The Minnesota Wild have acquired forwards Martin Hanzal, Ryan White, and a 2017 fourth round draft pick from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for forward Grayson Downing, a 2017 first round pick, a 2018 second round pick, and a conditional fourth round pick in 2019. The fourth round pick can become a third round pick if the Wild win one playoff series, and a second if they win two series.
The report from the Wild’s official website:
Minnesota Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher today announced the National Hockey League (NHL) club has acquired forwards Martin Hanzal and Ryan White, and a fourth-round selection in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for Minnesota’s first-round selection in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, its second-round selection in 2018, a conditional fourth-round selection in 2019, and forward Grayson Downing. Arizona will retain 50 percent of Hanzal’s salary.
Hanzal, 30, was possibly the top forward on the trade market this season. He has 16 goals this season, which ties his career high set in 2011, and is on pace to play his most games since 2009. He has never been an elite scorer in his career, but has never been given pieces around him to take his game to the next level.
The 6’6, 226 lbs center brings a demanding presence to the already physical Wild team. Hanzal has been a center for most of his 600 game NHL career, but will likely see time on the wing as the Wild are deep at the center position already.
Wild GM Chuck Fletcher gave insight on the trade:
“We were trying to accomplish a couple things at the trade deadline. We felt we needed to add a couple forwards to our group. We were looking to add some experience, some size, some versatility to round out our roster and make us a little deeper going down the stretch and into the playoffs. The second goal was not to give up any of our prospects. Teams have been calling on a lot of our guys for awhile. That’s been the preferred choice of payment for a lot of them.”
The Coyotes continue to sell, something that has become a pattern for them the past couple trade deadlines. They add more draft picks as they look to bring in young talent, turning a pending free agent into future young talent.
Long time Coyote and captain Shane Doan was not pleased with the trade, nor with the idea of rebuilding. Doan addressed the trade following the teams 3-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres, but stopped talking after he was clearly getting frustrated over the topic.
The comments from Doan via NBCSports.com:
“It was not my idea, not my ideal situation. There’s no one that’s 38 years old that thinks it’s a good idea, ‘Let’s rebuild.’ The fact we just continue to seem to go — I don’t know, it’s hard to understand exactly. I mean, you understand people’s hands are tied and you just don’t get it.”
Doan is in the final year of his contract, and his future is in doubt with the Coyotes. It’s unlikely he gets moved at the deadline, but the franchise and their long time star seem to have different ideas of which direction to go.