Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Michal Handzus
Michal Handzus grew up playing hockey in his hometown of Banska Bystrica in Slovakia. He was selected in the fourth round of the 1995 NHL Entry Draft, 101st overall by the St. Louis Blues.

Rather than join the Blues at the age of 18, Handzus elected to remain in Slovakia to develop his skills before coming over to North America at the age of 20 in 1997. That first year in the pro ranks, he played an entire year with the Worcester IceCats of the AHL, becoming accustomed to the North American game. It was a quick learning curve for Handzus, who averaged almost a point per game.

In 1998-99 Handzus earned a regular roster spot with the Blues and in a primarily defensive role with the team, managed to score four goals and 16 points in 66 games. There was definitely no sophomore jinx, and in fact it was his most productive season to date. In 81 games he netted 25 goals and 53 points in 1999-00. Despite carving out a role for himself with the team, Handzus was packaged in a trade that saw him go to the Phoenix Coyotes for Keith Tkachuk in March, 2001.

After the 2001-02 season, Handzus was dispatched by the Coyotes to the Philadelphia Flyers where he would fit in nicely under head coach Ken Hitchcock. Following a pair of 20-goal seasons with Philadelphia, Handzus would compete for a Slovakian club during the NHL lock out. He would return to Philadelphia and the NHL in 2005-06, however the Flyers would be eliminated from the playoffs that year earlier than expected.

In the summer of 2006, Handzus was dealt to a rebuilding Chicago Blackhawks team in exchange for Kyle Calder. Only eight games into his first season as a Blackhawk, Handzus tore his ACL. The injury would keep the big forward out of the line-up for the remainder of the season.

In the off-season, the Los Angeles Kings signed Handzus as a free agent.

Handzus would appear in all 82 games in three of seasons in Los Angeles, missing only a single game in 2009-10. On two occasions the big centre would record 42 points and in 2009-10 he would reach the 20 goal mark.

On July 1, 2011, Handzus signed a two-year contract worth $5 million with the San Jose Sharks.

During the lockout shortened 2012-13 season, Handzus, with his contract set to expire in the summer, Handzus was traded by the Sharks back to the Chicago Blackhawks for a 4th round draft pick. The move would prove to be a fortuitous one for Handzus as the Blackhawks were poised to capture their fifth Stanley Cup in franchise history, the first for Handzus.

On the international stage, Handzus represented his homeland at the World Junior Championship (1996-1997), as well as multiple World Championships and Winter Olympics, in addition to taking part in the 2004 World Cup of Hockey.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1993-94 SK Iskra Banska Bystrica Jr. Slovak-Jr. 40 23 36 59
1994-95 SK Iskra Banska Bystrica Slovak-2 22 15 14 29 10
1994-95 Slovakia EJC-B 5 5 3 8 4
1995-96 SK Iskra Banska Bystrica Slovakia 19 3 1 4 8
1995-96 Slovakia WJC-A 6 0 3 3 2
1996-97 HC SKP PS Poprad Slovakia 44 15 18 33
1996-97 Slovakia WJC-A 6 2 4 6 2
1997-98 Worcester IceCats AHL 69 27 36 63 54 -8 11 2 6 8 10
1998-99 St. Louis Blues NHL 66 4 12 16 30 -9 11 0 2 2 8
1999-00 St. Louis Blues NHL 81 25 28 53 44 +19 7 0 3 3 6
1999-00 Slovakia WC-A 6 1 4 5 4 +1
2000-01 St. Louis Blues NHL 36 10 14 24 12 +11
2000-01 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 10 4 4 8 21 +5
2001-02 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 79 15 30 45 34 -8 5 0 0 0 2
2001-02 Slovakia Olympics 2 1 0 1 6 0
2001-02 Slovakia WC-A 6 1 4 5 4 +2
2002-03 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 82 23 21 44 46 +13 13 2 6 8 6
2003-04 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 82 20 38 58 82 +18 18 5 5 10 10
2004-05 Slovakia W-Cup
2004-05 HKm Zvolen Slovakia 33 14 24 38 34 17 5 10 15 6
2004-05 Slovakia WC-A 7 3 0 3 2 -1
2005-06 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 73 11 33 44 38 -2 6 0 2 2 2
2005-06 Slovakia Olympics
2006-07 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 8 3 5 8 6 +4
2007-08 Los Angeles Kings NHL 82 7 14 21 45 -21
2008-09 Los Angeles Kings NHL 82 18 24 42 32 -7
2008-09 Slovakia WC-A 6 0 4 4 6 +2
2009-10 Los Angeles Kings NHL 81 20 22 42 38 +4 6 3 2 5 4
2009-10 Slovakia Olympics 7 3 3 6 0 -2
2010-11 Los Angeles Kings NHL 82 12 18 30 20 -5 6 1 1 2 0
2010-11 Slovakia WC-A 5 0 2 2 0 0
2011-12 San Jose Sharks NHL 67 7 17 24 18 -6 2 0 0 0 0
2011-12 Slovakia WC-A 8 2 5 7 0 +3
2012-13 HC '05 Banska Bystrica Slovakia 15 9 10 19 22
2012-13 San Jose Sharks NHL 28 1 1 2 12 -9
2012-13 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 11 1 5 6 4 +7 23 3 8 11 6
NHL Totals 950 181 286 467 482 97 14 29 43 44


Traded to Phoenix by St. Louis with Ladislav Nagy, the rights to Jeff Taffe and St. Louis' 1st round choice (Ben Eager) in 2002 Entry Draft for Keith Tkachuk, March 13, 2001. Traded to Philadelphia by Phoenix with Robert Esche for Brian Boucher and Nashville's 3rd round choice (previously acquired, Phoenix selected Joe Callahan) in 2002 Entry Draft, June 12, 2002. Signed as a free agent by Zvolen (Slovakia), October 27, 2004. Traded to Chicago by Philadelphia for Kyle Calder, August 4, 2006. Missed remainder of 2006-07 due to knee injury vs. St. Louis, October 21, 2006. Signed as a free agent by Los Angeles, July 2, 2007. Signed as a free agent by San Jose, July 1, 2011. Signed as a free agent by Banska-Bystrica (Slovakia), November 13, 2012. Traded to Chicago by San Jose for Anaheim's 4th round choice (previously acquired, San Jose selected Fredrik Bergvik) in 2013 Entry Draft, April 2, 2013.