Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun,
Hamhuis is not the bad guy here. He exercised the rights given to him by the six-year, $27-million contract Mike Gillis signed him to in 2010-11.
The 33-year-old never wanted, still doesn’t want to leave Vancouver. Loves the city. His family is rooted in the community. Hopes to re-sign with the Canucks come the summer.
But in the meantime, the team has missed the chance to get whatever return might have been had for a solid citizen who could be a good team’s No. 4 defenceman on a playoff run. Surely that was worth something, to somebody. Benning couldn’t find it.
The Canucks, as an organization, didn’t move quickly enough, clinging to their playoff pipe dream too long. And Hamhuis didn’t move quickly enough, deciding too late that it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to chase a Cup for a couple of months instead of plodding along here for the next six weeks with the walking dead.
At heart, even with nothing to look forward to this spring, he wanted to stay a Canuck.
We used to admire guys who didn’t want to leave. Now, we think they must have a character flaw.
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,
For the first time in the plodding Hamhuis will-he-or-won’t-he saga, the Canucks most important asset finally admitted he’s open to a trade.
“We’d like to stay,” Hamhuis said. “But we have an open mind to going, possibly to the right fit, if that’s what (the Canucks) want to do.”
This represents significant progress.
The Canucks already missed a chance to pry a top prospect from the Chicago Blackhawks. The Hawks were seriously into Hamhuis but he apparently wasn’t willing to say “right back atch-ya.”
The Chicago trade discussions got far enough Hamhuis was presented with a chance to waive. What followed was a long delay, which could be interpreted as waffling, and the Hawks moved on.
Enter Dallas, the team long rumoured to be the front-runner in the Hamhuis sweepstakes.
The Stars have not only needed defence, they have had a hole on their blueline’s left side.
But they also have GM Jim Nill, who trades like a predatory shark.
more and Boston is also mentioned...
from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,
The Vancouver Canuck could be the best affordable defenceman in advance of the NHL trade deadline Monday — especially with the New York Rangers expected to take pending unrestricted free agent blueliner Keith Yandle off the market — and that’s where the ongoing fiddling has become more pronounced for Hamhuis. He’s a pending UFA, who would have to waive his no-trade clause to be moved, and he has gone back and forth with the issue that needs to be resolved quickly.
“We’ve been working through some thoughts and to be prepared,” said Hamhuis. “And certainly, if going is the direction, we would have to give them (Canucks) some time to make a deal happen.”
The Smithers native took a hometown discount to sign here for six years at $27 million US as a free agent, after his rights were traded from Nashville to Philadelphia and then to Pittsburgh. He left money on the table. He would hit the jackpot in free agency on July 1 because joining a Stanley Cup contender at the trade deadline would only increase the value of a proven defender. Hamhuis was on world championship title teams in 2015 and 2007 and won gold at the 2014 Olympics.
added 5:02pm, Vancouver and Calgary releases are below...
from Thomas Drance of Sportsnet,
And in team president Trevor Linden, the Canucks have a uniquely credible salesman in place to peddle patience and hope in a marketplace that has – in the past and throughout this season – proven skeptical of supporting teams that aren’t winners.
Now, what this all means for the upcoming week remains to be seen. Pending unrestricted free agents like Dan Hamhuis and Vrbata could net the club significant futures if they’re dealt, but their respective situations are complicated by injuries and no-trade clauses.
Can the club find Brandon Prust a new NHL home? Will they consider dealing a productive player with term, like Hansen?
It’s a fool’s game to project what Canucks management will be able to accomplish between now and the deadline. There’s nothing straightforward about navigating a barren marketplace with assets that have some measure of control over their own destiny.
What’s readily apparent though is that no matter how the team performs on the ice between now and Feb. 29 the Canucks have to try and be busy on deadline day; sellers for the first time since the turn of the century.
"It feels like it's a grind out there, there's no easy plays. Nothing comes easy for us now. You just try to keep on working and somehow get out of this."
-Henrik Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks after losing 5-2 to the Calgary Flames, their fourth loss in a row by the identical score. Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province has more on the game.
They are not competitive. They don't appear to have any answers. They also have 24 games left on their schedule and the thought of seven more weeks of this is almost inhumane.
The one hope left for the faithful out of this lost season is they can descend far enough into the standings to get into the Auston Matthews sweepstakes. This year, which was hanging on by a thread at the best of times, has disintegrated over the last week, leaving the team's draft position has the only legitimate point of interest.
Five years down the road, when things are brighter, that will prove to be the best thing for this franchise. It's just hard to think five years down the road when things are as depressing as they are now.
-Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province where you can read more on the 5-2 loss by the Canucks to the Ducks.
Below, watch the game highlights.
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
The Canucks' last two losses, and their performance for most of this season, has started the unofficial watch on Desjardins and his future with team. Yes, the Canucks were undermanned and, yes, they're trying to integrate any number of young players into the lineup under difficult circumstances.
But it's the way they lost against the Wild and the Leafs which triggers the alarm bells. The team wasn't ready to play, again, on Monday night. For the most part it was flat and lifeless. All things considered maybe the losses are understandable and they'd be tolerated if the effort was there.
But it's been missing, along with any signs of growth, and that's a damning indictment for the organization.
The Canucks play six of their next seven at home and, in a happier time, that stretch was supposed to represent their best chance to get back into the playoff race. Now, it looks like they're playing for a couple of other things.
Self-respect is one. Their coach is another.
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
Saturday night, the Canucks dropped a 4-1 decision to the Calgary Flames, their fourth straight loss and third on home ice — which is alarming enough.
But it's only part of the story.
The Canucks might be five points back of third place in the Pacific Division, but they're also five points ahead of a group of teams which occupy the NHL cellar.
Here's something else to consider. After Saturday night's loss, there's exactly one NHL team with fewer wins than Willie Desjardins' team. The Toronto Maple Leafs have 19 wins on the season. The Canucks have 20.
It's about time they give up on the fantasy that this is a playoff team and start thinking about the deadline.
Watch the game highlights below...
via Ben Kuzma tweets,
Dan Hamhuis on his injury/surgery: "You could count 15 to 20 breaks through the face and up into the cheek. There was a lot going on there."
More Hamhuis on injury/surgery: "I have a couple of plates in my cheeks permanently and numb spots in my mouth, nose and gums."
Hamhuis tells Kuzma he plans to be back sometime after the ASG break.
You can watch the night Hamhuis was injured below...
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com