Jannik Hansen is an excellent hockey player who played almost every possible role at some point during his ten years on the Canucks roster. He thrived on all four lines, killed penalties, hit, scored, fought, handled the media wonderfully, and made everyone laugh a little. The powerplay was the one situation he never really got to try out, but let’s not get into that. Almost as unlikely a success story as Alex Burrows, Hansen clawed his way into his role in the NHL. He’s come a long way from being a ninth round draft pick and the guy who got elbowed by Rob Niedermayer, distracting Roberto Luongo, leading to a playoff elimination. Hansen was a jack of many trades, so here are 10 assorted aspects of Jannik Hansen that define Jannik Hansen’s time as a Canuck:
10. Jannik Dransen:
This is a bit of an in-joke among Canucks fans who are familiar with the work of former Canucks Army overlord and current Florida Panthers underlord Thomas Drance. It’s a pity Drance deleted all of his old tweets, because his belief in Hansen as an offensive player sparked one of the best ongoing jokes on Canucks Twitter. Hansen’s last couple of years as a Canuck were some of his best and he may not know it, but his success was as much a meme as it was a Cinderella story.
Drance is going to have the entire Canucks roster convinced that Hansen is better than Crosby by the end of the month.
— Taj (@taj1944) February 23, 2015
Drance waiting to ask Hansen a question.
“Hansen,how awesome are you?Follow up question, can you get more awesome?” pic.twitter.com/PxJ3n6CRu5
— Wyatt Arndt (@TheStanchion) April 11, 2016
Hansen with the Sedins’ – somewhere @ThomasDrance is smiling.
— Ryan Biech (@ryanbiech) October 30, 2016
9. King of honesty:
Though he was not always the loudest guy on the roster, Hansen was one of the best quotes on the team. He became known for his honest – occasionally brutally so – answers. Teams need players who are able to spin the bad into good, but Hansen’s honesty was beyond refreshing. If he hated what he saw, we heard about it.
8. Greatest Dane since Hamlet:
Jannik Hansen is the first Danish player to ever score a point in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He is an icon in the Danish ice hockey community and in Denmark in general. They put him on a postage stamp! He’s represented his nation a dozen times. Hansen is Danish for “legend”, probably.
7. His voice is amazing:
One of the most iconic Jannik Hansen moments was brought to us by Cory Schneider, who absolutely nailed his impersonation of Jannik Hansen’s sort of muppet-like voice.
Hansen responded perfectly with this impersonation of Cory Schneider’s goaltending.
6. Occasional offensive wizard:
He will likely be remembered more for his penalty killing and excellent work ethic, but Hansen had some great moments offensively. A personal favourite is this hat trick he scored against Chicago, but there are so many good ones if you want to spend a little while on Youtube watching him outskate defensemen.
5. He’s weird:
Jannik Hansen is a little weird. His teammates seem to truly adore him, but they waste no time in calling him out on being weird. Just this month, CanucksTV posted a video entitled “What’s the Deal with Jannik Hansen?”.
Stay weird, Jannik. Keep doing whatever you’re doing here.
But good lord, please learn how to hold a baby.
4. A third Sedin:
Jannik Hansen did not play alongside the Sedins for all that long, but it was a very fun stretch. Hansen brought speed to a line that – no offence to Henrik and Daniel – really needed it. Here is one of his rare power play appearances with the twins.
An underrated thing about Jannik Hansen is that he is the father of twin boys and he named one Daniel. He named the other one Lucas. No one else could get away with disrespecting Henrik Sedin like that. Luckily, Henrik seems to have forgiven Lucas for being a symbol of Hansen’s shadiness.
3. The breakaways:
Hansen is a very fast hockey player and because of that, he finds himself on a lot of breakaways. His inability to cash in on a number of these breakaways became yet another Hansen-centric inside joke among Canucks fans.
It’s gotten to the point that it’s more surprising when Jannik Hansen DOESN’T score on a breakaway.
— Pass it to Bulis (@passittobulis) January 20, 2015
Hansen did score on some of his breakaway chances, though. This was the first Canucks goal of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs. He picks his spots.
2. The ultimate teammate/energy guy/warrior/etc.:
If I had to choose one moment to sum up Jannik Hansen’s career as a Canuck, this one is a good option. Hansen was only a fighter when he felt it was necessary. Kadri’s predatory hit on Daniel Sedin was definitely an occasion that Hansen deemed worthy of dropping the gloves over. I’m not usually interested in lauding players for playing through pain, because if you’re hurt, you’re better off getting treated instead of injuring yourself further. This is one of those rare exceptions where I can’t help but appreciate Hansen for getting right back up after his rib was broken in order to make sure Kadri knows that he shouldn’t hit players like that – because the Department of Player Safety appears unwilling to do so. This clip doesn’t really show off the best of Hansen – he’s a lot cooler and more fun to watch than just a guy who defends his teammates and plays through pain – but this was gutsy. Hansen brought emotion and energy to one of the blandest Canucks teams in franchise history.
1. The Unsung Hero:
The true definition of Jannik Hansen’s time as a Canuck is that he is a three-time recipient of the Fred J. Hume Award, given each year to the team’s Unsung Hero. No other Canuck has won it three times. Hansen is the most recognized unsung hero in franchise history. The most sung unsung hero, if you will.
He was drafted in a round so late that it no longer exists, so the work ethic and tenacity were necessary for him to make the NHL. He stuck around because he didn’t change his attitude and because he is a genuinely excellent hockey player who is a treat to watch and super easy to cheer for.
Hopefully Jannik Hansen will win the Stanley Cup this year. He deserves it (and Canucks fans deserve the first-round draft pick that would come as a condition of the Shark’s win).