VANCOUVER -- Jannik Hansen does not have to worry about his NHL job security for quite some time. The utility winger signed a US$10-million, four-year contract extension with the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday. "Its something I wanted," Hansen told reporters after practice. "Were a good fit. I like it here. To come to a new agreement now, it makes it a lot easier on the sour days. It was something that I was hopeful that theyd be willing to do." The new deal will kick in at the start of the 2014-15 season, so the Canucks have effectively locked him up for five seasons. It comes as he is expected to play a key role early in the upcoming campaign, which the Canucks begin Thursday in San Jose. Hansen could start on the first line, depending on how new coach John Tortorella wants to deploy Alex Burrows. If Burrows takes his usual spot on the first line, as he did late in the pre-season, Hansen could play on the second line. That depends on if David Booths recovery from a groin injury suffered in the pre-season and an ankle problem that sidelined him since March before he played an exhibition game heal quickly. At the very least, Hansen will play on a third line that is in a state of transition with new players -- and also vying to beef up its offensive production. Hansen said the new contract allows him to concentrate on having a good season instead of worrying about his future with the club. "It was fairly easy," he said. "It took a couple days to get it done. ... Its familiar. Its comforting and, again, you know where youre going to be." But the 27-year-old from Herlev, Denmark, who had 10 goals and 17 assists in 47 games for Vancouver last season, did not have the same luxury at the outset of his career. He was selected by Vancouver in the seventh round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft and spent most of his first two pro seasons in the minors. He also had to battle for playing time with the Canucks during his third and fourth seasons as he was dispatched to their former Manitoba farm club in the AHL in the third and fourth campaigns as well. Since then he has established himself as a tenacious, grinding NHL winger who also has speed and can score on occasion. He also has the ability to play all four lines. "Obviously, its nice to have (more security), not only for financial (reasons), but also in terms of not being tossed around (between the NHL and minors) like you usually do in your earlier years where its kind of hard to set up a base," said Hansen. One of few players from Denmark in the NHL, Hansen has represented his homeland at the IIHF world hockey championships four times (2012, 2008, 2006 and 2005). He has 50 goals and 81 assists in 318 career NHL games, all of them with the Canucks. The six-foot-one, 197-pound Hansen has also appeared in 58 career NHL playoff games, with five goals and nine assists. But he is coveted by coaches for much more than the limited offence for which he is known. His versatility, he feels, has helped him earn the sizable salary and contract with decent term. "I think thats the reason ... being able to do a little bit of everything," he said. "When I wasnt scoring, I was chipping in in other areas. That kind of made me stick around when, maybe, other players got sent back down. And, again, its probably why Im here today." Canucks general manager Mike Gillis also likes his versatility, suggesting to reporters that Hansens ability to play on different lines factored prominently into the teams decision to re-sign him. New coach John Tortorella, who bills himself as a situational coach and is known for being highly demanding, also likes the different dimensions that Hansen can bring to a game. "From what I know of him, hes a utility guy in my eyes," said Tortorella. "I can put him in a lot of different spots. (He can) play up and down the lineup in a lot of different roles. I think he needs to understand a little bit how we play defence. But hes had a good (training) camp. "He impresses me. So I think (his new contract) is a good thing." Offering praise that was rarely heard on other players performances in the pre-season, Tortorella said Hansen played "very well." The coach also likes his ability to handle special-teams duties. Goaltender Roberto Luongo was glad to see the Canucks re-sign Hansen, an extremely popular figure in the dressing room who is known for being highly diligent to his duties in practice. "Im happy for him, hes a really hard-working guy and he deserves it," said Luongo. Knowing such a possibility was unlikely, Luongo also added with a wry grin and chuckle: "I just hope he doesnt start slacking." Meanwhile, the Canucks acquired winger Zac Dalpe and centre Jeremy Welsh from the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday in a trade for winger Kellan Tochkin and Vancouvers fourth-round pick in the 2014 draft. Dalpe, a 23-year-old Paris, Ont., native, split the 2012-13 season between the Hurricanes and Charlotte Checkers of the AHL. The six-foot-one and 195-pound Ohio State product recorded three points (1-2-3) in 10 games with Carolina last season and 42 points (21-21-42) and 12 penalty minutes in 54 games with Charlotte. He has played in 41 NHL games, registering 10 career points (5-5-10). Welsh, a 25-year-old Bayfield, Ont., native recorded one assist in five games with Carolina last season and has six NHL career games. The six-foot-three and 210 Union College alumnus generated 26 points (14-12-26) with Charlotte in 2012-13. Both Dalpe and Welsh were due to report to the Canucks on Sunday night. Nicklas Jensen, Vancouvers 29th overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, was put on waivers. 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Robert Griffin III, the No. 2 pick in the 2012 draft, set numerous rookie records and was picked AP Offensive Rookie of the Year for the Washington Redskins.NEW ORLEANS - The NFL Players Association is asking player agents to warn clients that signing with the New Orleans Saints could subject them to unfavourable workers compensation benefits. In an email Friday, NFLPA chief DeMaurice Smith said union officials believe agents should "consider the Saints efforts" to push for legislation that would substantially reduce benefits to players who are hurt outside the 17-week regular season, when player salaries are paid. Players receive only per diems during off-season workouts and training camp. Under legislation which has passed the Louisiana House of Representatives and awaits consideration in the state Senate, workers compensation benefits could be based on per diems — rather than the full annual value of a contract — if injuries occurred in the off-season. "We are actively involved in the effort to defeat this bill but we feel it is important for you to consider the Saints efforts given your representation of our players and the advice you would have to give to any free agent player considering an opportunity to play for the Saints," Smith wrote. "Please advise your players of the potential consequences of the Saints efforts should they sign with the Saints." Bill supporters say it would place athletes under the same rules as other Louisiana employees. The Saints have not commented on the legislation since its introduction in the House of Representatives, but quarterback Drew Brees has come out publicly against it. In a written statement distributed by the NFLPA, Brees said the legislation "is not good for Saints players, not good for our team or other sports teams in Louisiana and not good for our state." "The job of legislators in Louisiana is to protect injured workers and fight for theiir workers comp benefits, not find ways to support bills like this one which reduce the workers comp benefits we receive when we get hurt.dddddddddddd There is no financial benefit to the state with this bill, only team management," Brees continued. "Whether we get hurt during the season or in the preseason, it is all the same. It is in preparation to help us win a championship for our community." The legislation, called House Bill 1069, aims to calculate workers compensation benefits for pro athletes based only on recent earnings. The NFLs collective bargaining agreement has a formula that also includes future earnings and is aimed at ensuring that benefits are calculated on the full annual value of a players contract. The bill is sponsored by state Reps. Chris Broadwater, R-Hammond, and Cameron Henry, R-Metairie. Broadwater has said the Saints asked for the bill, which aims to clarify in law that pro athletes cannot be exempt from a state formula that applies to every other Louisiana employee seeking workers compensation benefits after a workplace injury. The NFLPA counters that athletes should not be punished with potentially reduced benefits simply because their salaries are not distributed evenly over a 52-week period. In past years, the same matter has spawned several lawsuits between the Saints and former players — with differing outcomes depending on the venue. A state appeals courts in Jefferson Parish, home of Saints headquarters, has sided with the clubs assertion that players must follow precisely the same formula as other Louisiana employees. 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