Lebrun: Teams ‘Called on’ Hansen & Notes on Burrows

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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.

Beyond that, the expansion draft could force the Canucks into making a trade of this ilk as an alternative to losing a valuable player to Vegas for nothing.

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.

    • Peezy F

      Trade Vegas a pick to keep him. He is too important, I rather keep him and resign him to a 3-4 year extension. At 30, him and Edler can give us 3-4 more years and Bo looks like someone ready to drive the bus down the stretch run and into next season. We are at a critical turning point with Bo’s maturation. Hansen is someone who can play with him and play behind him to help while Bo drives the bus. Boeser added to our Top 9 next year. We need to keep Hansen because we know what we have with him, it is too risky to trade for picks.

      Is it unreasonable to think Boeser can add 15-20 goals next year? The kids on the roster are taking big steps in their development. Him added in could be straight fire.

      • JuiceBox

        For a team that is supposedly rebuilding this team has bled enough draft picks the last 3 years the last thing they want to be doing is trading away more picks. Unless the potential returns are insulting, they would be better off losing him for nothing than giving up yet another draft pick.

  • Pat Quinn Way

    I don’t believe either player will be moved unless they actually ask to go to a contender by waiving whatever NTC/NMC they have, and frankly I wouldn’t want to lose either of these loyal, solid vets if they wish to stay and continue helping the likes of Bo Horvat develop! Both are proven commodities who are still contributing and are respected leaders in the room. You can’t have all kids like the pre-Chiarelli Oilers and hope to be successful!

    Aside from his coveted speed, Hansen’s contract is still an absolute steal, so I would rather keep him and expose Sutter and his albatross contract. An overpaid third line centre who is a defensive liability at minus 17 is surely more replaceable than a defensively sound scoring winger with good wheels making almost half as much?!

    • Freud

      But, alas, this management team makes decisions based on “gut feeling” -(trademark William Desjardins) rather than evidence.

      So, it’s sadly assumed we need to work under the assumption Sutter gets protected no matter what.

  • Killer Marmot

    Although Benning was criticized for not trading Hamhuis at the deadline last year, we don’t know what offers were made for him.

    If all that was offered was a 7th-round draft pick, then Benning might have been right to turn it down. Next time that team calls offering a trade, maybe they’ll be a little more serious.

  • DJ_44

    There is no urgency to trade Hanson at the deadline….none.

    Not protecting Sutter is stupid…..way to valuable. And he is on a fair contract…

    Expose Baertschi……Vegas will take Sbisa because he is worth more to them and he is on a fair contract…this team will be looking to make the cap floor.

    Resign Jannik….he has more good years in him.

    The losing something for nothing argument is invalid….you will lose sbisa….and he definitely has value…..more than Sven, that’s for sure.

    • JuiceBox

      There is no good solution. The Canucks unless they trade a forward and Sbisa will lose a player of value. The trick to lose the least valuable asset.

      Value is open to interpretation. I would explore trading all of Baer, granlund, Hansen, and Sbisa, weigh the returns against the long term effects on the team then make a decision.

      • DJ_44

        I agree 100% with this course of action…..

        …. if this situation is not resolved at the tdl…I can hear the screams ….however these are not UFAs we are talking about.

      • Silverback

        I’m sure this is a scenario management has considered, among dozens of others. The problem with this is there are thirty teams facing this very problem. Who wants to give up picks and wind up losing the return on the entry draft?

        Not simple. Only team willing to give up a solid prospect or a reasonable pick would be a solid contender who is confident Hansen would be that piece that will get them to the final, because, they will likely lose Hansen, or someone of his calibre in the entry draft.

          • Silverback

            True, but will they be willing to give up a solid prospect who is protected and or a first or second round draft pick? That is likely what the Canucks will be looking for. Hansen is thirty and is likely going to see a shift in trajectory in the next couple of years.

            I’d love to see a scenario like this occur, but is not likely.

        • Braindead Benning

          Great points Dude !!!

          With expansion and parity being at its highest levels in years and no clear cut odds on favourite teams to win the cup we might actually see some very talented players going for less than value as in previous years

          Basically it’s being in a purgatory state given that teams from 15-28 are only 6 points apart… it’s going to take some cleaver moves to position their teams going forward

          • TheRealRusty

            People are forgetting that asset management can also work if you are acquiring more assets than you lose. There are going to be a flood of players available this summer from teams trying to get something for players they can’t protect (or risk losing them for nothing). It is going to be an unique opportunity to pick up players at under market value. Teams like Chicago, Tampa, Pittsburgh that are hamstrung by 4-6 no movement contracts that they are forced to protect, are perfect targets to poach from since they can’t protect as many younger players as they would like. Offering them our two 2nds, 3rd, 4th, 5th rounders in this weaker draft will accelerate our rebuild significantly IMHO since we are essentially giving up our lottery tickets for more proven commodities that are further along in their development curve.

          • JuiceBox

            Problem is, the Canucks don’t have their 4th and 5th round picks this year. They might be getting a 2nd from CBJ and their 1st is off the table. That leaves a guaranteed 2nd, 3rd, 6th, and 7th; not exactly a lot to work with.

            2nd to 4th round picks seem to be “the grease” these days that’s why its so important to trade expiring contracts or players of value – even if it’s for a couple of 2nd-5th round picks as those picks are critical in getting deals done. Between Miller, Burrows, and Hansen the Canucks could land 3 to 5 (at best 6) middle round picks in this years draft – that’s a lot of grease.

            If the Canucks decide to go that route in acquiring good players at below market value they would need to get any deals done NOW and be free to wheel and deal at the TDL and beyond.

            This could be a year where a team is a seller AND a buyer; interesting.

          • DJ_44

            I agree, basically, with the statement with respect to asset management. Everyone will lose a player to Vegas. My contention that the “lose something for nothing” argument is a bit of a red herring.

            It basically states that you want to force Vegas’ hand into choosing a player you can afford to lose (either talent, contract or both). The real risk is that you move an asset (say Hansen) for below asset value and you also lose another asset (say Sbisa) to expansion.

            I also think this is why a player like Hutton is very interesting. He has value, and his value is perhaps inflated because he does not need protection. Move him for a good winger that requires protection but is an upgrade, then protect that player.

          • TheRealRusty

            Bang on. I’ve address this point in an earlier thread. By forcing Vegas to take a player of no value, the Canucks will have to decimate whatever depth which they have worked hard to acquire. Counter productive IMHO.

  • Bud Poile

    Burrows for a third? Not likely unless it’s a second.

    Be interesting what Hansen can return and Rob is right,they need to trade Sbisa before they lose him for nothing.

  • Peezy F

    I am all for trading Sbisa (although I don’t want too but this is where our depth is) for picks and then using whatever pick (other than a 1st) or picks it takes to keep Vegas from taking Hansen. We could come out slightly ahead or even in the picks category if we get Columbus pick for Torts and we keep Hansen and don’t lose Sbisa for nothing.

  • Peezy F

    Anyone disliking comments with regards to trading picks to Vegas to keep Hansen are the same people who buy max millions lottery tickets and 50/50 and convince themselves they are going to win this time

  • Steamer

    The ‘fulcrum’ is likely more Van’s position vis-a-vis a wild-card spot than Vegas; management badly want/need the playoffs, so any moves will be predicated upon standings & likelihood of securing a spot. If, by month’s end, the team is more than 5-6 points out of a wild-card, then the moves will occur. If, on the other hand, they’re within that spread, betting JB sits tight. Montreal especially is looking at a limited window – could Sergachev be sprung for Hansen? for Burrows/Miller? Such a high-end D pick – arguably as good as Juolevi – would be a welcome addition to Canucks rearguards for the next decade.

    • DJ_44

      I take it back……Sergachev for Hansen?..or for Miller and Burrows…….heck …I would throw in all three…

      …maybe Bergevin feels bad about the Subban denials at the draft and thinks he owes JB one…

        • Bud Poile

          Second/late 1st for Hansen

          Early-mid Second for Sbisa.

          Mid-late second for Burrows

          If a team would take any two of Hansen and whomever there is a case to be made that those two players translate into lower-mid 1st.

          There were 8 d-men taken in the top 20 picks of the 2016 entry draft.

          The Vegas thing might turn out all right,after all.

          • Freud

            How is a GM, paralyzed at last years trade deadline, going to pull these off?

            How are contending teams, willing to trade for Sbisa, going to have an early 2nd round pick to give up?

          • Bud Poile

            The only paralysis I witnessed was when the media had to make something out of nothing.

            The 2nd does not have to be from this year’s draft,it could be a second round pick the Canucks covet from last year,the year before or next year,for that matter.

            Also,Sbisa does not have an NTC or MTC so he could be traded to a team with a terrible defense that would then expose and lose a weaker roster player.

    • Marsh

      Good points.

      There’s a few things:

      -woulds any of the no-trade soon-to-be UFA guys be willing to leave for a few months if they had a Canuck contact offer in the wings? Would Miller go to LA or SJS?

      -if Calgary or Edmonton are very close to the playoffs, could a combination of Miller, Hansen and Sbisa net a top prospect? Combo would depend on the team.

      -fans keep saying the Canucks bled picks; they actually bled only a few NET. They swapped a lot with plenty coming back. I think they are down a couple of seconds and up a first and some 3rds and lower. Probably get Columbus’s 2nd this year.

      -How good is Nugent-Hopkins? Better than 3rd line for sure. Strong second line? Modest 1st?

      Giving up Hansen to keep both Baertschi and Granlund is a good deal IMO. And I like Hansen but he’s gone by the time the Canucks contend. His value in trade will never be higher. Edmonton or Calgary would probably protect him with that modest contract. Also remember, if they lose an acquired player they don’t lose the guy they would otherwise.

  • Locust

    So….the Canucks haven’t decided on what they were doing … so you want them to broadcast to everyone in the league what “the plan ” is … exactly what you criticized them last year for doing … ???

    Make up your mind…..

  • Canuck4Life20

    I always found it interesting that Benning took so much heat for not trading Hamhuis. What about Jim Nill? Where is the criticism for him not getting a deal done that would have helped his team in the playoffs?