If rumors turn out to be true and both Anton Volchenkov and Andy Sutton walk on July 1st, Free Agency Day or Canada Day II, than it is likely that the Ottawa Senators will look to add a defenseman through free agency. If a defenseman (or two) should come, Top Four minutes have to be expected with a departure from Android. A guy that comes to mind is Dan Hamhuis, who playing under the shadow not only in “super media-frenzy” Nashville, but as well under two of the best and youngest defenseman in the NHL, Shea Weber and Ryan Suter, still logs 20+ minutes a game.
Let’s face it: if Bryan Murray and co. hope to develop young stud Erik Karlsson even more next season, he likely will have to play on the first pairing with Chris Phillips. As hard as that may sound, it’s looking that way. If Filip Kuba doesn’t get traded (and he won’t), he will need someone to stand next to him. I can see Hamhuis as being that guy. Danny Boy has his best year in 2005-2006, his sophomore season, and since than his stats have dropped, although his minutes have risen. This past season was the first season where Hamhuis did not play 80-82 games a season, instead playing 79. As many know the Eastern Conference Champions Philadelphia Flyers persued him mercissely on Trade Deadline Day, only to be turned down at the last minute. There is a reason why they wanted him. Hamhuis put his body out there every night, and freely may I say.
Although, I don’t think the money he may get will make sense to Generalissimo Murray. If Dan Hamhuis made 2 mil last season, he will obviously get a raise. I can see him getting max 4 mil, even thoug he’s only worth around 3.3 mil, and that’s just too much for Murray to contend with. The Senators could even go with the cheaper option in Zbynek Michalek, but there’s no doubt there will be interest in Dan Hamhuis come June 30th July 1st.