37-Year-Old Center – Free Agent
Michal Handzus Contract Information:
Became an unrestricted free agent in July 2014.
Handzus has been informed by the Blackhawks that they will be "going in a different direction," TSN's Bob McKenzie reports.
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Michal Handzus: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Handzus isn't as bad as his 24 points from last year. The big pivot played most of last year with a nagging hip injury, so it's little wonder he looked bad and slow at times. He should return to the 30-point mark that he delivered two seasons ago, but he will have to work hard to keep Andrew Desjardins from stealing his third-line job. If you're in a league that prizes checking line centers with experience, then Handzus is your pick. If not, you know what to do.
Handzus signed a deal with the Sharks in the offseason that will pay him $2.5 million over two years. This figures to be a safe investment for San Jose, as he has the ability to improve a penalty-killing unit that went from being one of the top units (85 percent) in 2009-10, all the way down to 79.6 percent last season. The potential pitfall for "Zeus" is that he had averaged between 18:18 and 17:20 of ice time the past two seasons with Los Angeles, and considering that was the approximate TOI range for Ryane Clowe and Logan Couture last season, Handzus' minutes are bound to drop as a third-line checker in a teal sweater. And naturally, a decrease in minutes means fewer opportunities to score, followed by a natural drop in fantasy value.
By lighting the lamp 20 times last year, Handzus had his highest goal scoring season since the 2003-04 season. The 33-year old doesn't see enough ice time now to expect much improvement over those numbers and his 17.1% shooting percentage was his highest mark since '02-03, so expecting another 20-goal campaign may leave you disappointed. He'll be good for around 40 points and 18-20 goals.
Zeus had a bounce back season last year, but let's not get overly excited here. He still only had 18 goals and 24 assists in his second year after major knee surgery. The 32-year old is best suited for a checking role so don't expect anything more than 40-45 points again this season.
Handzus was a bust of almost mythical proportions in his first year with the Kings after signing a four-year, $16 million deal. He scored just seven goals in 82 games and doesn't figure to see much time on either of the team's top two scoring lines. He'll likely be a very well paid checking line center for the Kings unless he can crack the team's top six forwards.
While Handzus missed 74 games last season, he is not injury prone and is bound to put up better numbers than he did in Philadelphia before his one-year stint in Chicago. If he can click with another skater like Ladislav Nagy, he could easily push 60 points by season's end.
It could be a big year for Handzus on a team that is starving for scoring. If paired with Martin Havlat and Tuomo Ruutu, Handzus could pile up the assists in 2006-07. Had 11 goals and 33 assists for the Flyers in 2005-06 and was traded to the Blackhawks for Kyle Calder. The pressure is on for him to contribute.
Handzus had a wonderful 2003-04 campaign, flying under the radar to 58 points, with 22 of those coming on the power play. He seems to get better every year and although he is on the second line, Handzus should be one of the Flyers' better scorers, especially on the power play.