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While Wild get mixed grades for Martin Hanzal trade, Coyotes get credit

Minnesota Wild center Charlie Coyle (3) takes the puck against Arizona Coyotes center Martin Hanzal (11), of the Czech Republic, during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2016, in St. Paul, Minn. The Wild won 4-1. (AP Photo/Hannah Foslien)

Coyotes general manager John Chayka made summer moves that were a hit. He didn’t do too shabby before the NHL trade deadline, either.

The deal sending veterans Martin Hanzal and Ryan White, plus a 2017 fourth-round pick, to the Minnesota Wild for a 2017 first-round pick, 2018 second-round pick, Grayson Downing and a 2019 conditional fourth-rounder was a move for the future.

And even though the trade wasn’t exactly what Chayka was hoping for — he was hoping to get a young player in return — he still got more than plenty of value for the veteran center.

As Craig Custance wrote in his trade grades piece for ESPN, the trade from the Coyotes’ perspective was worth an A grade.

Sources on other teams suggested that the preference from Arizona was that they’d also get a high-end prospect in a deal for Hanzal rather than just draft picks, which makes sense. The Coyotes would like to come out of rebuilding mode soon, and this is a futures-heavy trade. That’s the only thing keeping this from being an A-plus for the Coyotes.

But Chayka was smart to take the best trade possible and not accept a lesser package just to get players who are closer to contributing at the NHL level.

On the Wild’s end, the trade was viewed as a win-now move for perhaps an unappreciated player. The price of three draft picks, however, could be deemed risky by some considering Hanzal will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

Custance gave the Wild an A-minus grade for the trade, and two NHL scouts admitted that Hanzal just might be worth the high price paid.

Yahoo Sports! writer Greg Wyshynski wasn’t as keen on the deal. While he appreciate’s the 30-year-old Hanzal and respects that it makes sense considering where the Wild are at — going all-in on this season.

This is a pretty hefty fee to acquire a third-line center, even in a weak draft where the Wild assume they’re drafting at the bottom of the first round. That said, Fletcher could look like a genius if this investment pays off with playoff success or if Hanzal decides he’d like to stay in Minnesota for a not-insane free-agent price.


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