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Hamhuis to Vancouver

Thursday, 07.01.2010 / 7:17 PM / NHL Free Agency 2010

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

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Hamhuis to Vancouver
The "Where in the world will Dan Hamhuis end up?" saga is over. He's headed to Vancouver on a six-year contract.

Hamhuis, 27, who played six seasons with the Nashville Predators, originally had his negotiating rights traded to Philadelphia. When the Flyers realized they couldn't get a deal done, his rights were moved to Pittsburgh. The Penguins, though, also couldn't sign him before noon ET Thursday.

The 6-foot-1, 209-pound blue-liner hit the open market and it proved to be the right decision because Hamhuis was one of several defenseman that found new homes and became richer within the first five hours of the free agent signing period.

Hamhuis, the No. 12 pick in the 2001 Entry Draft, had 161 points in 483 games over six seasons with Nashville. He produced 38 points in 2005-06, his second season, but he hasn't topped 30 since. Hamhuis, though, has missed only nine total games in six seasons.

Hamhuis looks like a replacement (upgrade in some minds) for Willie Mitchell in Vancouver. Mitchell is an unrestricted free agent who is not expected to re-sign with the Canucks, who already have Keith Ballard, Alexander Edler, Christian Ehrhoff, Sami Salo, Shane O'Brien, Kevin Bieksa, Andrew Alberts and Aaron Rome under contract.

It's possible that Canucks GM Mike Gillis looks to trade some of his defensive depth for forward help.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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I downplayed the first one because I thought it's just a hockey game. We just want to win the game; it's against our rival and we want the two points. I downplayed it, but now having gone through the first one I look back and say, 'Geez, that was really cool.' I think as I've grown a bit older I've got a lot more appreciation for what we're allowed to do every day.

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