Vancouver Canucks: 4 Possible D Combinations

Dec 17, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Nick Schultz (55) gets tangled with Vancouver Canucks defenseman Ben Hutton (27) and goalie Jacob Markstrom (25) during the second period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 17, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Nick Schultz (55) gets tangled with Vancouver Canucks defenseman Ben Hutton (27) and goalie Jacob Markstrom (25) during the second period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /
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Dec 26, 2015; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler (23) defends against Edmonton Oilers forward Mark Letestu (55) during the first period at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports /

Conclusion

The Vancouver Canucks will have an improved defense for the 2015-16 campaign, even if Hamhuis does not get re-signed. My proposed D-combinations show that head coach Desjardins will have more than one good option to make the defense work better than before. However, they also show that signing Hamhuis would be a wise decision.

More from TCW: Luca Sbisa Trade Proposal

Nikita Tryamkin showed a lot of potential in his first 12 NHL games — enough to consider him a sure-fire top-six player for the upcoming season. But, it was also just 12 games, so we will get a better idea of what he can do over the course of full season. If he does not seem ready to be a top-six player yet, having Hamhuis in the lineup would definitely help.

Then again, having Hamhuis push out Tryamkin if Tryamkin is indeed ready for a big role would also suck for the Canucks. There is no doubt, however, that Benning would be wise to add a depth player or two, in case the injury bug bites as often as it did this season.

Next: Top 5 UFA Defensemen to Target

If Benning finds a way to trade Sbisa, a bigger UFA signing would also make sense. Jason Demers, Alex Goligoski and Keith Yandle are the most prominent options that come to mind. But, Hamhuis would probably be the most likely option here, since we know that he likes Vancouver and would be willing to return.

Benning has done good work so far and, even though the new defensive core seems set, you can be sure that there is more to come.