Michal Handzus dealt to Blackhawks
The deal Monday is the second the Sharks have made in the past week. San Jose traded defenseman Douglas Murray to Pittsburgh last week for two draft picks.
Handzus had one goal and one assist in 28 games. His biggest contributions came in shootouts where he converted three of seven chances. He was benched the last six games as the Sharks tried to get more speed in the lineup.
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The 36-year-old Handzus waived his no-trade clause to join the Blackhawks. He previously played for the Blackhawks during the 2006-07 season. He has 180 goals and 281 assists in 939 career NHL games.
"Obviously, they're a great team," Handzus said in a conference call on Monday. "They have a great season, and they're up there in the standings. I obviously know the coaching staff. I've played for [Blackhawks coach Joel] Quenneville, and I know a lot of the guys. I've been there for one year, so I have a lot of familiarity with the organization. I think the main thing is they're a good team, and you obviously want to go to the best team that you can."
The pick San Jose got is one they sent to Chicago during last year's draft.
Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said Monday he was still open to making a trade before Wednesday's deadline, but he was also confident his current team -- with Handzus' additional depth -- could make a playoff run if no additional moves were made.
"I believe in our group," Bowman said before Monday's game against the Predators. "I really do. ... I like the mixture we have here. It's our job to find players if we think we can through a trade, but we like the group we have."
Handzus, who is eligible to be an unrestricted free agent this summer, was attractive to the Blackhawks because of his size and experience.
"We talked awhile about our desire to get bigger and have a centerman," Bowman said. "Looking at our team right now, we've been real happy with the way the younger players have played, particularly [Marcus] Kruger and [Andrew] Shaw. But when you get to the playoff time, I think it's good to have some experience and some depth at center."
Bowman said the Blackhawks would continue to stay active on the phone, but there wasn't anything specific they were still looking to add.
"It's our job to keep making those phone calls," Bowman said. "We've had a lot of meetings internally about guys. It has to make sense for us. We've had a good run with the guys we've had so far. We don't want to really change that mix. We want to add to it."
Handzus said he planned to arrive in Chicago on Tuesday and practice with the team on Wednesday. The Blackhawks' next game is against St. Louis in Chicago on Thursday.
Information from ESPNChicago.com's Scott Powers and The Associated Press was used in this report.
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