February 13 2017 04:13PM
Photo Credit: Bob DeChiara - USA TODAY Sports
When the Canucks plans ahead of the March 1st trade deadline are broached, no one player garners as much attention as Jannik Hansen.
It's all too obvious why there's interest, internally and externally alike. Between Hansen's versatility, goal scoring and penalty killing chops, he's everything a Stanley Cup contender could hope for down the stretch. Unlike most player similarly tabbed, Hansen comes in at a modest $2.5-million for this season and next, too.
.@Real_ESPNLeBrun: I believe teams have already called (on Hansen).— TSN Radio Vancouver (@TSN1040) February 13, 2017
According to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun, teams are already making the call. Let's look into what that might mean for Hansen and the Canucks on the other side of the jump.
Firstly, I don't think this is DEFCON 1. I wouldn't start refreshing my Twitter feed as soon possible, as often as possible, just yet. This is the very beginning. By that same token, this first shoe seems to have dropped earlier than the Dan Hamhuis interest that accelerated late into last year's deadline, and I think that in and of itself is noteworthy.
I can't help but wonder -- and this is entirely speculation on my part -- whether this is a reaction to the Canucks management of the deadline last year. If you'll remember, talks for Hamhuis (last year's Hansen, I would suppose) didn't start in earnest until about a week-and-a-half out from the deadline by most accounts.
When the Canucks started taking calls on Hamhuis (and oh, they took a few), the timing was such that it had to happen almost immediately if at all. Of course, we all know how that went. Perhaps teams are wary of letting the Canucks paint themselves into a corner and not getting a player they otherwise value as a result.
As LeBrun was wise to point out, the Canucks have to decide what exactly they're doing, and they haven't been clear on that -- certainly not in the message they've conveyed to the media or their fans. At one point, they weren't open to moving players on no-trade clauses. About a month later, they're opening the door for just that.
The earlier the Canucks are forced to tackle this situation; the sooner teams will be able to plan their deadline accordingly.
Alternatively, and perhaps more likely, teams don't want themselves painted into a corner and are getting an early start before the market kicks into high gear. If Vernon Fiddler can fetch a fourth a month-plus ahead of the deadline, what happens when the market for useful players of a higher calibre gradually shrinks?
If the Canucks are willing to move Hansen (and as Ryan Biech pointed out in this article, they absolutely
have to should), then the market will be considerable. I can't fathom Hansen fetching any less than some of the comparable player transactions Biech lists (Daniel Winnik, Kris Versteeg, Teddy Purcell, etc.).
LeBrun also went on to add that Burrows could fetch a mid-round pick on the market, though he reiterated in doing so that Hansen is drawing the most interest. Whatever the case, what once looked like a snooze-fest of a deadline for the Canucks is shaping up to be a barnburner. No complaints here.