It’s no secret that I have been a Hansen fan. I fell in love with the guy from the moment he was called up and played his first game as a Canuck in the playoff series against Dallas. It’s been an interesting journey watching him battle injury and overcome adversity at some of the most inopportune times to place himself where he is today as he’s grown as a player.
During the preseason Hansen was considered to be a “bubble player” and after being convinced to sign a two way contract his roster spot was all but guaranteed. What at this point can only be seen as, as fortuitous, was Hansen’s fist shattering fight with the face of Gilbert Brule. After missing the first 19 games of the season and slotting in amongst those others returning from injury, Hansen has proved that he deserves a roster spot. Since returning he’s been a noticeable player night in and night out and has even managed to produce offensively in the few games he’s had to play notching 2 goals, 2 assists and a rating of +3.
He’s making the little plays that are helping the Canucks turn up ice. He’s mastered the chip-and-go, he’s one of the best Canucks checkers on the ice, and the important thing is he’s not invisible. Far too often in this season that is still young, the Canucks checking lines have been invisible. Be it even strength or the penalty kill, very time Hansen is on the ice he’s visible and making the right play. He’s even demonstrated he can turn up ice on a dime and is creating the odd man advantage. Hansen was at one point on the bubble, however his consistent play and versatility as a role player has for the time being solidified his position on the team. You need to be able to roll four lines to be a contender, the fact that our 3rd line is getting in on the secondary scoring is a bonus that can certainly be linked in part due to the smart plays Hansen is making and attempting to create.
He’s over looked quite often because of the other drama surrounding the team, however night in and night out he’s making the most of his ice time and the fact that he’s going unnoticed, while being visible on the ice and making his presence known attests to the fact that he’s doing his job.