Remember high school math? You learned a bunch of stuff you thought you’d never use.
Well, here’s your chance.
Michal Handzus‘ four-year career as an LA King could best be described as a bell curve (go look it up if you forgot).
The signing itself was panned and the first year didn’t do much to squash the chatter. After all, four-million is a lot of coin for a guy that scored – gulp – seven goals.
He followed that up with 18 and 20-goal seasons, more typical of what GM Dean Lombardi was expecting. Additionally, he was the Kings best defensive player during that stretch.
This season, he looked to be on the downside of that bell curve – at least offensively speaking – posting just 12 goals. Some critics will argue he was playing with Alexander Frolov the two seasons prior, compared to ‘carrying’ Alexei Ponikarovsky this season. Perhaps.
Putting it all together, coach Terry Murray said he’d like to have him back…
“He’s a real linchpin kind of a guy. He’s a leader. He’s a great example. He’s a professional in all senses of the word – getting ready, doing the work that needs to be done to be a player. The tough part for him (was that) I had to elevate him to a situation in the playoffs, because of circumstances. Somebody might look at it and say, ‘Jeez, I don’t know,’ but we know. He’s an important guy.’
Oh, and here’s one for you - how many games do you think Handzus has missed since signing with LA? Remember, he was coming off of major knee surgery when he joined the Kings.
Answer – one. ONE GAME in four years.
Yes, Drew Doughty‘s contract will take top priority in the months to come. However, Lombardi said it looks like the salary cap will be going up, to “around 63 million.”
Which is good news if the team wants to try and fit Handzus back into the fold.
Odds are, he’ll be back. Expect a one-year deal for about two-million.