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Canucks Player Autopsy: Dan Hamhuis

The difference of Dan Hamhuis's season from last year to this year proves the theory of gravity.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Who's this guy?

Dan Hamhuis

Position: D

Shoots: Left

Height: 6'1''

Weight: 209 lbs

Born: December 13, 1982 in Smithers, BC. Fun fact: did you know Smithers still sucks?

Drafted in the first round (12th overall) of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft by the Nashville Predators.

That was only 139 picks before eventual partner in crime, Kevin Bieksa.

What'd he do?

"Guys like Hamhuis are what give you a sigh of relief in most games." –Autopsy May 2, 2014

I wouldn’t say that Hammer went from hero to zero this year, but our Olympian definitely had an off year. Not as bad as Edler-of-last-year, but we did have to wait until game 82 to see the Hammer nail one in the net. But still, Hamhuis had 23 points in 59 games, which was good enough for second best point-getter on defense.

Some would blame the groin injury he suffered on Nov 20th against the Ducks for his slow return to form. But even up until that point he had only 6 assists in 20 games. Some would blame the separation of Juicy/Hammer, which had been worked somewhat well together over the years for each player. This year Hamhuis spent most of his time with Weber or Sbisa at even strength and only got to be together with Bieksa on the second unit PP. These things happen when you don’t want to shoot the puck. Hammer barely took 1.5 shots a game. Hell I’m surprised he didn’t try to pass off on his only goal of the year. That trend continued in the playoffs as he had 5 shots in 6 games

I did notice that Dan was a little meaner this year. He got into a few more scrums and had more fighting majors than Kass. I think old age is catching Hammer or just the frustration of being paired with Sbisa. At least his fights were with the other team’s top guys. No longer was Hamhuis the go to guy on defense either, as Tanev (when healthy) and a rejuvenated Edler carried that load as well.

So was he any good?





Corsi For%

Fenwick For %






























I miss Instead you will have to look at this monstrous chart from


What I want to point out on the graph is Hamhuis doesn’t seem to be a force when it comes to driving offensive play. His relative Fenwick is far below that of Tanev and Edler and even Clendening. If you go through most of his advanced stats, you will notice that Hammer was middle of the road in almost all areas. And yet, he was second in defensemen scoring. (Amazing!) Do you see a problem……I see a problem. I seem to be beating the shit out of Hamhuis’s season and yet when he’s on, he’s a smooth skater puck-handler that will go after the puck in the corners and make the pass to the front of the net.

What'd we like?

Fight with Voracek

Fight with RNH


Pass to Kassian vs Ducks.

The cupboard was kind of bare this year. At least there wasn’t any own goals this year, was there?

So what did we hate?

What else can I pick apart?

Lack of goals – check.

Not the shutdown guy – check.

Came from Smithers – check

Not as big as Chara – Check

Won’t shoot the puck – check……and back to the first complaint

I think this horse received enough of beating…is it dead yet?

So what now?

Hamhuis will be 33 years old and a UFA at the end of the 2016 season. A sure lock to get re-upped when we all talked about him last year, there is now dissension. And confusion…a lot of confusion. Is a mediocre Hammer better than no Hammer when we look at the crappy blueline we have right now? Last year I would have been more than happy with a Juice/Hammer second pairing, but the inconsistent play of Hamhuis has led to the masses crying for, you guessed it…a trade.

And to add to the confusion, we saw Hammer step up in the World Championships and play great. Son of a bitch. We can look at this situation and interpret it in a few ways:

1. Hammer is a great player who needed more time to heal and get his game back and he will be ready next year.

2. Hammer only got points because the the level of players on the team were better and could put the puck in the net.

3. Or a scarier thought, Hammer plays to the level of his teammates.

Two things make me hesitant to get rid of the B.C. boy this summer. One, he’s entering the last year of his contract. Guaranteed great play is what that means. There has to be proof behind that, right? Secondly, what could we realistically get right now for Hamhuis after his mediocre season? We might as well wait until the trade deadline and see where this team sits. I think Hamhuis is the compass when it comes to the draft. If he is still a Canuck after it, then I think we can still say this team is in a "retool". If he gets shipped out, then I think we can say this team is going to have a few years of looking at youth on the blueline.

westy99’s grade for Dan Hamhuis – C+

That’s being Christmas generous.