Arizona Coyotes: Martin Hanzal Trade Was Necessary

The Arizona Coyotes had to trade Martin Hanzal for a variety of reasons, but that doesn’t stop the news from stinging.

Martin Hanzal was going to leave the desert and the Arizona Coyotes. It was almost a guarantee.

The 30-year-old centerman is likely to command a hefty sum in both salary and term in the offseason when he becomes an unrestricted free agent.

It will be his last chance to cash in on a steady NHL career.

You can’t fault him for that.

Which is precisely why the Coyotes and John Chayka had to move him on Sunday afternoon.

Whatever you think of the Yotes penchant for not being able to re-sign or keep their own players, there is one inarguable truth about Martin Hanzal; even though he deserves the right to cash in, he’s not worth what he’s about to get paid.

In that, he’s not dissimilar from former Coyote Mikkel Boedker.

Locking yourself in for five to seven years and likely north of five million dollars per on a center who has never scored 50 points in a season and is quite injury prone would be madness. It’s also worth noting he just turned 30. That’s the kind of contract that costs you your job in three years when ownership has to buy it out.

John Chayka, Dave Tippett, and the Arizona Coyotes front office recognized that with Hanzal and they took their own opportunity to cash in.

And boy, cash in they did.

Chayka received a first-rounder, a second-rounder, and the potential for another second-rounder thanks to very favorable conditions on the 2019 fourth-rounder.

That’s not bad for a 27-year-old GM who has been called everything from “whiz kid” to “in over his head”.

We’re inching ever closer to a full season in control for Mr. Chayka, and I’ve got bad news for the doubters…there is someone being taken advantage of in these trades, but it’s not “the kid”.

Arguments can be made that at some point the Coyotes have to begin to hold onto talent instead of letting it walk away.

I believe we’ve seen some of that already with the likes of Connor Murphy and Tobias Rieder (whose agent tried his best to bully his way into a better deal or out of town), and we’ll certainly see them roll out the red carpet for Max Domi and any of the other top prospects who come good on their promise.

Yes, it stings that Hanzal has now left the fold.

He’ll be tremendously missed on the ice.

The bottom line is the team hasn’t been able to win consistently with Martin Hanzal in the lineup for the past five years. He was good, but not great. Offensively he never quite fit the bill of a top center, though he was reliable in the dot and on the other end.

That wasn’t enough to save the Arizona Coyotes, and ultimately wasn’t enough to convince Chayka and Tipp that Hanzal deserved the massive payday he’s about to get.

At least not without getting some assets in return beforehand, at any rate.

It wouldn’t be insane to think that the Coyotes front office would roll the dice and bring him back in the summer anyway. We don’t know.

Should Hanzal take a hometown discount, or someone in management decide that the massive offers he’s likely to receive are worth matching, perhaps he’ll come back to the desert.

Perhaps not.

The Yotes made the right move for the future, however.

John Chayka won another trade, and anything short of a Stanley Cup berth will see Minnesota regret it’s investment in Martin Hanzal.

In the meantime, the rebuild continues.

As a certain NBA team’s fans are fond of saying, trust the process.