When the offseason officially gets underway later on this summer, the Phoenix Coyotes will set out on a quest to find some offense. This is a team built around defense and goaltending, but that has only gotten them so far. It was one of their downfalls that prevented them from reaching the postseason this year.
While some of those players will be coming from the outside, assuming they’re willing to make the right moves in free agency and on the trade market, others already on the roster will have to step their offensive games up. There are a few that fit that description, but one player that the Coyotes need to step up is Martin Hanzal.
Hanzal has the potential to be an absolute monster in the middle for the Coyotes. His size automatically makes him a nightmare matchup for most opposing clubs, but he hasn’t been able to piece his skill set into any sort of consistency yet. His lack of health hasn’t helped too much either.
The last time Hanzal played in at least 80 games was back in 2009-2010. The two seasons prior to this featured game totals of 61 and 64, respectively, before he played in 39 this season. Those 39 games were a pretty decent success, as he finished with 23 points and a plus-2 rating.
The physical game was there as well, as it always has been with Hanzal. Part of what can make him such a force in the lineup is that physicality that he brings to the mix. He finished with 100 hits in just 39 games, after finishing with 239 in 2011-2012. But while that aspect is nice, it doesn’t always result in points.
Hanzal played more minutes than any other forward on the roster this season, averaging over 18 minutes of ice time. That includes almost three minutes of power play time a game. The opportunities are there for him to put up 40 or 50 points. Which is what the Coyotes need out of him.
Perhaps bringing some more offensive skill to put around him would help. So would a healthy season. Either way, though, the Coyotes need to get more out of Hanzal to be considered a true Stanley Cup threat.