Jannik Hansen has had a pretty good September. In five preseason games, the winger put up four points (2 goals, 2 assists). He also saw quite a bit of time with the Sedins as John Tortorella explored his options with a new roster, and Hansen showed well enough that he’s likely to be deployed there on occasion come the regular season. Furthermore, he somehow managed to take the only good headshot on picture day. And, on Sunday, the Canucks gave him 10 million dollars. As months go, I’d say that’s pretty okay.
Capping off a weirdly busy weekend that also saw the acquisition of forwards Zac Dalpe and Jeremy Walsh from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for Kellan Tochkin (the second-best Kellan in Vancouver’s system) and a fourth-round pick, the Canucks announced a four-year contract extension for Hansen that would pay him $2.5 million a season.
It’s identical to the contract that Chris Higgins received in back in April (although, sadly, while they replicated the deal, they didn’t give us another uncomfortable signing video).
This makes a lot of sense. It’s Sunday morning, for one thing. Why take the time to draw up a new contract when you can photocopy the old one? The football games are starting.
For another, Hansen and Higgins bring very similar things to the Canucks. Ideally, they’re third-line checking wingers, and when the entire Canucks’ roster is healthy, that’s where they both slot in. But in the case of injuries, both are capable of moving up to the second line, and even the first alongside the Sedins. You can’t put a price on that kind of versatility.
Well, yes you can. $20 million over the next four years.
It’s a more than reasonable price. At 27, Hansen is in the prime of his career, and he’s increased his point per game totals every season since 2009. It’s highly likely that continues this year and Hansen cracks 40 points for the first time in his career. He could even surpass 50.
With production like that, not to mention his stellar forechecking prowess that will likely stand out even more in John Tortorella’s aggressive system, it’s probable that he left over a half a million on the table by forgoing the open market.
But that’s okay. Mike Gillis mentioned stability in explaining for the deal, and as a new father to twins, you can see why Hansen might have wanted that over a little more money elsewhere. Unsurprisingly, Hansen negotiated a limited no-trade clause into the deal.
Or maybe, more important than stability or money is the opportunity to be the first Canuck to win three unsung hero trophies? Granted, once you’ve won two, I think it’s safe to say you’ve been officially sung, but dammit, the honey badger don’t care.Tags: Chris Higgins, Jannik Hansen