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Canucks Player Autopsy: Dan Hamhuis

Dan Solo, Han Hamhuis, whatever you want to call him — he was a rock for the Canucks this season.
Dan Solo, Han Hamhuis, whatever you want to call him — he was a rock for the Canucks this season.

Who's this guy?

Dan Hamhuis

Position: D

Shoots: Left

Height: 6-0

Weight: 209 lbs.

Born: December 13, 1982 in Smithers, BC

Drafted by the Nashville Predators in the 1st round (12th overall) of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft. Signed with the Vancouver Canucks as a free agent in the summer of 2010.

What'd he do?

Not much, only act as the backbone of the Canucks' defence all season long. Hamhuis played all 82 games, and fell one point shy of tying a career high in points with 37 (only 4 of them were goals). He put up a +29 rating for the second straight season, this being a classic case of selectively flaunting plus/minus when it helps make my point (Aaron Rome was -4? Who cares, meaningless stat).

Hamhuis held down Vancouver's top defensive pairing — usually with Kevin Bieksa — and was mostly matched up against the opposition's top lines. He also saw some time on the second unit PowerPlay, and was a fixture on the league's 6th-best PK.

So was he any good?

As I alluded to above, Hamhuis is Vancouver's most stable, calming influence on the blueline. He goes about his business much like the Sedins do up front: quietly and confidently with remarkable consistency.

Hamhuis was a major reason the loss of Christian Ehrhoff wasn't as huge a blow as many thought it would be. He upped his production by 14 points from last season, which is a lot for a defenseman. Despite being one of the quietest and nicest guys around, Hamhuis brings a physical element to his game that is part of what makes him such a great shutdown guy, as well as the ideal partner for Bieksa.

Hamhuis had one of the more interesting appearances on CBC's After Hours this season. I think some of his comments were pretty telling about the difficulty of managing expectations the season after going to Game 7 of the finals. He also talks about the hipcheck he threw on Milan Lucic that took him out of the final and how that affected his physical game this season.

What did we like?

All of the above, and how about his Heart of a Canuck feature? Here's Part 1:

But he wasn't perfect either right?

Unfortunately, despite his stellar defensive play this season, Hamhuis owns the distinction of making the turnover that put an end to the Canucks' season. In case you've forgotten, as Hamhuis was carrying the puck out of the zone, Trevor Lewis poked the puck off his stick as Hamhuis lost his balance and fell, and Jarret Stoll went in on a 2-on-1 to end the series in overtime. It was an ugly end for Hamhuis, who we rarely see make that kind of mistake.

So what now?

Buy a Dan Hamhuis jersey. He's awesome and he's locked up for four more seasons at a friendly cap hit of $4.5M.