December 23, 2011 4:45 pm

Handzus drawing praise in San Jose

The Kings face off against an old friend tonight, as they meet the San Jose Sharks and veteran center Michal Handzus. Handzus spent four seasons with the Kings before he signed with the Sharks as a free agent last summer. Handzus’ stats this season haven’t been overwhelming — three goals and 11 assists in 30 games — but as was the case during his time with the Kings, Handzus’ value isn’t measured only in numbers. His work ethic is beyond compare and he’s been described by many as being like a coach on the ice. Today, Sharks coach Todd McLellan talked about what Handzus has brought to his team.

MCLELLAN: “I’m glad you asked that question, because it’s easy to talk about him. He has a lot of qualities that Rob Blake or Nick Lidstrom possessed. The professionalism. When he walks in the door, he comes to the rink to get better personally, but he also comes to the rink to make sure the team is improving. He takes care of himself, works hard away from the ice surface so that he can maintain a high level of health and fitness. I really believe, if this guy wants to be a coach or in some form of management, where he can have an impact on an organization, just like Blakey or Nick Lidstrom, I think he has the ability to do that. He’s that bright and that good. When you look at some of the players that have played with him, Jamie McGinn in particular, Jamie was a little bit lost last year. I think he would tell you that as well. He isn’t this year. He’s got a real focus, a real simplicity to his game, and as much as we [coaches] would like to take credit for that, we’re not. We’re going to put that on Zeus.’’

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