after this last one and it took me a year to get back on the ice. When I went to see the doctor again, it was either do another surgery or be done playing. Even the doctor said, ‘We’re not sure another surgery will help.’ I still have a long life ahead of me. I don’t want to do another surgery when it’s not 100 percent sure it will even help.”
Hanzal was a first-round pick by the Phoenix Coyotes in 2005 (17th overall) and debuted with his team in 2007 and played 10 years for the franchise, who at 6-foot-6 and 230 pounds, served as a power forward, who gave the Coyotes’ much of their grit. After 10 years and with an expiring contract, the Coyotes decided to trade Hanzal at the trade deadline to Minnesota in 2017 for a slew of draft picks (which eventually netted Arizona defensemen Pierre-Olivier Joseph and Kevin Bahl – both since traded). Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to help much with Minnesota’s hope of a long playoff run as they were eliminated in five games that year. He then signed a three-year deal to sign with the Dallas Stars, but back issues allowed him only to appear in 45 games over that time before his contract ran out this past year.