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Penguins acquire rights to Hamhuis - 06-25-10

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

The Penguins have acquired the signing rights to unrestricted free agent defenseman Dan Hamhuis (above) from the Flyers in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2011 draft.

Hamhuis, 27, is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent next Friday. The Flyers acquired Hamhuis' rights from the Predators in a deal last weekend which sent restricted free agent defenseman Ryan Parent and a seventh-round pick in this year's draft to the Flyers.

A left-handed defenseman, Hamhuis, 6-foot-1, 207 pounds, all six seasons of his NHL career in Nashville. Last season, in 78 games, he recorded 24 points  (five goals, 19 assists) and was a +4. In the playoffs, he appeared in six games and recorded two assist as well as -1.

Averaging 21:15 of ice time in the regular season in 2009-10, Hamhuis led the Predators with an average of 2:39 of penalty killing time.

Hamhuis had a salary cap hit of $2 million last season.

Hamhuis has displayed quite a bit of durability in his career having never missed more than four games in a NHL season. He was a first-round pick of the Predators (No. 12 overall) in 2001 when Ray Shero served as that team's assistant general manager.

EN Says: Wow. What a bold move by the Penguins. The Flyers have some salary cap issues and it's clear they can't sign Hamhuis unless they unload some more salary. The Penguins, still negotiating with unrestricted free agent defenseman Sergei Gonchar, have some salary cap space and would, one assumes, have an easy time getting Hamhuis under the cap.

Hamhuis is exactly what the Penguins need. Defense. He is a defensive defenseman. He doesn't really block a ton of shots so his numbers in that area are meager, but he tends to prevent shots from even being taken. He's a pretty heady player who will immediately improve the Penguins' defense, assuming he signs.

Despite his defensive tendencies, Hamhuis is not an overly physical player and has produced respectable offensive numbers throughout his career. In his seven NHL seasons, he has produced an average of 26.8 points a season.

Regarding Gonchar and perhaps even Jordan Leopold or Mark Eaton, the writing is pretty much on the wall huh? Assuming the Penguins get Hamhuis under contract, there's no way the Penguins can commit more salary to the blue line while attempting to address any sort of free agent wingers.

Update: Check out this hit by Hamhuis on big former Blackhawks forward Dustin Byfuglien in this spring's playoffs and the goal he scored on the ensuing rush up ice:

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-Hamhuis isn't afraid to drop the gloves. Just ask Penguins forward Chris Kunitz (from his days with the Ducks):

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(Photo: Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press)

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