Los Angeles Kings Lose Michal Handzus to Division Rival San Jose Sharks

Michael Stuart@HB_MikeStuartCorrespondent IJuly 1, 2011

SAN JOSE, CA - APRIL 23:  Dany Heatley #15 of the San Jose Sharks and Michal Handzus #26 of the Los Angeles Kings get in to a fight in game five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at HP Pavilion on April 23, 2011 in San Jose, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Teams in the Western Conference know the value of Michal Handzus. Teams in the Pacific Division know it especially well. The San Jose Sharks were happy to announce that they signed Michal Handzus to a two-year deal worth $5 million. 

Over the past few seasons as a member of the Los Angeles Kings, Handzus used his huge reach and lanky frame to shut down the likes of Joe Thornton and Dany Heatley. This won't be the case anymore as he will now be challenged with the task of shutting down Anze Kopitar and Mike Richards. 

With the Los Angeles Kings acquiring Mike Richards in the trade with Philadelphia, there just simply wasn't any room at the center ice position for a team that boasted names like Kopitar, Stoll, Loktionov and the aforementioned Mike Richards. Handzus just didn't fit in with the future plans of the Los Angeles Kings.

However, that is not to say that he won't be missed. Handzus was a fan favorite in Los Angeles and everybody appreciated the work that he did both on and off the ice. He was a true character and one of the guys who was charged with the responsibility of mentoring the young guns that the Kings had to boast a few short years ago.

While he's not offensively dynamic, Handzus will help soften the blow that was caused by the trade that sent San Jose's Devin Setoguchi to the Minnesota Wild. He will dominate opponents in a shutdown role and he will be missed as a member of the Los Angeles Kings.

From this Kings fan, I'd like to thank Michal for his years of service and I wish him the best of luck in San Jose. 

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