Hamhuis Excited to Be Newest Star
FRISCO—Dan Hamhuis envisioned himself finishing his NHL career with the Vancouver Canucks, which makes total sense. After all, the 33-year-old veteran defenseman grew up in British Columbia and the Canucks were the team he grew up cheering for. So when he signed a six-year deal with Vancouver in 2010, it was a dream come true for the decorated d-man who has won seven medals for Team Canada, including three gold.
But when Vancouver started shopping him at the 2016 NHL Trade Deadline this spring, he realized the possibility of playing elsewhere was very real. And when the Canucks opted not to re-sign him this summer, he quickly weighed his options and signed a two-year, $7.5 million contract with the Stars.
And he and his family couldn’t be happier.
“We [my family and I] are really excited to be a part of the Stars organization and quite happy to come down here quite soon after the signing,” Hamhuis said at a press conference in Frisco. “I’ve been in Vancouver for quite a while and to have a change after six years is different, but we’re real excited about this organization, where the team’s at and it’s been great meeting all the staff so far.”
With the trade of Alex Goligoski to the Arizona Coyotes last month, Dallas was looking for someone to line up in the Stars’ top pairing alongside talented youngster John Klingberg, who was fifth among NHL defensemen in points last season.
And if Hamhuis is paired with Klingberg, and there isn’t any reason to think he won’t be, he welcomes the opportunity to skate with “Klinger”. “There’s some tremendous young players in this organization that are going to be contributors this year. If I can do anything to help them along and help grow their careers and help them become great professionals, I’d like to take that role on as well,” Hamhuis said.
Hamhuis debuted with the Nashville Predators in 2003 and spent six seasons in Music City before signing with Vancouver in 2010. In his 12 NHL seasons, he’s compiled 872 games of regular-season experience and 62 games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Stars general manager Jim Nill has known Hamhuis for a number of years, dating back to Nill’s long run as the assistant GM with the Detroit Red Wings, and knows the veteran blueliner will be a nice addition to what is already a talented defensive core. “I just know he’s a good person to start with, he’s a good hockey player and I think he’s going to be a big addition to us and really help our team out,” Nill said.
The Stars were clearly not the only team interested in signing Hamhuis, but in the end the move to Big D just felt right, so he and his family decided to come to the Metroplex and here they are.
“It was simple. It was an easy decision for us. The whole negotiation went smoothly with Jim [Nill],” Hamhuis said.