However trade deadline day plays out for Dan Hamhuis and the Canucks – and it sure looks as if he’ll be traded – fans should hope he re-signs in Vancouver this summer.
For a team that loves their “culture carriers,” Hamhuis can fall only behind the Sedins in terms of quality individuals who can mentor the youth.
Being one of the most talked about names league-wide with the deadline approaching, many players would stay away from the media, keeping their feelings to themselves. Others might react negatively when asked if they’d consider waiving their no trade clauses as Kevin Bieksa did last year.
Not saying Bieksa was in the wrong – the idea of signing a contract with a no-trade clause is to avoid being traded for its duration – so you could understand the saltiness.
Still, it says something about Hamhuis, the way he’s been patient and calm answering all comers on his future. He hasn’t shirked or hid, and many players who’ve come through the organization could take a lesson on PR from his gracious, composed approach.
Asked about whether handling trade speculation is difficult, Dan Hamhuis joked: “That’s why we get paid the big bucks.” #Canucks
— Steve Ewen (@SteveEwen) February 25, 2016
Makes you wish he’d pulled Ryan Kesler aside a couple years ago and had a word or two, doesn’t it?
Speaking on TSN Radio Thursday, Hamhuis was asked if he’d be willing to come back to the Canucks after being traded as a rental.
“That’s certainly one of the options that could happen,” he replied.
“Look at Antoine Vermette – he did it last year and it was very successful for him to win and he picked the right team. Vancouver’s been a great place. We’ve loved the years we’ve had here so far and would certainly welcome more.”
In case he wasn’t clear enough – Hamhuis wants to stay. If that doesn’t happen, he’d like to come back.
So what will Hamhuis do if the team asks him to waive?
“That’s going to be an in the moment decision to see where the fit is,” Hamhuis said. “Our first choice is to be a Canuck and to be here for years… let’s say we have an open mind and see where things go.”
The biggest question for Hamhuis when he considers accepting a trade has to be how badly does he want a Stanley Cup?
“I always have that desire to win, that’s why I’ve gone to (seven) world championships. It’s always good to win and I love playing hockey in the spring,” he said.
“Obviously it’s a huge desire of mine to win and to be the best that I can in everything.”
“I feel I have a bigger picture perspective, certainly family, faith are a big part of it for me as well, without mixing the message that I don’t want to win. It’s a very strong desire but is it the be all and end all for me? No, there are a lot of factors to consider in my life.”
When considering re-signing a 33-year-old defenceman, good character can only take you so far. The remainder of the argument is supported by his solid numbers this season.
Over the course of the year, Hamhuis’ relative corsi-for percentage is second on the team, behind only Chris Tanev.
He is also the defenceman who’s been on the ice for the highest rate of shot-attempts on the opposition’s net.
Still not convinced?
Hamhuis said that while his priorities have changed as his family’s grown, his commitment to hockey and to his training and fitness has only increased over the years.
And one more reason – when asked how badly he wants to in the Stanley Cup, his initial response: “The ultimate dream for me is to win it with the Canucks.”