A Decision Needed on Hamhuis

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Vancouver Canucks defenceman Dan Hamhuis

The Vancouver Canucks are in a position where they need to get younger. They acquired Emerson Etem from the New York Rangers, they sent Chris Higgins to their Utica Comets affiliate hoping they would trade him. A need for defenceman is emerging in the NHL, as teams are feeling they need to plug their final holes for a Stanley Cup run. Dan Hamhuis could be a nice acquisition, as a rental, for a team like the Washington Capitals who are all-in to make a run at the Stanley Cup. The Los Angeles Kings who want to make a move for a defenceman may also be in on Hamhuis.

With the Vancouver Canucks, Hamhuis holds a full no-trade-clause and would have the last word on any potential trades in the works by Vancouver’s general manager, Jim Benning. Furthermore, he is also an unrestricted free agent and could wait until the season is over and sign with a contender at or above his current salary with the Canucks. This places Benning in a tough situation. Vancouver is not officially out of a playoff spot yet, but the next couple weeks will dictate which way Benning will play his cards with regards to his veteran defenceman.

Benning will need to make a decision

Adding a twist to Benning’s difficult situation is the fact that two key players are now injured with long-term injuries. Edler (fractured fibula) and Brandon Sutter (broken jaw) will be missing some games and this could give more clarity on what Benning should prior to the trade deadline. Should they put a few games in the loss column, the Canucks would be asking for Hamhuis to lift his no-trade-clause. Hamhuis may represent the best rental defenceman available prior to the trade deadline.

Hamhuis who is returning from a serious face injury has played well for the Canucks and his return to the Canucks is a perfect timing for his eventual departure. A healthy Dan Hamhuis could help any team contending.

According to TSN NHL Insider, the Vancouver Canucks pro scouts will meet the weekend of the 20-21 February to see which player will be made available based on their current position in the standings. McKenzie noted that the Canucks haven’t received any calls on Dan Hamhuis but declared it could change now that he is back in the line up.

In 2015-2016, Hamhuis has only played in 29 games compiling four assists.

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