Friday, April 13, 2007

Handzus anyone?


"Once optimistic that he was going to be able to re-sign center Michal Handzus, now even Blackhawks GM Dale Tallon isn't so sure. Handzus would become an unrestricted free agent July 1, and earlier this week Tallon met with the veteran's agent. It's believed Handzus wants close to $4 million a season after making $2.1 million in 2006-07 while playing in only eight games because of a knee injury."

While Handzus is coming off an injury plagued season, he is a solid 2nd line center who plays great defense (which would free up the Russian Machine for more offensive forays), and would be a definite upgrade at the position. If the Caps are unable to secure the services of a 1A center, Handzus looks like a reasonably priced (in this year's market, at least) second tier option.

The big question mark for Handzus, who isn't exactly the fastest guy in the NHL, is whether his surgically repaired knee will slow him down even further.


Joe Pelletier said...

A very astute dissertation. It sounds like a good fit and a good target for McPhee.

Joe Pelletier

Hockey Amor said...

I think this would only add another 3rd line center to our roster, at an outrageous price. We need a skilled passer at Center.

3 Grumpy Caps fans said...

According to the all the scouting reports I've read, Handzus is a solid set up man. I agree that his asking price seems high, but with what the market for centers looks like right now, he's going to get it.

The question at this point is, who would be a better fit (after the big three of Drury, Briere, and Gomez)?

Hockey Amor said...

My take on the better fit would be Saku Koivu (for a 1st rounder?), Slava Kozlov or Mike Comrie.

3 Grumpy Caps fans said...

Very good suggestions.

I think it's going to take a heck of a lot more than a first rounder to get Koivu. He's on a three year deal that's not too hard on the Habs (averaging 4.75 mil per).

He's also the team captain, so my sense is that we'd really need to bowl them over with an offer for Montreal to give him up. Then again, Ryan Smyth was the captain in Edmonton, so you may have something there.

Both players have a history of injuries, so that's a wash.

For the sake of argument, lets say Montreal is willing to let him go for a #1 pick (which I doubt). The question then becomes, is it worth giving up a #1 draft pick and around a mil a year in cap room to sign Koivu over Handzus?

As for Kozlov, isn't he a converted LW? We've been down that road before. I'd like to see the Caps sign a natural center rather than a (converted) winger. He's also the oldest of the bunch at 34 (2 years over Koivu, 4 older than Handzus).

Comrie is interesting... I believe he's a free agent at years end, so there's opportunity there. He made 3 mil this year, and that seems in line with his play. He's also pretty young at 26. The main issue with him is his defense, or rather lack thereof. Would he be willing/able to muck it up so The Russian Machine could roam more freely?

At any rate, he should definitely be on the Caps' radar. We'll have to keep an eye on him.