2. Michal Handzus- I was probably not the only person surprised to read Handzus name listed as a Slovakian Olympian when the team was announced. When the season was about to begin the word was out that the Hawks were going to manage Handzus playing time and games so like the rest of the veterans on the Hawks team they would be well rested come playoff time. Handzus missed time due to injury, but when he has been available to play he’s been in the lineup every night this season. The fact that he’s older and incredibly slow is one thing, but he has the trust of Coach Q which goes a long way to the reasons why he’s playing on a nightly basis and Pirri is still skating away in Rockford.
All that being said how thin is the Slovakian talent pool that Handzus was even an option. He scored two memorable goals during the playoffs and after that he’s just molasses on skates who is losing faceoffs and missing defensive responsibilities on a nightly basis not to mention his name hasn’t seen the scoresheet in 13 games. Just based on wear and tear of 986 career NHL games on the 36 year old body, one would have guessed that Handzus would have begged for a 3 week vacation. Instead he’s Sochi bound in what could possibly be his last professional career playing hockey so I understand the accepting the Olympic bid for his country but a vacation could have been extremely useful for #26!