The Vancouver Canucks may have a bit of an unexpected trading chip on their hands prior to the deadline.
According to comments made by TSN hockey insider Bob McKenzie during a recent radio interview with TSN's 1040, there is significant interest in veteran defenseman Dan Hamhuis despite the terrible injury he suffered this season, an injury he has not yet fully recovered from.
“Well, I think people are going to want to make sure that he’s able to come back from this injury without any adverse effects, said McKenzie as per Nichols on Hockey. It was really traumatic. He chronicled the physical damage, and just basically how a lot of the facial bones were shattered, and still dealing with numbness and some issues there.
“I think there’s two factors at work here. How eager will the Canucks be to trade him. If him and Vrbata are the two wildcard UFAs at the end of the year – where in a perfect world Vancouver would say, ‘Yeah, you should trade these guys’ – because if they want to continue to get younger, they need to get the assets they would get for them at the trade deadline."
With Hamhuis being an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season a trade seems like the most likely option for a Canucks team that is pushing forward with a youth movement, however even with that in mind, it may be hard to trade a veteran blue liner if the Canucks are poised for a playoff push. McKenzie believes any real discussion about this particular deal will come after the break.
“So that’s going to be a balancing act that Jim Benning and Trevor Linden are going to have to sort out as we get closer to the deadline… (related to) where they are in the standings and how close to a playoff spot or how far out of a playoff spot they may be.
“As for Hamhuis himself, I’ve got to believe there would be significant interest in a healthy Dan Hamhuis. But people are going to want to see how he comes back from this after the break.”
With the sheer number of teams looking to add depth on the blue line such as Boston, Detroit and Edmonton just to name a few who have come up in rumors lately, it's certain Vancouver will be getting at least a few calls when Hamhuis returns to action.