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LONGTIME NHLER ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT

Czech Republican forward Martin Hanzal officially announced his retirement from the NHL today.

The 33-year-old spent the majority of his career with the Arizona Coyotes but also had short stints with the Minnesota Wild and the Dallas Stars. Due to being in a small hockey market in Arizona for the majority of his career, he never got the recognition he deserved, but teammates and coaches knew just how good of a player he was. Former Coyotes and now Edmonton Oilers head coach Dave Tippett spoke about just how effective of a player Hanzal was during their time together.

“Most teams have a No. 1 center, a No. 2 and a No. 3,” Tippet said. "We asked him to be a No. 1 and No. 3 both and that’s a hard job to do."

“We asked him to play against top players every night – be hard, physical, and shut them down – but also we needed him to be an effective offensive player and be a net-front guy on the power play. He didn’t have an easy part of the game. All of his parts were the hard parts of the game, but he relished those challenges. It was a unique ability but he was a big, strong player that in the end had a huge impact on the game every night.”

Hanzal spent the first 10 seasons of his NHL career with the Coyotes before being dealt to the Minnesota Wild at the 2017 NHL trade deadline. Despite only scoring one goal in five playoff games, he was productive down the stretch of the regular season with 13 points in 20 games. The strong play earned him a three-year, $14.25 million contract with the Dallas Stars that summer.



Unfortunately, the deal did not go as planned. Due to lingering back issues, Hanzal was limited to just 45 games over two seasons with the Stars, and missed the entire 2019-20 season. While it certainly wasn’t the way he wanted to go out, he can hang his cap on a very solid career. He played a total of 673 regular season games, scoring 127 goals and 338 points. He also suited up for 28 playoff games, putting up five goals and 13 points.


COLTON PANKIW
OCTOBER 25, 2020  (20H26)
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