Thursday, March 4, 2010

Canucks to sign D Dan Hamhuis in off-season?

According to Hockey Buzz's 'Eklund', the Vancouver Canucks were close to landing Dan Hamhuis from Nashville, but could not make it work or were unwilling to pay the price for him that Philadelphia may have been willing to pay.

a Smithers, B.C. native, Dan Hamhuis is a solid defenceman who has played his entire career with the Nashville Predators, posting a career high of 38 points. Hamhuis is reliable as well, as he has never played fewer than 80 games in his five complete NHL seasons.

Rumour has it that Hamhuis, an unrestricted free agent (UFA) as of July 1st, is 'likely' to sign in Vancouver. Were this true, it would be a solid signing for Vancouver as Willie Mitchell's status as a pending UFA remains up in the air.

Hamhuis could join Alexander Edler, Kevin Bieksa, and Christian Ehrhoff as a formidable top four, with Sami Salo and Shane O'Brien rounding out the group with Andrew Alberts.

The Nashville Predators appear poised to be comfortable with losing Hamhuis in the off-season, as they have both Shea Weber and Ryan Suter anchoring their corps, the recently acquired Denis Grebeshkov from the Edmonton Oilers, former Hab Francis Bouillon, along with a bevy of solid young defenders such as Kevin Klein, Cody Franson, Alexander Sulzer, Jonathan Blum, and Ryan Ellis.

The Vancouver Canucks have a recent history of luring free agents based on their desire to play in Vancouver. Pavol Demitra and Mathieu Schneider reportedly only wanted to play in Vancouver (with mixed degrees of success obviously). GM Mike Gillis has undoubtedly done a good job of selling the city and capitalizing on its appeal.

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