Coyotes’ Martin Hanzal ‘could be on the move soon’

Phoenix Coyotes forward Martin Hanzal. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

We’re entering the part of the season when trade rumours heat up and the likelihood moves are made increase as teams start figuring out what they have, what they need and what their true outlook is.

For the 5-9-1 Coyotes, at the bottom of the NHL standings, a lottery draft pick is starting to look more realistic than a playoff spot. Not that a post-season appearance is completely out of reach, but it’s getting to the point where the young team may start looking to make moves directed at the future.

That brings us to 29-year-old Martin Hanzal, a career-long Coyote who was drafted 17th overall by the team in 2005. He’s played 567 career NHL games, including 10 this season in which he’s scored two goals and four points. Averaging 18:03 of ice time per night, Hanzal is the most-used forward on the team, but Sportsnet’s Eric Engels reports that he could be on his way out of town soon.

As Engels notes, the Canadiens are one team believed interested in the 6-foot-6, 226-pound centre who can play all situations. In this week’s 30 Thoughts column, Elliotte Friedman noted what the price may be to get Hanzal out of Arizona:

Arizona has told teams that pending unrestricted free agent Martin Hanzal will not be dealt unless the Coyotes receive a young player who can step in now. The preference is a centre. It sounds like there’s quite a bit of interest. Could see San Jose and St. Louis being among them. Fits what both need and both do.

Hanzal scored a career-high 41 points last season, but has only scored more than 15 goals once, back in 2010-11 when he notched 16.

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