Dan Hamhuis, D:
Free Agent Status: Unrestricted
Should He Be Re-signed? Absolutely, yes.
Once Dan Hamhuis was not traded at the deadline, it made it imperative that the Canucks sign him again.
With this season’s defense being subpar on many nights, and next season’s defense shaping up to be even younger, Hamhuis’ presence in this lineup is vital.
The Canucks will need to lean on Hamhuis once again to provide reliable minutes on the 2nd pairing and to provide a veteran leader amongst a D-corps that, outside of Alex Edler and Chris Tanev, lacks significant NHL experience.
Will Benning Re-sign Him? Maybe.
Unfortunately, the Hamhuis situation still lacks clarity. After the trade deadline passed, Jim Benning stated that the Canucks “might” try to re-sign him. “Might” – meaning they might not.
There have been no contract talks between the team and Hamhuis’ agent at all this season. Hamhuis likes Vancouver and wishes to stay, but how much money will the Canucks ask him to sacrifice in order to do so?
If Jim Benning allows Hamhuis to walk, perhaps he can sign a similar player in free agency or orchestrate a trade. But, there is a reason Hamhuis and Kris Russell attracted so much attention at the Trade Deadline: top-4 NHL defensemen come at a premium, and don’t get moved very often.
If Benning cannot or will not sign Hamhuis, the Canucks might not be able to replace him in the short term. That could pose a serious problem next season, so management should do everything in their power to get Hamhuis under contract as quickly as possible.
Next: Matt Bartkowski