NHL NOTES

1. HANZEL STILL A COYOTE
The Phoenix Coyotes, who finished fourth in the Western Conference with 107 points last year, took care of some loose ends on Friday when they re-signed unrestricted free agent, Martin Hanzal, to a two year, 3.6 million dollar deal. This 23 year-old, who scored 11 goals and 33 points last year, will be paid 1.5 million next year and 2.1 million in the second year. “We are happy to have re-signed Marty and have him in Phoenix for the start of training camp next week,” said Coyotes GM, Don Maloney, about the team’s former 2005 first round pick. “He is an important player for us, who plays critical minutes against the best opposing players.”

2. KOIVU READY FOR TRAINING CAMP
Minnesota Wild fans, players and management received some good news this past week when it was revealed that veteran forward, Mikko Koivu’s, right shoulder and knee have recovered sufficiently since his summer surgeries. He is ready to go at training camp. Koivu, who scored 22 goals and 71 points this past season, had a torn labrium fixed in April and has been rehabing it ever since.

3. BYFUGLIEN TO PLAY DEFENCE
New Atlanta Thrashers’ head coach, Craig Ramsay, announced last week that the recently acquired Dustin Byfuglein will begin training camp playing defense. Last year in the play-offs this 25 year-old broke out in a big way for the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks by scoring 11 goals in 22 games. During the regular season he scored 17 goals and 34 points. Over the past years he has often been going back and forth from the blue line to up front.

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