As you probably know, the Washington Capitals made a big trade today, sending Tomas Fleischmann to Colorado in exchange for veteran defensemen Scott Hannan. General manager George McPhee said the move "completes" the Capitals' defense, adding that it was the kind of move that was 3-4 years in the making.
But we've seen the Capitals acquire defensemen before. Last season, the team traded for Joe Corvo, who was supposed to solve their blue line issues. Is Hannan the answer? That remains to be seen, though he certainly didn't cost a premium.
The biggest question is: just who is Scott Hannan. Make the jump for some Hannan facts:
He's a veteran: Hannan is 31, which isn't terribly old, but isn't that young either. He's been a mainstay in starting lineups the entire decade, first for San Jose, then for Colorado.
He's durable: Since 2000, Hannan has played in 740 of a possible 761 games, participating in at least 75 contests every year during that span. In fact, his 590 total games since 2002/03 is the most among NHL defensemen during that time.
His contributions don't really show up on the stat sheet: Hannan has never posted a season of more than 24 points in his NHL career, so don't expect him to be a huge scorer. But he has been a positive plus/minus guy every year except for 2007 and 2008, and he will provide the kind of defense-first presence this team needs. He won't be an asset on the power play, but he blocks a lot of shots, which should make him good on the penalty kill. In fact, as Nate Ewell notes, he would have led the Capitals in blocked shots in each of the last four seasons.
He's been through the wars: Hannan has made the playoffs in eight of those 10 years, and actually shined on the biggest stage when he shut down Peter Forsberg as a member of the Sharks back in 2004.
He also doesn't like his former team: At least if this clip from the 2010 playoffs is any indication.
He should have the respect of the star player: Alex Ovechkin will likely be a huge fan of Hannan. Via Russian Machine Never Breaks, here's a little anecdote from a 2007 story about the Avalanche signing Hannan.
Hannan, 28, is a player the Avs believe is in the mold of another Adam Foote - a tough, rugged stay-at-home type who makes life miserable for skaters near his goal crease. In fact, Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin once called Hannan the league's "toughest defenseman to play against."
He wants to be here: Hannan had a no-trade clause, but waived it to come to D.C., according to Denver Post columnist Adrian Dater.
He's expensive: Hannan is in the final year of a four-year, $18 million contract that he signed with Colorado in 2007. It's hard to say Hannan was bad in Colorado, but there's a sense that he should have been a little bit better considering the amount he was paid. Adrian Dater probably put it best when he wrote this:
He seemed more like your basic ham-and-egger type of player, but with a filet mignon contract.
The Capitals won't have a ton of cap space left to make another move, though exactly how much depends on who you ask. From the Rink writes that it's $1 million, which Caps Geek says it's $2.3 million.
He might be on the decline: Here's what one coach told Adam Proteau of The Hockey News about Hannah.
Asked an NHL coach last yr about Hannan; he rolled his eyes & said "nowhere close to the player he was."
He likes to surf: At least he did back in 2006.