A Healthy Martin Hanzal Is Important For Coyotes


As the Arizona Coyotes training camp nears, the beginning of the season is just around the corner. The Coyotes front office did a lot to fill holes on the roster via trades and free agency, but the Coyotes will also be getting Martin Hanzal back from injury.

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Hanzal missed a good portion of the 2014-15 season due to injury. In fact, he only played in 37 games last year. Injuries and missed playing time are nothing new to him and he’s been criticized for it.

Since the 2010-11, he played 61 games, 2011-12 64 games, 2012-13 39 games, 2013-14 65 games followed by just 37 games played last season.

Over the offseason, Hanzal underwent surgery and we learned just what the cause was for his missed time. In an interview with Craig Morgan on Fox Sports Arizona’s website,

"“I had pain that was shooting down my left leg and there were days where I couldn’t feel my leg. They kind of cut the piece out that was pushing on my nerve and that was the reason I couldn’t feel my leg. Now it’s all good; all healed up.”"

Hanzal did have surgery before to correct this issue, but it didn’t exactly fix the problem. If it did indeed work this time around, that could be huge for the Coyotes. He’s a big center and the Coyotes desperately need that.

Hanzal has shown in the past that he can be an effective and valuable piece of the Coyotes team, he just hasn’t been able to do it consistently. If the leg injury was what has been holding him back from consistently performing at a high level, then the Coyotes will be getting a little better with his return.

One of the things that Hanzal is great at, and something the Coyotes have missed, is his net front presence. The ability to get in front of the net, screen the goalie and get a hold of rebounds. With the offensive minded prospects that will be making their way into the roster this season, that net front presence of Hanzal’s will be even more important. There will be a lot more pucks on net and having a big body there can only help the chances of those pucks going in.

The question is though, will he be able to stay healthy and contribute consistently? That’s a question that won’t be answered right away, but according to Hanzal, he’s healed and good to go. Despite his past and time missed, there is reason to be optimistic after his latest surgery as we head into the 2015-16 season.

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