The second free agent Wilson signed was Michal Handzuš. Unless I’m mistaken, that should be pronounced “Handzoosh.” Maybe Slovakian “š” is different from Czech “š”. 34 years old, 6’4″, he’s a known quantity. During the playoffs, it seems he was slated for third line duty, but also showed up on the top line when injuries left the Kings in need.
Another ex-Flyer, he’s also played for the Blues and the Yotes and the Blackhawks. He played 80+ games for the last four seasons, after a major injury during the 2006-07 season. He appears all recovered and the Kings apparently considered him reliable. That sounds good.
Another Pisces. What is up with the Pisces thing, Mr. Wilson? I’m seeing a whole lot of water signs on this roster. I don’t have anything against water signs, but balance is important.
Handzus played in the IIHF World Championships this year. His team didn’t get terribly far but he did play several games. That tells me he went right over there as soon as the Sharks knocked the Kings out of the playoffs. I like that.
He was named the Slovakian team’s best player in the May 6 game against Russia. He had no points in the game but spent more time on the ice than any other skater except defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky. Since Slovakia lost, I’m going to guess Handzus spent a lot of that time killing penalties. That is good to know.
I’m not sure I like that Wilson signed him for more than a year. I have nothing against Mr. Handzus, but it would be nice to have as much cap space as possible available next year. If the Kings were not prepared to pay him as much as Wilson did, it seems like there should have been some wiggle room in one area or another. But I’m just being greedy.
Evidently there was also a question of the role he would play for the Kings versus the role he might have in San Jose:
…the Kings, who have depth at center following last week’s acquisition of Mike Richards and need more speed, felt they could promise him only limited minutes next season. The 34-year-old Slovakian evidently thought San Jose would be a better situation. -The Fabulous Forum
From that I have to conclude that Wilson anticipates that the team will rely more on him than the Kings would have. I guess that assumes the Kings wouldn’t be decimated by injuries and need to put him on the top two lines again.
Welcome to San Jose, Zus.