I was doing some checking in my site stats and I see that Dan Hamhuis has been a keyword of sorts to get to the page, so I thought I would have a look at him in a little bit more depth.
The former first round pick (12th overall in 2001) was touted as a smooth, skating offensive defenseman coming out of Prince George of the WHL, but the Predators did their best to make him a lot more responsible as an NHL defenseman, which included a couple of seasons in the AHL to help his game out. As a whole, he's developed quite well and has proved to be very durable in his NHL career, which is a huge plus.
The Predators, however, are in a bit of a quandary when it comes to their defensemen situation. They are ridiculously deep at the blueline position, especially with Cody Franson making a charge up the depth charts and Jonathan Blum still working his way up. Hamhuis is now 27 years old and is about to become an unrestricted free agent, so the question is for them, with all this depth in the organization, can they afford to move Hamhuis before a run into (and likely through) the playoffs because of their depth? If the answer is yes, they will be able to move a highly-valued defender like Hamhuis for a good package in return. If the answer is no, they will have Hamhuis for their run, but will likely not get a chance to re-sign him, as he'll likely go somewhere that can give him the minutes he could thrive in.
One of the most attractive things about Hamhuis for the stretch run of the season is his cap hit. Annually, Hamhuis is worth $2 million against the cap, so with only 42 days left in the regular season on Monday, the number against the cap would be in the neighbourhood of $470,000, which is very good for any team.
Now, trying to attain a market value for Hamhuis is not an exact science, but there is a level of assumption we can take from other contracts in the league. 26-to-28 year old defensemen in my pool rankings in the range where Hamhuis has been in, could net the future UFA somewhere between $2.5 to $4 million, in terms of a cap hit. Other defensemen in his bracket include: Joni Pitkanen, Fedor Tyutin, Dennis Seidenberg, Keith Ballard, Trevor Daley, Johnny Oduya and Paul Martin. That's purely on a scoring level over the past couple seasons, it doesn't include intangibles or defensive prowess.
Dan Hamhuis' situation does not lead me to believe that if he's moved, he'll be a rental player, because he should be easy to re-sign or picked up with the intention of re-signing him. If his cap hit could be stripped down to $3 to $3.5 million in a longer-term deal, he could be an absolute bargain for any team. I really don't think any team can be held out of the conversation, if you were speculating on what team would be involved in a deal.
We don't know for sure if Hamhuis has been made available for negotiations from Nashville, nor is it likely that we will. If he was made available, I would hope that my favourite team has at least inquired about his cost.