Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin – USA TODAY Sports
If the Vancouver Canucks have designs on trading Jannik Hansen, it sounds as though the player aims to be reasonably accommodating throughout.
Speaking with reporters after practice on Friday, Hansen didn’t shy from the deadline ruminations. Confronted by a horde of reporters, Hansen talked about the deadline, his expectations and where he’s willing to go. Hansen, candid as always, delivered a handful of useful quotes that grant insight into what challenges — and opportunities — await the Canucks as the days count down to March.
Luckily for us, TSN 1040 AM was there to record the media availability in its entirety. We’re a little bit late to the story, but I’ve gone to the trouble of jotting down everything worth discussing. Let’s dive right in.
— TSN Radio Vancouver (@TSN1040) February 25, 2017
Hansen starts by addressing how he’s feeling going into this deadline. He’s affable throughout and seems more or less accepting of what the deadline holds.
“Again, it’s out of my hands — it has been out of my hands the whole season. Of course, we’ve moved a step closer now that they’ve actually asked [for a list of eight teams I’d waive my no-trade clause for]. Again, it’s something that’s always been there.”
A reporter then goes on to ask whether Hansen was put off by Canucks general Manager Jim Benning asking him to submit his list of teams he’s willing to waive his no-trade clause and report to, after previously stating that he wouldn’t ask players with no-trade protection to waive under any circumstances. To Hansen’s credit, he’s fairly level-headed about it all and only willing to cite the benefits of Benning’s feigned promise.
“No, I think [Benning’s previously stated position on no-trade clauses] was smart. [Benning] gave us an option to tell you guys to leave us alone, and it worked. It wasn’t up until about a week ago [that I fielded trade deadline questions]. I mean, it was nice and easy. We could refer to him. He obviously took a lot of heat for it. It made it very easy for us.”
That’s a fair point to make, and I’m sure Benning appreciates Hansen’s response to the Canucks shifting position on no-trade clauses. By that same token, it’s not like this kind of media firestorm was going to intensify before February, and Canucks players have fielded deadline questions for most of February because of the Canucks changing stance on veterans and no-trade protection.
— Pass it to Bulis (@passittobulis) February 7, 2017
This is where things started to get a little more difficult for Hansen. One reporter asks of the quality and viability of the eight teams on Hansen’s list, citing Radim Vrbata’s notorious list of non-playoff teams that he was willing to sign off on a trade to at last deadline. Hansen’s answer is pleasantly surprising, insofar as he gives one.
“Majority are playoff teams. I think I put six or seven playoff teams and one personal team. I think it was a fair list. At least by my perception. Whether or not he can make a deal with them [or] if he wants to — I can’t tell you that.”
Like I said, that’s a surprisingly detailed answer for this time of year. Usually, it’s canned responses and cliches as far as one can type. Hansen wasn’t done there, though. When pressed about what he prioritized when making his list (whether that’s location, contender’s status, etc.) he goes on to list concerns about uprooting his family as reasons for pause throughout the process.
“For me, it’s also [about] next year. I need to move a family. If it was just a matter of going on a run with a team — maybe you could leave your family here, keep the kids in school. I also have to think a little further than that. Make it obviously complicated a little bit — not just picking the top eight teams in the league.”
Part of the reason the Canucks have to deal Hansen is the looming Expansion Draft. It appears that’s part of the reason Hansen isn’t wont to go just anywhere else, too. It doesn’t make a tonne of sense for a family man like Hansen to move on for a Stanley Cup run, only to find himself with the Vegas Golden Knights for the final year of his contract, assuming they keep him through to its conclusion.
For those reasons, I’d suggest that many of the teams on his list of seven playoff contenders that he’d willingly report to have space in their expansion draft plans to keep him. Those teams exist, but they are rare.
Whatever the case, we’ve a better idea now than we did going into today of the likelihood of a Hansen trade. And for those among us hoping the Canucks sell off assets at this year’s deadline, today’s new is mostly positive. It’s a start.