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NHL Chicago Blackhawks

Chicago Blackhawks Acquire Michal Handzus from San Jose Sharks

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Just when you thought the Chicago Blackhawks wouldn’t do anything before or on the trade deadline, they’ve given up a fourth-round draft pick to the San Jose Sharks for Michal Handzus.

The trade is a good move for the Blackhawks, as they’ve been having troubles with faceoffs – they’re currently 18th in the league with a 49.9% faceoff percentage. Jonathan Toews, who had been second in the league in faceoff percentage in the past, has been struggling lately, as have Dave Bolland, Marcus Kruger and Andrew Shaw. Handzus brings his 55.6% success rate in faceoffs, which will be more than welcome.

Ultimately, the trade is a clever one for general manager Stan Bowman. In giving away a draft pick, he’s not touching the roster players who have been so integral to the team’s success this season. He’s also not sacrificing any minor league players because many of them, such as Jeremy Morin, have been successful with the Rockford IceHogs and can easily fill in holes created by injury.

The Blackhawks are not unfamiliar to Handzus. He played for them in eight games at the start of the 2006-07 season until a knee injury took him out for the rest of the season. He was signed by the Los Angeles Kings the next year. This season, Handzus only had one goal and one assist in 28 games with the Sharks.

The Blackhawks have a game against the Nashville Predators on Monday night, but Handzus won’t be in the lineup. He’ll most likely reappear in the Indian Head jersey in their game against the St. Louis Blues on Thursday.