With the news today that the Canucks and Jannik Hansen avoided the ugly squabble and dish-throwing of arbitration comes the beautiful realization that fans can look forward to three more years of frenzied forechecking, possessed penalty killing, and delightful high-pitched interviews. At a $1.35 million cap hit, Canucks fans should be thrilled. I’m thrilled. Why aren’t you thrilled? You should be.
Some people might not be happy with the idea of a guy with a career high of 9 goals getting paid $1.35 million. Fair. Wrong, but fair. Hansen isn’t a goalscorer, this much is true. As I showed you in recapping every goal he scored last season, the Danish Ninja scored most of his goals by materializing in front of the net in a puff of smoke to bang in a rebound. He did, however, lead the team in hits and recorded one of the best takeaway-to-giveaway ratios on the team. He also notched 20 assists and, as pointed out in this fantastic post on Canucks Army, he was third on the team in 1st assists/60 minutes, behind only Henrik and Daniel.
It seems, then, that Hansen is a playmaker who has yet to play on a line with a sniper. In his one season in the WHL, he tallied 40 assists in 64 games while playing on a line with current Ranger, Brandon Dubinsky. Lined up with Ryan Kesler, could Hansen put up similar numbers in the NHL?
Remy Greer at Canucks Army pointed out that Hansen could follow in the footsteps of Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows, both former checking line stalwarts who stepped into larger offensive roles when given the opportunity. Kesler went from 6 goals in an injury-shortened 2006-07 season to 21 the following year at the age of 23, but didn’t fully step into the limelight until his 75-point 2009-10 season at the age of 25. Burrows’ big break didn’t come until he was 27, when he scored 28 goals in 2008-09 and was promoted to the first line.
Hansen will be 25 to start the 2011-12 season: will this be his breakout year? Will we look at his $1.35 million cap hit and cast it in the same light as Burrows’ $2 million as one of the biggest bargains in the league?Tags: Danish Ninja, featured, Hansen, Hansen is a ninja, Hansen is amazing, Jannik Hansen, Let me buy you a beer Hansen, We have a lot of Jannik Hansen tags