The San Jose Sharks have traded forward Michal Handzus to the Chicago Blackhawks, according to Bob McKenzie of TSN on Monday afternoon.
The deal is still pending a trade call, but San Jose will receive a fourth-round draft selection in return.
Chicago was believed to be looking for depth at center, which explains why they would acquire Handzus. The 36-year-old forward is playing in the final year of a two-year, $5 million contract that carries an annula average value of $2.5 million against the salary cap. His contract contains a no-movement clause, which means he had to waive it in order to join the Blackhawks.
In 28 games this season, Handzus has averaged 13:32 of ice-time per game that includes an average of 1:59 per game on the penalty kill, which is the most amongst any other forward on the Sharks. In addition, he has accumulated a goal and an assist, as well as a 55.6 percent success rate in the face-off circle (the second best on the team).
Handzus' success on the draw is likely why Chicago wanted him, as the team is ranked 18th in the league in faceoff win percentage (49.9 percent).