Over the past few weeks, Dan Hamhuis went from Nashville to Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and finally Vancouver.
Was he worth a 7th round pick? Was he worth a third round pick? Was he worth Ryan Parent? The Canucks believe him to be worth a massive 4.5 million cap hit, 250K more than shot-blocking machine Anton Volchenkov.
We’ve followed the story for quite some time now, but lets re-iterate the former points.
He looked great down the stretch as a third defenseman and made an effort to show he can still hold his own on the offensive end of the ice in his walk year. Having said that, he posted his second lowest career points totals and failed to crack the 30 point plateau for the third straight year. Hamhuis even lost some of his snarl as he decreased his PIM by a 20 point margin.
But there is upside and plenty of it.
1. His age. At only 27-years-old he was one of the youngest UFAs and therefore most attractive defensemen on the market. Two teams gambled for his rights.
2. His pedigree. Defensemen tend to peak later than forwards with their better years likely between 28 and 32. As a former 12th overall pick, the Predators saw more than just a shutdown guy.
3. Canucks > Predators. The Predators play an underdog team game and have found success in the past but the Canucks boast one of the deadliest casts in the game. No doubt in my mind there will be plenty of highlight reel goals and perhaps Hamhuis will see part of that action.
4. Shea Weber and Ryan Suter. Suter came up during his second NHL season as Hamhuis enjoyed top pairing minutes with then powerplay quarterback Kimmo Timonen. Hamhuis thrived putting up career totals across the board. Soon after Suter and new call-up Weber would take those minutes and his chemistry with Timonen.
5. British Columbia. As a B.C. native, his family should have little problem traveling down from Smithers. Heck, with his new deal he can buy them a place in Vancouver.
You make the call. He is probably overpaid but definitely a nice player on a nice team with a chance to play with some real stars. I would definitely say his value increased with this deal and he could be a good 3/4 defenseman next season.