Fantasy Impact – Vancouver has signed defenseman Dan Hamhuis to a six year deal worth $4.5 million per season.
The Canucks get: A steady defensive defenseman to replace Willie Mitchell. Hamhuis is young (27), and durable (he has missed only 13 games in six NHL seasons). There was a slight delay in announcing the contract because a few other teams had jumped back into the mix with "considerably" more money (I heard as much as $5.25 per season) than what Vancouver was offering. The Smithers, BC native decided to take a pay cut to return to his home province.
Hamhuis helps solidify one of the league's best defensive groups, and Vancouver now has four strong two-way defensemen under contract – Hamhuis, Keith Ballard, Alex Edler, and Christian Ehrhoff. Toss in the perennially underrated (and injured) Sami Salo, and things are shaping up very nicely for the Canucks.
Fantasy Players impacted:
The writing is on the wall for Kevin Bieksa (one year left at $3.75 million), who will most definitely be traded away. A move out of Vancouver will help Bieksa's value (assuming he goes to a team that will give him power play minutes). Hamhuis will play more of an offensive role with the Canucks, who like to push the puck up the ice quickly. He won't be on the top power play unit (Ehrhoff/Edler and Salo), but he should see time on the second unit. Hamhuis could jump back up to the 30 or 35 point mark.
There are some rumors already swirling that Columbus is interested in Bieksa. That would be a great fit for him, as he’d see top powerplay minutes with either Kris Russell or Anton Stralman.
Fantasy Players this helps, in order:
1. Bieksa (assuming he is traded)
Fantasy Players this hurts, in order:
Hard to say right now. Potentially Keith Ballard, as he may play a bit more of a defensive role. However, Vancouver should have one of the highest scoring defensive groups in the league in 2010-11.