Top 5 Trade Destinations for Jannik Hansen

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Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin – USA TODAY Sports

The Vancouver Canucks are a team whose trade deadline stands to be the most severely impacted by the looming Expansion Draft. Whether by their own volition at the deadline or months later at the draft, they stand to lose Jannik Hansen.

I don’t think the Canucks fancy themselves as having any more of an appetite for a Hansen trade than the player himself, but the grim reality is that decision or one that’s similarly challenging will be made for them if they don’t monetize their asset now. The Canucks have, arguably, eight forwards worth protecting — they can only protect seven. The math is easy.

Per Matt Sekeres, Hansen’s already submitted a list of eight teams for which he’d waive his no-trade clause for and report to in the event of a trade. I’ve no idea which teams made the cut, but I’ve done some digging and I’ve a fairly good idea of at least five teams that should make the grade.

Minnesota Wild

The Wild as a destination should be obvious for a number of reasons. Firstly, Sekeres indicated today that they’ve ‘trade interest’ in Hansen. Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, the Wild are legitimate contenders. The Wild’s 84 points give them a five point cushion for first in the Western Conference and put them just three behind the Washington Capitals. Their 54.2% xGF% (expected goals ratio) is second-best in the NHL to boot. This team is for real.

Whereas the Wild tend to be deep at forward in general, the right wing is one area where they lack speed and productivity. Looking at their depth chart on ESPN, Chris Stewart’s listed as their third-most productive right wing. I tend to think you can do worse than Stewart in that role. You could certainly do better, though.

Minnesota has the financial capital to fit Hansen comfortably within their salary structure for, at the very least, this season. Looking at their prospects, one could reasonably posit they’ve the assets necessary to meet the Canucks’ demands for a ‘top prospect’ rather than a pick too. It’s now a question of which one the Canucks fancy and whether the Wild are wont to meet their demands.

Given their wealth of high-end prospects, the Wild can sustain the loss of an Alex Tuch or a Jordan Greenway. By that same token, that’s a lot to ask for what might amount to a month-plus of Hansen. 

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Anaheim Ducks

The Wild aren’t alone in their Hansen interest. Not at this juncture. Sekeres’ report from this morning counted the Ducks among the two teams interested in a Hansen trade in these relatively early proceedings. This, again, makes perfect sense when one considers where the Ducks are at in their competitive window, the oncoming expansion draft and their quality as a team.

Unlike the Wild, Anaheim lacks the financial capital or leeway to make this deal comfortably. In fact, were it not for Long Term Injured Reserve, you could count the Ducks among the six teams with a projected negative cap space on www.CapFriendly.com. It’s going to take a certain amount of creativity on each end to make this work.

The Ducks have a bounty of prospects though and certainly a few that qualify as ‘top prospects’ at that. Players like Max Jones, Sam Steel and Jacob Larsson all jump to the forefront, though I wonder about Anaheim’s willingness to part with the latter of those two especially. 

Pittsburgh Penguins

For as long as I’ve been a proponent of the Canucks parting with Hansen, I’ve seen the Penguins as the best fit in the entire NHL. They’ve yet to emerge as a suitor for the speedy winger, but I can’t imagine we don’t hear their names at some point.

They’re an annual contender forced to invest carefully down the wing with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin taking up $18.2-million in cap space annually. Hansen comes in at an affordable $2.5-million for this season and next. Still, that could prove a tough fit for the Penguins. Per CapFriendly, they have about 77,000 in cap space with Pascal Dupuis and Connor Sheary sitting on LTIR as is.

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Trading Hansen to the Penguins might mean taking Eric Fehr and his onerous $2-million contract for this season and next to make it work. At that point, though, the Canucks are justified in asking for a top prospect. The Toronto Maple Leafs essentially turned Daniel Winnik into Connor Carrick and a second-round pick just by virtue of taking on Brooks Laich and the final year of his albatross contract. There’s a precedent.

Does that mean the Canucks can pry Daniel Sprong or Tristan Jarry from the Penguins? I have a hard time seeing it, but given the value Washington surrendered to get out from under a bad deal this time last year, I don’t rule it out entirely.

Chicago Blackhawks

To the surprise of absolutely nobody, the Chicago Blackhawks are right in the thick of it in the Western Conference in spite of suffering another salary cap-induced exodus of depth contributors. They’re second in the Western Conference and poised for another long run into the post-season.

A big part of the reason why the Blackhawks have remained competitive is the contributions from young players on their entry-level contracts. That’s also one of the reasons they may not be a suitor for the Canucks. By all accounts, the Blackhawks are happy with their collection of young talent and haven’t any desire to part with them to add value on the margins.

That doesn’t mesh well with the Canucks reported interest in prospects as opposed to picks. By that same token, I wonder if the Blackhawks don’t budge when push comes to shove. According to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, the Blackhawks want to add to their bottom six. Hansen would be the perfect fit.

Calgary Flames

The Calgary Flames desperately need help on the right side of their forward corps. The addition of Troy Brouwer in free agency couldn’t be going any worse, and they haven’t the contingencies in place to make up for his shortcomings. If there’s one part of their lineup that needs addressing, this is it.

Unpalatable as it may seem to trade one of their best forwards to a divisional rival, I tend to think the Canucks would be well-served exploring this option — if Hansen’s made it available to them by way of his list, of course. The Flames have a strong prospect pool and the available capital to sustain Hansen’s cap charge. Beyond that, they can fit him in with their expansion draft plans comfortably.

Calgary, much like Vancouver, is deepest on the blue line where their prospects are concerned. That’s where the Canucks need to look if they’re more keen on top prospects than picks. Between Rasmus Andersson, Oliver Kylington and Adam Fox, you have to imagine the two sides can work something out.

I also wouldn’t discount the Canucks interest in Mark Jankowski. Canucks assistant general manager John Weisbrod played a significant role in that draft pick. Given the success the Canucks have had mining former Weisbrod finds in Calgary, why not?



  • TheRealRusty

    The real question to ask is if Barteschi will turn out to be a better player than Hansen is now. I personally see the former as a Mason Raymond type of perimeter player. Given a choice between Barteschi and Sbisa (if we protect Hansen and Granlund), Vegas will be more inclined to pick up Sbisa since defensive depth is more important to a new franchise. The correct play here would be to explore deals for Hansen (JB is not doing his job if he isn’t) and only trade him if we can get a waiver protected top prospect or high 1st round pick back. Stand pat if we don’t and expose Barteschi instead.

    #reasonstotradehansenisallmediahype

    • Baertschi as a perimeter player couldn’t be farther from the truth. The reason why Baertschi has shown improvement since last season is because he realized that he can’t be effective on the perimeter and has adapted his game to drive the net and be in the slot for rebounds and close range shots. Going back to his “Next Ones” scouting report, Joe Morrow said that he should play as a power forward, not a finesse player.

      • TheRealRusty

        Sven weighs in at 6ft 190lbs. Not your prototypical size for a power forward…. Just because Joe Morrow says that he should play as a power forward doesn’t mean that he is one or that he will play like one. In an ideal world I would like to see him go to the dirty areas of the ice, but the truth is that he has been inconsistent (even at times this year) with going there. And truth be told, not many players in the league can consistently take the punishment day in day out, and I believe that the realities of multiple concussions will not allow him to do so. Hence the Mason Raymond reference. All this is making me to believe that Vegas will pick Sbisa over Sven in the draft.

        • DJ_44

          Exactly this. Sven has skill, but he has not, and will not, play like a power forward. It is not his game. He has improved his board work (although he applies it inconsistently), and he can shoot the puck.

          I completely agree that Sbisa would be selected over Baertschi by Vegas without the concussion issue; I know that is what I would do.

        • If I could ban two hockey words, it’s “unbelievable” and “prototypical”. I believe the term you should be using is “archtypical”. You’re absolutely right, Baertschi does not have the height and weight of a traditional power forward but that doesn’t mean he can’t play like one. Matthew Tkachuk has a similar build but that doesn’t stop him from playing hard. And if you watch Baertschi, you’ll see him going to those dirty areas, he doesn’t play like Raymond at all.

          I also would like to see Vegas pick Sbisa over Baertschi, if both were left exposed.

  • Bro Horvat

    Good stuff here JD.

    If we could somehow pry Tuch away from Minnesota or Steel from Anaheim I’d be thrilled with that. I also think the Pens are a great fit for Hansen, I wonder if they were on his list? They don’t have much for top prospects but a pick and someone like Sprong would be a good return. Not so sure about Chicago or Calgary as legit destinations. Maybe Calgary but I wouldn’t do it unless we completely fleece them.

  • Chris the Curmudgeon

    Ugh, Jankowski is not a guy you target in a trade, and we need to get a forward back. I don’t think Calgary is a good partner. Minny does look like the best fit, and like you said, they really need him. And I think taking on Eric Fehr, which we have the flexibility to do, could really help to grease a trade with Pittsburgh a little bit. Fehr could play on our 4th line for a year (he’s still a competent player, even if his scoring has slowed down), and it would be worth it to snag Daniel Sprong plus maybe a draft pick. Or Jake Guentzel, if he’s on the table.

  • TheRealRusty

    Just to be clear, I am not proposing that we do not trade Hansen before he hits UFA after next season. I believe that with the expansion draft looming, this trade deadline is not the time to be selling unless it is for UFAs like Miller or Burrows. Unless JB intends to trade both Hansen and Sbisa in order to make Vegas choose between Graunce or Biega, we will be losing Sbisa to the expansion. I believe that we will get a better package for Hansen after the expansion draft or at next year’s trade deadline. Trading Hansen now if we dont get full value is bad asset management, since we will still end up lose Sbisa.

    PS. For those of you who voted down my previous post, you might want to read up on game theory instead of blindly following the media hysteria.

  • Spiel

    The argument that Hansen is worth less to other teams because they might lose him in the expansion draft just doesn’t hold a lot of water for me.

    If the team acquiring Hansen is a good team, it is likely they already have other players that they might lose in the expansion draft. For the acquiring team two scenarios play out in the expansion draft. One, Hansen is claimed by Vegas and they get to keep the other good players. Two, one of the other players is claimed (which would have happened regardless of the Hansen acquisition), but now they still have Hansen on their roster to mitigate the loss.

    As for the return on Hansen, I don’t see it being much. The best value Benning has received in a trade was Bieksa for a 2nd rounder which Benning promptly squandered. If they get any kind of legit prospect, I would be surprised. I’m thinking more like a 2nd/3rd round pick plus a mid-tier prospect.

    In an ideal return, the Canucks want a young center back. This is clearly the weakness of the prospect pipeline, just look at the lack of offensive centers in Utica. Steel from Anaheim, Eriksson Ek or Kunin from Minny, Jankowski from Calgary (he’s leading their AHL team in scoring for all the haters out there), or Guentzel from Pittsburgh. I doubt any of those names unless the Canucks give more based on Benning’s track record.

  • El Kabong

    Got to trade Hansen now. Period.

    But please don’t stop there. Unload as many vets as possible so I’d like to see offers for Edler, and if anything interesting pops up pull the trigger.

    Get what you can for Miller and Burrows and we could still see them in our colours next season anyways.

  • Spiel

    Something not often mentioned is that Chris Tanev has a limited no trade clause starting in 2017-18. Time to sell high this offseason or at the deadline? Canucks need to be listening on Tanev.

  • Freud

    Ah, yes, cap room.

    How cap room can benefit a rebuilding team seems lost on this management team.

    Instead cap room is spent on an aging Erikkson, not only resulting in no flexibility at the deadline, but also forces the team to trade Hansen.

    • TheRealRusty

      Glad you brought this up as it has been a bone I want to pick with this management (or mismanagement) team. You are right to point out that the true cost of signing Eriksson to play (or not play) with the Sedins will end up costing us Hansen. While it is true that the expansion draft rules took forever to be disseminated to the GMs, it was imperative that JB kept as much roster flexibility last off season. Not only did we sign Eriksson to an expensive and long term deal, we also managed to hamper ourselves with a limited NTC/NMC.

      Questions I want answered (although I’m not holding my breath) are

      1) which other teams were in the hunt to sign Eriksson and whether the dollars/terms where even close to what Canucks offered (goes to GMJBTL’s tendency to overpay)?

      2) did the owners push for this signing against the recommendations of the GMJBTL? All signs point to a meddling ownership group (the Torts hire and fire, the TL hire, the Virtnanen and McCann on the big club to help sell tickets fiasco, and now the Eriksson signing)

      3) was WD ever consulted on where he sees Eriksson fit into the roster (why sign a LH shot when we needed a RH shooting trigger man on the Sedin’s line?)

      • Freud

        The expansion draft rules were set June 22nd.

        Eriksson was signed in July.

        The management team knew exactly what was going on, but still chose to offer that contract.

  • Dan B

    The best thing that could happen would be for the team to convince Eriksson to waive his NMC for the purposes of the expansion draft. Then his spot could go to someone who deserves and needs protection. There’s no way that Vegas would take him since his performance is light years below his pay. And FTR I was a fan of the signing at the time… but it looks awful in retrospect.

  • JuiceBox

    I am glad somebody brought up the salary cap. I mentioned in a post last off season that the most important tool a GM has when rebuilding a team is flexibility, and in today’s NHL that means CAP SPACE. I advocated not signing Eriksson to this ridiculous deal, not because Eriksson is not a good player but because it is going to severely impact the team’s flexibility. Teams will pay dearly to get out from under bad contracts and/or have a team be able to retain salary. For a team that had empty cupboards, what better way to restock them than being able to take on a bad contract. But it’s not as dire as it seems though. The Canucks have the ability to shed $10M off the books if they move Burrows, Miller (and retain no more than 50% of his contract), and Hansen. That will still give them an opportunity to take on some weight for the rest of this season.

    • Donald's Hat Trick

      ….but that’s also why owners voted in favor of adding Las Vegas, the franchise can act as a dumping ground for quite a few bad contracts. Vegas will pick up a few good players at the draft, then flip them for bad contracts plus prospects. And then cycle will continue.

  • Dirty30

    Mason Raymond had good speed, decent hands and could have had a better career had he given up on his ‘fancy moves’ which typically resulted in him on his butt and the puck headed the other way.

    Baertschi’s game got polluted for a while by ‘Mason-lite’ Linden Vey, who should have had his fancy moves slapped out of him long ago. Instead, WD kept putting out there to fall on his ass and make Sven think the only way to get ice time was to play like Vey. So he too spent all his time on his ass.

    Once Vey was gone Baer started playing a different game and by spending less time on his ass could actually control the puck and score goals.

    The only person incapable of seeing that simple reality was Willie the Moron.

    Sven is simply learning what neither Raymond or Vey were willing to learn– staying on your feet and skating toward the net is more likely to score a goal than trying fancy moves that put you on your ass.

    Simple.

  • JuiceBox

    Pittsburgh and Anaheim are likely out due to their cap issues. Pittsburgh would need to move Hagelin or Kunitz; Anaheim would need to move Cogliano or Fowler. Moving any of those players (not necessarily to Vancouver) to make room for Hansen probably doesn’t make sense for either of those two teams. The only way a deal happens with them is if Vancouver agrees to eat 100% of Hansen’s salary this year and next – Approx $4.00M. What is that worth to the Canucks organization? Probably more than either team is willing to pay.

    Chicago has the cap space but doesn’t want to move any player in their system and their 1st round picks are always off the table, and they are stingy with the others. likely a return of a couple of 3-5 round picks.

    Calgary has ZERO cap space. We would have to take back Stajan or Wideman (if he agrees to waive his NMC). Outside of Kylington their prospect pool is thin and there is no way they trade Kylington for 1.25 years of Hansen and $0.5M in cap relief. Unless of course Vancouver throws in Hutton or Subban. Likely best case scenario is Stajan, a 2nd, and a 4th/5th.

    Minnesota is the perfect position to “go for it.” They have the cap space, the DEEP prospect pool, and the picks. I doubt they would part with Kaprizov or Eriksson-Ek but a package including Kunin, Tuch, Greenway, their 1st or 2nd rounder could be on the table if the Canucks are willing take Scandella off their hands.

    • Spiel

      Pitsburgh can put Daley (3.3M) on LTIR to fit in Hansen for the rest of this year and going forward they will not have Fleury (5.75M) on the books. Further Kunitz is 37 years old and a UFA. They have the room.

      I agree, Anaheim doesn’t have the cap room unless the Canucks take back a player and eat some of Hansen’s salary. That’s a possibility if Anaheim makes it worth the Canucks while. Remember, Hansen at 2.5M per is one of the few legit wingers the Ducks can afford to add under the cap.

      The Chicago first round picks are always off the table? Really? They traded away their first rounders in 2015 for a Vermette rental and 2016 as part of the package for Ladd. 2015 and 2016 were two of the deepest drafts since 2003. Their first round pick is not “always off the table” as you put it.

      Minnesota might be the best fit in terms of prospect pool depth and cap space. Not sure why you think they would want to move out Scandella.

      • JuiceBox

        I thought Daley was already on LTIR, turns out he isn’t. Even if they don’t move Fleury, that would open up enough space for Hansen. Ok, so put them back on the “go” list.

        Anaheim – The only two players they would likely send back are Cogliano or Fowler. If the goal is to add depth up front it doesn’t make sense to swap Cogliano for Hansen and I think Anaheim is hoping to get more in return for Fowler than 1.25 years of Hansen, but if they are desperate for cap relief you never know.

        Chicago – what I wrote is not what I meant. I started typing one thing, went back and changed it, then didn’t edit properly and hit submit without proof reading. What I meant to say was that this years first rounder is likely off the table and they are always stingy with the others.

        Scandella signed a large long-term contract coming off a couple of good seasons and he was on the rise until Boudreau took over. This year has seen a dramatic decrease in quality of his play, his production, and his posession metrics – they have taken a huge step back and there were rumblings that Boudreau and him don’t see eye to eye. He is still a top 4 defenseman but he is 27 and his cap hit increases every year from now until the end of his contract; Matt Dumba (who’s 5 years younger) has stepped up in a big way this year and is ready for a top-4 role; they have Granlund and Niederitter to re-sign this year with Dumba and Koivu coming up next year, it’s going to be tight to fit them all in. There isn’t one big thing working against Scandella, its a bunch of small things that could end up seeing him moved.

      • Andy

        I already suggested this in another thread, but I wonder if a package of Hutton/Hansen in exchange for Fowler or Vatanen, a prospect would be enticing, as Hutton is expansion exempt, which allows Anaheim to keep more of its’ key forwards.

  • Burnabybob

    I’m a middle-aged man who’s lived through many NHL trade deadlines. Far more often than not, nothing earth-shattering happens and the hype is revealed for what it is. Most years, the trades amount to tinkering.

    Jannik Hansen is a fine player, but let’s be honest- he’s not a game breaker. Some people have unrealistic expectations for what he can get in return, especially given that the Canucks are limited in the number of teams they can bargain with. A top prospect for Hansen would be a major coup, but I kind of doubt it will happen. A solid, second tier prospect with a reasonable shot at an NHL career would probably be a decent return under the circumstances. Certainly better than losing Hansen in the expansion draft for nothing.

    People need to remember that. But I can already see the torches and pitchforks if Benning fails to snag a future star for Hansen next week.

  • JuiceBox

    Looks like Anaheim made their move for Eaves. Conditional 2nd round. If Eaves plays in more than half of the Ducks playoff games and the team goes to the conference final it becomes a first. Kind of sets the upper limit for Hansen.

  • TheRealPB

    If we could get Tuch or Greenaway from Minnesota even up for Hansen I’d do it. They don’t own their 2nd rounder (trade for Chris Stewart), highly unlikely they’d do a 1st as well though I would think their 3rd or 4th would be in play. But honestly either Tuch or Greenaway (or Kunin for that matter) would be in my view an absolute steal for the Canucks for Hansen. These are great picks from strong drafts and have proven themselves in the NCAA, WJC and in Tuch’s case in the pros at the AHL level. Kunin and Tuch are strong talents and Greenaway is a really impressive net-front presence. For a team as starved for forward prospects as we are getting just one of them would really bolster our pool.