By Allan Muir
Multiple sources are reporting that the Chicago Blackhawks have acquired veteran center Michal Handzus from the San Jose Sharks.
In return, Chicago sends a 2013 fourth-round draft pick to San Jose.
The Hawks have been looking for help at center all season, but the need was clearly for a second-line pivot after Dave Bolland failed to make an impact in that role. Will Handzus help there? Not a chance.
Remember, this is the player whose role the Sharks hoped to diminish with the acquisition of Scott Gomez. If Gomez is seen as an upgrade, then that tells you all you need to know about what Handzus brings to the table.
So, what’s the appeal? He’s big (6′-4″, 220), he can chip in on the penalty kill and he’s been great on the draw, winning 55.6 percent of the time. That’s appealing to a Chicago team that ranks 18th in the league with a 49.9 winning percentage, but probably not going to terrify any of the other Western Conference contenders.
Handzus, 36, is in the last year of a deal that counts $2.5 million against the cap. The Hawks reassigned Brandon Bollig to clear space on the roster.
For the Sharks to get a fourth-rounder out of him is a win. That’s two for GM Doug Wilson this spring after snatching two second-rounders from the Pens for Douglas Murray.