Canucks lock up Jannik Hansen for four more years

Cam Charron
September 29 2013 11:05AM

Maybe this isn't as big news as the Canucks bringing about Zac Dalpe, but the team has re-signed Jannik Hansen, it came out Sunday morning. Many current players are signed for three or more seasons including Ryan Kesler, Alex Burrows, Chris Higgins, Alex Edler, Kevin Bieksa, Jason Garrison and Dan Hamhuis, not to mention Roberto Luongo. Hansen joins that group with a four-year extension that will take him through the 2017-2018 season, and he was slated to be an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Per Bob McKenzie, Hansen will make $2.5-million, same as Chris Higgins.

It seems a bit silly to lock down all the pieces to a core that everyone can agree is past its prime, but Hansen is still young and will be signed only through his 31-year-old season. The contract will take Hansen through the last of his scoring prime and keep a versatile scorer and checker on board.

I like this deal and I don't like this deal. I like this deal because Hansen is a useful player that is perfect for the bottom six. He can slide up into a scoring role and not look like a confused tourist. He's third in even strength points per 60 minutes in the last two seasons on the club, behind just Henrik and Daniel Sedin. He takes a lot of shots, contributes on scoring plays and introduces the element of speed.

What I don't really like is the implication that this signing was necessary, and I think this amounts to above market-value for a checking line player. Hansen was very useful and valuable as a third liner in the past because he was working on his cheap restricted free agent-age deals. Now that he's making real money, it's a little harder to justify him as a third line option.

Of course, the salary cap will go up next year, and it will go up the year after, and it will go up every year until the end of Hansen's contract, to the point where a $2.5-million player is a bargain deal. It's difficult to project because it will take until this summer for us to have a general feeling on where the salary cap will be in the later years of this deal once Hansen turns 30, but I'm sure readers of this blog and people that watch the Canucks often will be happy to be watching Hansen for a few more years.

Plus, he should stay relatively healthy. Hansen hasn't missed time since the early half of the 2009-2010 season when he missed time with a broken hand, and had a small iron-man streak disrupted when he took a suspension this past season for slashing Marian Hossa. He would have played through three complete seasons in a row at that point, otherwise.

Hansen was a 9th round pick in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. He's scored at a 14-goal, 37-point pace over the last three seasons playing third line minutes, generally, although his role was increased this past season thanks to injuries corrupting the imagined top six. He has produced generally in a defensive role against tough competition.

Next up: Hank n Dank.

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Cam Charron is a BC hockey fan that writes about hockey on many different websites including this one.
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#1 Thomas Drance
September 29 2013, 01:14PM
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I like this deal a lot more than I liked the Higgins extension.

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#2 andyg
September 29 2013, 01:23PM
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Hasen would not have lasted long on the open market.Good signing,great cape hit for what he brings.

Every one keeps saying that the window is closing on this core of players. we have struggled in the play offs since 2011 because of injury's to Kess and the loss of Manny. If Kess stays healthy and they can find a way to fill the hole left by Manny then this team is a contender again.

The twins are 33 not 43! The best way to maintain a winning organization is to continue to build around your best players until the youth takes over. If it is done right the window never closes. The alternative is to do what has been done here for 40 year. Blow it up and start over. That gets you three runs at the cup over that span and some very bad hockey for a good chunk of that time.

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#3 andyg
September 29 2013, 01:50PM
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@NM00

"The window has closed"

Those are words that the players on our team may make you eat.

It is very easy for us to be arm chair GM's and use our 20/20 hind site and pick the management apart. We still have a very good core and you will see some very good hockey played this year. Also the future looks a lot brighter then what you like to admit.

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#4 GrogZilla
September 29 2013, 11:40AM
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Above market value? Pretty easy to see Hansen getting 4 mill+ a year if he had hit the open market. Looks to me like he's taking a considerable home town discount to stay. Great signing.

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#5 NM00
September 29 2013, 11:41AM
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This is a good deal considering the cap is expected to go back up significantly next season.

Of course, it will be difficult to improve if the entire cap increase is dedicated to giving raises to the same group...

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#6 nateb123
September 29 2013, 01:07PM
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GrogZilla wrote:

Above market value? Pretty easy to see Hansen getting 4 mill+ a year if he had hit the open market. Looks to me like he's taking a considerable home town discount to stay. Great signing.

I don't know what the hell Cam was on while writing this. Does he even watch this team play?

Saying that 2.5m is a bad deal for the guy who was 4th in scoring last year is crazy enough. Factor in that he only made 1.35m for doing so and played much more PK time than PP time, you have a hell of a player. Getting him for under 3m is a steal.

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#7 NM00
September 29 2013, 01:18PM
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Thomas Drance wrote:

I like this deal a lot more than I liked the Higgins extension.

As you should.

Hansen is younger and isn't being signed to a market jumping contract like Higgins.

The upcoming salary cap environment is a big reason this contract makes sense and the Higgins contract never did.

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#8 NM00
September 29 2013, 08:21PM
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andyg wrote:

Nice one :)

Do you actually have a sense of humor?

No.

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#9 KleptoKlown
September 29 2013, 11:23AM
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Great signing. Hansen is a perfect 3rd line winger. Chips in offensively, is defensively reliable, throws checks and has good speed.

Of course he looks and sounds like the fast food teenager on the Simpsons, so there that added bonus as well.

Off topic, any chance the Canucks try and put a claim in for Patrice Cormier? Nice cap hit, and at one time was a highly touted prospect. I'm not sure where the Canucks are in the Waiver pecking order, or if Cormier would fall that far...

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#10 BrudnySeaby
September 29 2013, 11:39AM
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Great signing! Happy to see the dynamite Dane return with great 2 way play! Also, him being 3rd in scoring; no wonder Torts tries him with the Sedins!

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#11 NM00
September 29 2013, 01:35PM
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@andyg

"The best way to maintain a winning organization is to continue to build around your best players until the youth takes over. If it is done right the window never closes"

The problem is that it has not been done properly.

The window has closed.

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#12 andyg
September 29 2013, 07:49PM
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@NM00

"Past behavior is a predictor to future behavior."

Hodgson showed lots of signs of being difficult to deal with. His contract requests show a lot about his character.

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#13 NM00
September 29 2013, 01:56PM
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@andyg

I'd love if Kesler and crew make me eat my words.

But it's not happening unless Luongo is as impactful as he was in 2006-2007...

And you should be cautious when talking about our future.

Past behaviour is a predictor of future behaviour.

Even if Gillis has selected the right players in Horvat & Shinkaruk, there's no saying he won't ship them off to another team like he did with Grabner and Hodgson.

And possibly KConn for all we know...

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#14 NM00
September 29 2013, 05:47PM
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@JCDavies

There's a lot more downside on this roster than upside...

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#15 NM00
September 29 2013, 07:59PM
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@andyg

Cody Hodgson is a great young player. He's got terrific leadership skills.

If you don't believe me, ask Mike Gillis:

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/31309-vancouver-canucks-draft-center-cody-hodgson-10th-overall

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#16 andyg
September 29 2013, 02:20PM
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NM00 wrote:

I'd love if Kesler and crew make me eat my words.

But it's not happening unless Luongo is as impactful as he was in 2006-2007...

And you should be cautious when talking about our future.

Past behaviour is a predictor of future behaviour.

Even if Gillis has selected the right players in Horvat & Shinkaruk, there's no saying he won't ship them off to another team like he did with Grabner and Hodgson.

And possibly KConn for all we know...

Mistakes have been made and I will bet you if you were able to ask Gillis he would be the first to admit that the Ballard deal was a bad one.

Let me ask you this? Would you pay Cody 4.25 mil.

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#17 andyg
September 29 2013, 07:50PM
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@NM00

"Past behavior is a predictor to future behavior."

Hodgson showed lots of signs of being difficult to deal with. His contract requests show a lot about his character.

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#18 5minutesinthebox
September 30 2013, 12:39PM
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@andyg

At the time the Ballard signing made perfect sense. And Grabner was a player known to be unmotivated, and out of shape when he came to camp. He was in fact so bad, Florida cut him in favor of (ironically) a player named Santorelli. We needed defencemen and (at the time) Ballard was the best that was available. You cant blame him for Ballards short comings. Blame Ballard or blame AV, but Gillis identified a need and he addressed. Isnt that exactly what he is supposed to do?

Everyone knows that Cody wanted out because the little prima dona was unhappy in his role. The jury is still out and who made out better in this trade and it will likely be a few more years before we do. Right now it looks like Buffalo.

And KConn was completely expendable in order to fill our 3rd line C needs. Again a need was identified and addressed.

The goal is to do your best to build a team that can compete, and sometimes that requires making some sacrifices. It didnt work out...that happens a lot. If Gillis had stood pat the result would have been exactly the same, but then of course everyone would be on him for not making any moves.

I certainly prefer Gillis' approach to that of Burke and Nonis, who really refused to do anything at all.

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#19 NM00
September 30 2013, 02:07PM
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@5minutesinthebox

"At the time the Ballard signing made perfect sense."

The Canucks never signed him...

"Ballard was the best that was available."

Dan Hamhuis

"Everyone knows that Cody wanted out because the little prima dona"

Cody Hodgson is a great young player. He's got great leadership skills.

"And KConn was completely expendable in order to fill our 3rd line C needs. Again a need was identified and addressed."

The need has been ignored for years and continues to be patched up (Pahlsson, Roy, Santo/Richardson).

"I certainly prefer Gillis' approach to that of Burke and Nonis, who really refused to do anything at all."

The last time the organization legitimately needed to be reset, Nonis acquired Luongo and the Canucks had a stable of young players working their way through the org (Bieksa, Kesler, Burrows, Edler, Schneider, Hansen, Raymond & Grabner).

Gillis' approach is to ride what he inherited. It worked when the Burke/Nonis core was at the right age.

It won't work anymore, though...

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#20 van
September 29 2013, 02:47PM
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Love this deal. Makes my fantasy of a Burrows-Kesler-Callahan line even more unlikely though. Already needed a Booth buyout. I guess we'll see after the Sedin contracts.

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#21 JCDavies
September 29 2013, 04:04PM
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@NM00

"And possibly KConn for all we know..."

Ugh, It's looking like KConn has made the Star's 23-man roster. He will probably end up being the Stars 7th defenseman.

"I'd love if Kesler and crew make me eat my words.

But it's not happening unless Luongo is as impactful as he was in 2006-2007..."

It is *possible* that other players surprise.

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#22 NM00
September 29 2013, 05:46PM
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@andyg

"Mistakes have been made and I will bet you if you were able to ask Gillis he would be the first to admit that the Ballard deal was a bad one."

Really? Because Gillis doesn't come off as the type to admit his failures to me...

No, I wouldn't have given CoHo that contract.

But Buffalo giving Hodgson a long term deal right off of his ELC has nothing to do with what happened with him in Vancouver...

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#23 andyg
September 29 2013, 08:15PM
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NM00 wrote:

Cody Hodgson is a great young player. He's got terrific leadership skills.

If you don't believe me, ask Mike Gillis:

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/31309-vancouver-canucks-draft-center-cody-hodgson-10th-overall

Nice one :)

Do you actually have a sense of humor?

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