Photo Credit: Eric Bolte – USA TODAY Sports
The Montreal Canadiens have been among the league’s biggest movers for as long as Marc Bergevin’s been running the show as their general manager, so you have to think they have a couple moves in them between now and the March 1st trade deadline.
Hearing @CanadiensMTL are working on multiple moves
Also hearing Jannik Hansen of interest.
3 2nd rounders 2018 draft & prospects in play
— Brian Lawton (@brianlawton9) February 28, 2017
Perhaps one of them involves 30-year-old Canucks right winger Jannik Hansen? The Canadiens are a contending team, and those are the type most often wont to grab players with Hansen’s pedigree, role and versatility. Let’s dive in.
Given the Canadiens were among the first teams connected to Alexandre Burrows, it’s fair to posit they recalibrated over the weekend once it became apparent he wasn’t an option for help in their bottom-six. Senators GM Pierre Dorian indicated Burrows rejected a trade to another Atlantic Division team — perhaps it was Montreal?
Canucks assistant general manager John Weisbrod was in attendance for Everett’s Friday night game against the Portland Winterhawks. I’ve since heard from an anonymous source that Canadiens prospect Noah Juulsen was the primary draw. If the Canucks want top prospects for their veterans at the deadline, this isn’t especially difficult to piece together.
— Stu Walters (@StuWaltersmedia) February 28, 2017
The ‘other prospects’ bit is noteworthy here, because we do know Weisbrod plays a significant role in mining for amateur talent. In Cody Glass and Henri Jokiharju the Winterhawks have a pair of potential first round picks, so it’s entirely possible he was there for them every bit as much as Juulsen.
Whether Juulsen is the hypothetical player of interest for the Canucks might be strictly academic anyways. Hansen holds a modified no-trade clause in his contract, and this report from TSN 1040 AM’s Matt Sekeres indicates the Canadiens aren’t among the eight teams he’d waive to join in the event of a trade.
— Matthew Sekeres (@mattsekeres) February 28, 2017
I find that an interesting decision on Hansen’s part — though I recognize entirely it’s his right to make whichever decision he pleases. Every indication is that Hansen’s more concerned about next year and whether a team can keep him beyond the Expansion Draft or not. Taking a cursory glance at the Canadiens page in the www.CapFriendly.com Expansion Draft Tool, it seems likely they can fit him into their plans beyond the draft. That’s more than a lot of contending teams can offer.
The Habs have the capital, whether by picks, prospects or the requisite cap space to take on Hansen, to make a deal work. At the end of the day, though, it’s Hansen who has the final say.