Jim Nill finally got his man. After a long and frustrating trade-deadline negotiation with the Vancouver Canucks that ultimately fell through (possibly due to a meddlesome owner), veteran defensive defenseman Dan Hamhuis has joined the Dallas Stars as a UFA signing.
The deal is ideal for a number of reasons, writes Mike Heika, and Hamhuis agrees:
Hamhuis has played for Ruff in the Olympics and also played with several Stars players in World Championships with Team Canada. Like Patrick Sharp last season, Hamhuis said he appreciates coming to a team that has a chance to contend for the Stanley Cup. Dallas went 50-23-9 last season and lost in Game 7 of the second round to St. Louis. It is pushing to improve on that next season.
"You look at all of the boxes that could be ticked off -- fit in the community, on the team, role on the team -- and the Stars had so many of those boxes ticked off," Hamhuis said. "And one of the biggest boxes is they are in a window to win right now."
And because the blueline is getting younger sooner rather than later, Hamhuis' two-year term is especially sensible:
While it seems strange a team that won 50 games would let go of half of its defense and 1,558 games in NHL experience, Stars general manager Jim Nill said the team could actually improve by trusting the kids.
"It's going to different, but we think it could be better," Nill said. "I think we're getting faster, and I think we're getting stronger on the back end."
There's always more at Mike's place. [SportsDayDFW]
If you'd like a data visualization of what Hamhuis can bring, Micah Blake McCurdy has you covered.
Dan "Community Man" Hamhuis (stars) has tremendous shot and goal impacts, eats minutes, plays vs best. pic.twitter.com/3aT7MeVDXp— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) July 1, 2016
Here are 10 things you need to know about Dan (including his 2008 fight with a former Star who will remain nameless). [SportsDayDFW]
Ryan Kennedy goes so far as to say Hamhuis is "exactly what the Stars needed." [The Hockey News]
In other news, Patrick Eaves has re-signed for one year and $1 miilion, and the Stars' beard level IS OVER 9000!!!
Defenders Andrew Bodnarchuk and Dustin Stevenson joined the organization, possibly as depth signings for the Texas Stars while the big team continues to raid the development fridge.
Extremely excited to sign with the @DallasStars for 2 years ... Looking forward to meeting the squad and get rolling!— Andrew Bodnarchuk (@hali_bods) July 1, 2016
Mark Stepneski recaps today's signings and re-signings. [Stars Inside Edge]
Rowe says Colton Sceviour will likely slot in on the #FlaPanthers third line and play some on the PK. Likes his offensive upside.— Jameson Olive (@JamesonCoop) July 1, 2016
Yesterday, wow: Very action, such UFA. There's just no time to sort through every bit of it, so NHL.com has a tracker. [NHL]
Probably the single biggest deal of the day: The Tampa Bay Lightning kept #winning and kept stud D-man Victor Hedman with an eight-year deal at $7.875 million per.
My column today on the Lightning perhaps being the biggest winners in free agency by taking care of their own: https://t.co/WGunY70VfZ— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) July 2, 2016
As it turns out, Dallas was never really in contention.
Source also confirms that Habs were runner-up for Lucic,— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) July 1, 2016
Team Sweden's top forward line will reunite as Loui Eriksson joins the Sedin twins and the Canucks for six years and $36 million.
You already know that Loui makes any team instantly better – but Matt Larkin thinks the 'Nucks ought to be in rebuild mode instead.
Not everyone is impressed.
Absolutely horrendous. Loui Eriksson went 6x6 and he’s better, two years younger. https://t.co/Yu9DFvU6Fl— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) July 1, 2016
Yotes captain Shane Doan became a free agent yesterday, but new GM John Chayka says talks between the team and its longest-tenured player are continuing. [Arizona Republic]
Steve Ott is now playing for his dream team: The veteran agitator and former Star has signed for one year with the Detroit Red Wings.
"I’ve always wanted to be a Detroit Red Wing." - @otterN9NEJuly 1, 2016
So Steve Ott and Thomas Vanek, who were Sabres co-captains less than a month in Oct. 2013, have been reunited in Detroit.— Bill Hoppe (@BillHoppeNHL) July 1, 2016
And LW Andrew Ladd, a deadline trade who was cap-squeezed out of an extension from the Chicago Blackhawks, landed on his feet in a big way, signing a seven-year deal with the New York Islanders. [ESPN]
#Habs Bergevin: "Today I was agressive. But some players flat out told me they don't want to play here, so there was no negociation."— Chantal (@pucksnlife) July 1, 2016
Let's face it, people will be trying to make sense of the Subban and Taylor Hall trades for months, if not years. Joshua Kloke takes his best shot here. [Sports Illustrated]
Ken Campbell picks the winners and losers from Day 1 of Free-Agent Frenzy 2016. [The Hockey News]
It's a hard life, and it's harder when you're stupid. Gary Lawless comments on the "rash overreaching" to which many NHL GMs seem to be addicted. [TSN]
Finally: Yesterday was also Canada Day, which means our neighbors in the Great White North actually got a holiday for all this FA beeswax. DBD's own Derek says this poutine's for you. Enjoy.
Can't have a Canada Day without our national dish pic.twitter.com/kM0aqGIj2f— Derek Neumeier (@Derek_N_NHL) July 2, 2016