Friday, June 17, 2011

2010-11 Season Review: Michal Handzus

Michal HandzusMichal Handzus
2010-11 Stats: 82 GP, 12 G, 18 A, 30 PTS, -5, 10 PPP, 20 PIM  
UFA this summer

Zeus is serious.  And experienced.  And this is undisputed.  Zeus may be one of the most overpaid players in the league at $4-million a season but he's been invaluable to the Kings over the past three seasons (he was pretty dreadful in his first year year).  About as reliable as your 1991 Honda Civic, Zeus has only missed ONE game during his four seasons in Los Angeles.  Considering the Kings history with signing oft-injured free-agent forwards, Zeus has been a huge success.

His ability to play up or down in the lineup and in all situations makes him extremely valuable.  Zeus didn an admirable job filling in for Kopitar down the stretch and in the playoffs.  He led all Kings in PK ice-time during the regular season with 2:24 which jumped up to 3:33 in the postseason.  His 10 points on the man-advantage ranked 6th amongst Kings forwards during the regular season.

Watching Zeus kill penalties is poetry in motion.  Maybe it's his lack of foot speed but watching him struggle to skate back and forth to cover the points and then poke the puck off a d-mans stick with his long reach or lay down and block a shot is pure awesomeness.  It's no wonder Zeus has led all Kings forwards in blocked shots in each of the last four seasons.  There's no question the guy is giving it his all every single night.

Alot of fans feel ike Zeus's time in L.A. is over and it may very well be.  With Brayden Schenn looking to center the second line next season.  Trevor Lewis may be ready to replace Zeus as a jack of all trades although his 39.2% in the faceoff circle is a far cry from Handzus's 51.7%.  Having Zeus around to mentor Lewis and Schenn for another season or two might not be such a bad thing.

FINAL GRADE: B+; Yes.  Zeus looks like he skates with cement blocks tied to his skates.  Yes.  $4-million a year for a guy that's averaged only 14 goals a season during his tenure as a King was way too rich.  Yes.  Zeus has some of the best hair in the NHL.  Yes.  Zeus's ability to win faceoffs leaves alot to be desired.  With all that said...The Kings need to seriously consider bringing Zeus back for at least one more season.  If the Kings can lock up Zeus on a one or two year deal at $2 million per; DL needs to consider it.  Otherwise, thanks for the memories Zeus.  Your hair will be missed.

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