It seems like the topic of the Vegas Golden Knights expansion draft continues to be a hot one across the NHL, as teams prepare their rosters and adjust for who can be stolen from them come June. The Canucks forward situation is dicey, as they basically have to decide between Baertschi, Granlund and Hansen, which of the three to allow to be claimed. Hansen seems to be the logical pick, as he is older and doesn’t fall into the long-term plan with the team as much as Baertschi and Granlund do. With that in mind, the Canucks could deal Hansen to ensure they get at least something for him instead of losing him for nothing to Vegas. I asked our writers what they would do with him.
What would you do with Jannik Hansen as we approach an expansion draft scenario?
The players we have left with no-trade clauses are some of our best players and are important to the development of our best players. Alex Edler has helped our young defensemen break into the league. Alex Burrows has helped Bo Horvat and Sven Baertschi get to the next step of their games. The players are experienced players and help drive us winning. We’ve moved some no-trade contracts the last few years, but the players we have left are important veteran players who bring our team experience and leadership. We’re going to keep them.
The Canucks should’ve dealt Jannik Hansen, at the latest, at last year’s draft. See, one of the most valuable parts of Hansen is his contract. There aren’t many players in the league that can go from fourth to first lines and back playing for $2.5-million. That’s incredibly accommodating, especially for teams in a cap crunch as many will likely be with a stagnant cap. All this is to say that the Canucks have to deal Hansen at this year’s deadline, lest they lose him in the expansion draft for nothing. Better late than never.
It’s imperative that the Canucks get something of value for Hansen before the expansion draft rolls in, where he’s a prime candidate to get snagged – there’s no doubt that the Canucks should be protecting Sven Baertschi and Markus Granlund.
I was vocally supportive of the Canucks trading Hansen at last year’s trade deadline, when he was having a career year, and again at the draft, when his value had never been higher. Instead, the Canucks chose to hold on to him, and as luck would have it, injuries have obscured his value.
Still, the Canucks must use this opportunity to take what they can get for Hansen. While he isn’t worth the same as he was a year ago, a second or third round pick and perhaps a prospect shouldn’t be too high an asking price for a player of Hansen’s ability and reputation, as well as other desirable qualities such as work ethic and veteran leadership.
The expansion draft wasn’t something you could plan for, so it is best to let all of your assets to depreciate to zero to ensure that you are competing for a playoff spot. That’s how you get experience, is playing meaningful hockey in March.
Or, and hear me out. You actually try to extract value from players, and move them when you can to ensure that you don’t lose someone like Baertschi or Granlund for nothing. Or have to give up a pick/prospect to get Vegas to take someone else. With that being said, good thing they accumulated picks over the last few years……. oh?
Trade trade trade. If we had the opportunity to keep him without losing Baertschi/Granlund, I would 100% do that. Since we can’t, our only option is to trade him. We’re in no position to lose yet another player, let alone Jannik Hansen, for no return whatsoever. This isn’t a situation where certain offers won’t be good enough. If he’s exposed in the expansion draft and Vegas claims him (which is likely), we get absolutely nothing. Even if a team is low-balling, it’s better than zero return. I wouldn’t risk having him claimed just because we didn’t want to except, hypothetically, a 3rd rounder from a team.
Jannik Hansen needs to be in a position to succeed whether it be with the canucks or elsewhere by the deadline. Put him with Horvat and Baertschi and find out what speed can do. He visibly works like a dog so he would fit great and putting him anywhere else would be a waste.
Stay tuned for a post about this next week.
Feels like I’m not adding anything new to the conversation, but I’ve been supportive of trading the Great Dane for some time now. He’s _exactly_ the type of addition that teams looking to load up for a Cup run would try to acquire. He’s versatile, fast, and can make a positive impact in virtually every situation. Somewhere – I’m thinking in the East – there is a team looking at Jannik Hansen thinking he could be their Chris Higgins/Maxim Lapierre (ca. 2011), a player that gives them extra flexibility, depth, and protection against injury. For the Canucks, it would be wise to try and start a bidding war for his services. They would receive assets in return and have one less headache prior to the expansion draft.
I was also of the idea that you should have traded Hansen when he was at his top value last year. Unfortunately, he’s lost value. But he’s been to the playoffs multiple times, and been in a cup final, his experience could prove valuable to a few teams that might be willing to overpay come trade deadline time.