Trade deadline is fast approaching, now just one week away, and the Canucks are smack in the middle of a bye week. What do you get when those factors are combined? There’s nothing to talk about but trade possibilities!
While the previous deadlines under Benning have given fans good reason to be skeptical of whether they’ll actually sell assets this time around, that possibility appears to have taken one more step towards reality with word getting out that Jannik Hansen has given a list of teams for which he would waive his modified NTC.
TSN midday show host Matt Sekeres drop this tidbit of information today shortly after 10 o’clock, though it’s phrased in a way that should lead you to take it with a helping of salt.
My understanding is that Jannik Hansen was scheduled to provide his trade-approved list of 8 teams to the #Canucks last night.
— Matthew Sekeres (@mattsekeres) February 22, 2017
The details of Hansen’s modified no-trade clause can be found on Cap Friendly, and reads as follows:
CLAUSE DETAILS: Player submits a 8 team trade list (team has 45 days to trade player once player submits his list otherwise requested list is voided)
Once Hansen has provided the Canucks with his list of eight teams, the Canucks are free to pull the trigger on a deal with one of those teams without requiring to run it by Hansen again first. Assuming that Hansen provides some semblance of a reasonable list of teams, it shouldn’t be overwhelmingly difficult to find a team that has interest.
“If they’re available for trade, they will be traded,” TSN Insider (and all-around smart hockey guy) Ray Ferraro told the TSN afternoon show on Monday, referring to both Hansen and pending unrestricted free agent Alex Burrows. “There will be high on both of them. Higher interest on Hansen. If they make them available, I don’t know which playoff team wouldn’t be interested in various levels of interest for the two players.”
One potential road block for a Hansen deal could be the looming expansion draft, as noted by TSN’s Bob McKenzie yesterday. “Let’s say there’s a team out there that likes Hansen. They say ‘we’ll give you a second round pick and a pretty good prospect for Jannik Hansen. But the team that’s giving up the second round pick and the prospect now gets Hansen and they have to protect him in the expansion draft. So now they’re losing a real good player in the expansion who they otherwise wouldn’t have to expose. So now the acquisition price for Hansen isn’t just the second round pick and the prospect, it’s now the player they’re gonna lose in the expansion draft as well. So the price starts to go up.”
While McKenzie makes a fair point, I think there are a couple of further points to be made. One is that, even at a diminished return, the Canucks should still be trying their best to move Hansen so as no to risk losing him (or Sven Baertschi or Markus Granlund) at the expansion draft for absolutely nothing.
The other thing to note is that not every team is in dire straights when it comes to forwards that need protecting. Hell, not even every playoff bound team is. Anaheim, for instance, has to protect Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler due to their no-movement clauses, but then has four spots left for Rickard Rackell, Jacob Silfverberg, Andrew Cogliano, Antoine Vermette and Jared Boll. Boll is expendable, and Vermette is 34 with just one year left on his contract – he could be a palatable loss, though that’s unlikely to happen given that Anaheim is most likely going to be forced to expose one of Hampus Lindholm, Sami Vatanen and Cam Fowler, essentially serving as protection for the forwards. Might Hansen be willing to reunite with Kesler and Kevin Bieksa?
That isn’t the only option either, as Boston, currently tied for the final wild card spot, looks like they could easily afford to protect Hansen as well. The same goes for San Jose and St. Louis, who are both in good positions in their divisions.
Then you get to the pure Cup contenders like Pittsburgh and Washington. Pittsburgh has recently lost Bryan Rust for the remainder of the season, and could be looking to replace him. Pittsburgh, the defending champions, could be one of the teams who are in a “shoot first, take questions later” mode when it comes to trading and the expansion draft. The possibility of consecutive Cups could temp them to take a risk on losing a player in the expansion draft.
Ditto for the Washington Capitals, who are again looking like the favourites to win the President’s Trophy and probably don’t want to bow out of the playoffs early yet again. With T.J Oshie and Justin Williams’ contracts expiring at the end of the year, the Caps don’t know how long their window will be open. That seems like a window for Jim Benning to get a deal done to pad their roster in preparation for the postseason.
With one year left on his deal at a very reasonable $2.5 million, Hansen doesn’t have to be limited to a serious contender. Teams like Dallas, Carolina, or Toronto could probably afford to take him and protect him as well.
While there are plenty of possibilities around the league, what is really important to the completion of a deal is that Hansen picks a team (or better yet, teams) that have both an interest and the capability to take him on. Here’s hoping that he plays ball – the Canucks and their fans both desperately need a win at this trade deadline.