The San Jose Sharks couldn’t handle the Pittsburgh Penguins’ speed.
And so, after losing the Stanley Cup Final in six games, the Sharks decided they had to get faster.
Then, when the season started, there was a quasi-youth movement, as players like Kevin Labanc and Timo Meier received opportunities with the big club.
“Jannik is a versatile, gritty player who plays with speed and is talented on both sides of the puck,” said Wilson. “We think he is a perfect fit for the style of our team, which has earned the right for us to make this move and add to our NHL roster as we push towards the playoffs.”
Wilson probably undersold Hansen’s speed a touch. Even at 30 years old, Hansen is still very fast.
Where DeBoer puts his newest player remains to be seen. On the third line with Tomas Hertl is one possibility. That could bump Joel Ward down to the fourth line, which may be a better spot for the 36-year-old who’s struggled offensively this season.
The thing about Hansen is that he’s versatile enough to play up and down the lineup. In Vancouver, he started out as a checker. Eventually, he was skating with the Sedins on the top scoring line.
The Sharks’ next game is tomorrow at home against, of all teams, the Vancouver Canucks.