October 06, 2011
Martin Hanzal(notes) is an underrated player, not only because he doesn't put up stellar offensive numbers but because he wears a Phoenix Coyotes sweater, which is like a cloak of invisibility for many media and fans.
But the Coyotes know his value, and now they've quantified it: 5 years and $15.5 million in a freshly signed contract extension, according to John Shannon of Sportsnet. That's a $3.1 million cap hit for a 24-year-old player who was due for restricted free agency next summer; this contract covers that and eats up a couple of unrestricted free-agency years.
From the Coyotes:
"We are very pleased to sign Martin to a five-year contract extension," said Maloney. "Martin is a big, strong, skilled center and a core member of our team. He contributes at both ends of the ice and we are confident he will continue to improve to become one of the NHL's best two-way centers."
Last season, the 6-foot-6, 236 pound Hanzal appeared in 61 regular season games for the Coyotes, registering 16-10-26 and 54 penalty minutes (PIM). He established new career highs in goals (16), game-winning goals (5), power play goals (7) and hits (147). Hanzal appeared in all four games of the Western Conference Quarter-Final against Detroit, recording his first career postseason goal along with two assists and eight PIM.
Hanzal's able to put up respectable offensive numbers while playing against the toughest competition for any forward on the Coyotes. He's strong on faceoffs (50.3 percent) and at 6-6 and 220 pounds is a rather noticeable presence on the ice.
(By the way, in reference to the headline: "Zoolander 2", and Hansel has a disfiguring injury? For realz?)