WWYDW: Kris Russell vs. Dan Hamhuis Round 7,543,986


Jason Botchford kicked a hornets nest yesterday when he invoked the season-long battle between hockey analysts over which defenceman reigns supreme. In the blue corner: Dan Hamhuis. Formerly in the red corner: Kris Russell.

It’s the trade deadline all over again. Well, to some extent. I mean, nothing has actually happened just yet. It’s strictly speculation, albeit terrifying all the same. Then again, I’m of a different, more analytically inclined hockey mind than most.

I’m curious… what are your thoughts on this debate? Would you rather the Canucks pursue Russell in free agency than re-sign Hamhuis?

Last week I asked: Should the Vancouver Canucks send down Jared McCann next off-season? If not, what alternatives do you have in mind?


Jared McCann has the potential to be a Patrice Bergeron-type player. Bergeron spent a year in the AHL after his rookie season. In the long term, it would be best for McCann to spend a year in Utica, where he should have been gone had it not been for CHL age rules, and let him take on a top 6 role. He can see about earning a middle 6 NHL position for 2017-2018. Same goes for Virtanen.


McCann best be in Utica next season he showed zero or maybe even -1 from the December point forward. He’s just not ready. I suspect he will be some time in the future and a good player to bootbut between him and Vey…. Vey wins out


If you consider the canucks centre depth being Hank, bo, sutter, granlund, then its hard to see where mccann fits on opening night. the plan for mccann should be to start him in utica and have him play top line minutes. Groom him for that top 6 centre role and allow him to make mistakes with the comets.

Gaunce is the better centre option as a 13th forward, because he can slide in within the bottom 6 with more ease.

Only way i see mccann playing centre is if he plays lights out in exhibition and takes the spot from the previously mentioned centres. The more likely is that he gets traded at draft, or is a callup during the regilar season due to injuries.


Assuming Sutter is healthy, and barring a VERY strong camp from McCann, I would send McCann down to Utica. He needs ice time to develop.


I would try McCann on the wing at the NHL level next season.

He already has better offensive skills than Granlund, Gaunce & Vey, in my opinion.

If he had better support and the benefit of playing wing, I feel like he could have done what Fabbri did in St Louis.

And there are no such thing as “too many centres”.

There will be injuries and underperformance.

All 30 NHL teams would stash competent centres on the wing if they had the ability to do so.

Friend Neighbourhood Canucks Fan:

He should go to the AHL to regain his offensive prowess. Unless he completely dominates everything up to October.

Vey is done, its over for him to be a top 6 guy. But McCann clearly has the potential and I think stuffing him on the 4th line of a tanking franchise would hurt his development. Let him play his way on the team.

If McCann’s faceoffs numbers don’t improve, I would be in favour of a shift to the wing for him. His puckhandling and shooting skills are there for him to be a force. It will probably not happen but I think it could be good. I’ve dreamt of West Coast Express being recreated with the line of McCann – Bo – Virtanen


“Everythings been said but not everbody’s said it yet”

Put McCann in Utica to develop, sign Vey, Jake stays with the Canucks or goes to Utica depending on how his camp goes.

I thought Jake was really picking it up the 2nd half of the year, so there’s a decent chance he sticks with the Canucks next year. McCann still needs time in the oven, though.

  • Dirty30


    If you really need to invest money in someone old, slow, and over-priced to stop the other team from scoring, might I suggest Pamela Anderson in a tank top near the visitors’ bench?

    Otherwise, how’s that Ben Hutton cloning project coming along?

  • Dirty30

    Hamhuis is old, breaking down but would be fine on the 3rd pairing with Sbisa (yes, I think Tryamkin and Hutton should be the second). He’d be a good teacher, great mentor since Edler speaks one word a month, Tanev is slowly morphing into some kind of swamp creature (though an excellent d-man) and the rest are very young.

    Russell has been objectively terrible basically his whole career. Flames did a great job of showcasing him and raising his value (all the things we DIDN’T do with Hamhuis and Vrbata). Dallas learned the lesson in going for Russell rather than Hamhuis now we should too.

    If Hamhuis comes in around 4-5 I’d definitely resign him.

    • JuiceBox

      I like this.

      If they keep Edler then don’t bother with Hammer or Russell. Stick with developing kids and dealing for young D.

      Canucks have good depth now but still lack a #1 D man and a future #1 centre. Still a long way to go!

      • Dirty30

        Edler has an NTC and has been vocal about not getting traded.

        As PB noted, Edler only offers up one word a month, and in this case it would be ‘no’!

        Someone in the organization found Tanev and Hutton, so keep looking!

        Heck, I’d rather give Stetcher or Subban a try before spending good money on anyone I can out-skate.

  • JuiceBox

    So, Botchford thinks the Canucks would be better off signing Russell over Hamhuis. Just goes to show that if you get paid to talk about the Canucks it doesn’t necessarily mean you know what you’re talking about.

    Hamhuis doesn’t do anything great but overall he is very good. He has the talent and skills to be a very good 2nd pairing D-Man or can be very good on the 3rd pair. He would be good paired up with Hutton so the latter can utilize his offensive skills while Hamhuis covers for him. However, his true value will be as a mentor to the younger D Man. If the price and term is right I would resign him.

  • TrueBlue

    Jeebus, I hope it doesn’t come down to this. Better than chasing Yandle I guess.

    If the alternative is chasing Yandle, then sign Dan for a couple of years. I feel like we’d offer Russell a longer term, more expensive contract. But really it’s just the lesser of three evils.

    • Vancouver itself is over rated. World class city my ass. They don’t even know what a passing lane is.

      ” Duh, a passing lane is any street that I happen to be on, and it’s there for me to pass…all the way to my effing home.”

  • sh1t4brains

    Hamhuis, no question. For third pairing. Now that our top four looks to shake out as Edler/Tanev, Hutton/Gudbranson and hopefully Groot grabs the third Right spot. Everybody (including Hamhuis it would seem) has been saying he would take a home-town discount. The 3.6 mil Sbisa’s getting should do the trick. With two moves and a rubber-stamp resigning the D looks much improved (not an abundance of potential offence but should keep the GA down and push play a little better).

    Sbisa for a bag of pucks, some used lottery tickets and a bus tour of Historic Schenectady would qualify as acceptable asset management at this point to make it happen.

  • TrueBlue

    The only reason this question is being asked is because Russell is a former Medicine Hat Tiger and apparently the Canucks can’t get enough of those guys.