As the countdown to the Chicago Blackhawks 2018-19 season continues, we’ll take a look at one player who best wore the same number as there are days left until October 4 when the season kicks off against the Ottawa Senators.
Today, we’ll look at one of the best Chicago Blackhawks trade deadline acquisitions: no. 26 Michal Handzus.
Before Zus was brought in by the Blackhawks in 2013 in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick, he played eight games with Chicago back in 2006-07. His season was derailed by an ACL tear and he’d go on to sign with the Los Angelas Kings, one of six different NHL teams he’d play with in his career.
In that 2006-07 season, he did tally eight points in as many games (3 G, 5 A).
Fast forward to 2013 and the Blackhawks are making a move to bring in a veteran center to add depth and leadership to a team looking to make a deep postseason run.
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He’d play only 11 regular-season games with the team in which he’d put up six points (1 G, 5 A). In the post-season, he’d tally 11 points (3 G, 8 A) in 23 postseason games.
He found the stat-sheet, but more importantly he’d find the ice during some of the biggest moments the Blackhawks experienced in that memorable 2013 run.
The Chicago Blackhawks were trailing the Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference semifinals 3-2. In Game 6, a game where Chicago could’ve been sent home, Handzus scored in the first minute of the third period to even the game up. It was a goal the Blackhawks desperately needed.
Eventually, they’d win the game and the series.
Once again in those playoffs, the Chicago Blackhawks found themselves trailing a series. Down 2-1 going into the fourth game of the series against the Boston Bruins, Handzus got on the board early. He scored a short-hander giving the Blackhawks a boost moving forward.
Additionally, the Blackhawks were in dire straights in Game 6, down one goal with under two minutes to go. Coach Joel Quenneville pulled Corey Crawford and sent Michael Handzus onto the ice as the extra attacker.
We all remember how that went. Zus had waited a long time to capture the ever-so-elusive Stanley Cup, and Jonathan Toews didn’t make him wait any longer.
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This past summer Michal Handzus officially announced his retirement from hockey. We should all remember him for being a stand-up guy and one of the best trade deadline moves the Blackhawks have made in this era.
Stay tuned to see who gets featured at no. 25 tomorrow!