Just last month, Vinnie Hinostroza’s future with the Blackhawks seemed secure when he agreed to a two-year contract extension.
So Hinostroza was “shocked,” to say the least, when he learned Thursday that he was traded to the Coyotes along with Marian Hossa’s contract and Jordan Oesterle for Marcus Kruger, MacKenzie Entwhistle, Jordan Maletta and Andrew Campbell.
Rather than dwelling on what happened, Hinostroza acknowledged that trades are part of the business and that he looked forward to the future. The perspective seemed to bring some relief to the 24-year-old left winger, who no longer will have to cope with coach Joel Quenneville’s fluid lines.
Asked about his role with the Hawks and the opportunities he had last season, -Hinostroza, a Bartlett native, seemed to throw shade at his former coach.
“[My role] changed every night,” Hinostroza said in a conference call. “As a young guy, there’s a lot of pressure [in that] you never really know what you’re going to be asked to do that night. So, coming into each game, you never really know. I’m excited to just be able to play my game and not worry about stuff like that. Just be able to go have fun with the guys and work hard and have fun and play my game.”
Hinostroza, who had a breakout season with 25 points in 50 games, said he felt ill at ease with the pressure put on him last season.
“I always tell people where I made strides was the mental side of the game,” he said. “I was always worried about if I made a -mistake, what was going to happen.”
But enough about his former team. Hinostroza seemed genuinely pumped to have a fresh start with the Coyotes.
“I’m very excited to join such a young team,” Hinostroza said. “[It’s a] great -organization [with] a lot of great younger players, so I’m really excited to be a part of the future there.”
It also helps that he has good relationships with a handful of guys on the team, including Christian Dvorak, with whom he played youth hockey, and Christian Fischer, who has worked with him during summer conditioning.
“I’m not going there thinking anything’s going to be given to me,” he said. “I’m coming in with my hard work ethic. And I just want to use my skill and my speed and be a great teammate.”