The Schneider move wasn’t a surprise given last week’s acquisition of Jason LaBarbera and the return of Curtis Sanford. Schneider showed glimpses of how good he can be, but truth be told, he’s not quite ready for regular NHL duty just yet. He’s best served playing every night for the Moose than playing once a week with the Canucks.
The Hansen move was a bit more surprising. With Sundin about to join the lineup, we knew the Canucks had to move a body. I’m just surprised it was Hansen. While he’s cooled off of late, his numbers have been very good. Among rookies, he sits 10th in total points (17) and is tied for 4th in assists (13). He’s proven himself to be a versatile player, playing mostly on the checking and energy lines but also doing spot duty with the Sedins on the top line. I know I could be biased in saying this, but I wouldn’t have thought it to be out of the ordinary if he was selected for the Young Stars game.
Unfortunately for Hansen, he became a victim of the numbers game. A couple of things that worked against him:
1) Because he hasn’t played in 70 NHL games yet, he doesn’t have to go through waivers.
2) The ripple effect in the lineup caused by Sundin’s arrival would have pretty much demoted him to the fourth line where he would get somewhere between 6 and 9 minutes of ice-time per game; Jason Jaffray and Alexandre Bolduc are better suited for this role. Like Schneider, Hansen’s probably best served by playing a lot of minutes in Manitoba instead.
Regardless, I wouldn’t count him out just yet. As the 287th overall pick in his draft class, he already beat the odds by making it to the NHL in the first place. He’ll make it back soon enough.