Tag: Dan Hamhuis

Buffalo Sabres v Boston Bruins

Canucks pick up Bartkowski


Not long after announcing they’d re-signed Yannick Weber, the Vancouver Canucks announced they’d signed d-man Matt Bartkowski (one year, $1.75 million), too.

Bartkowski, 27, played 131 games for the Bruins from 2011-15, scoring no goals with 24 assists. For much of that time, Canucks GM Jim Benning was with the Boston organization, so there’s some familiarity there.

The addition of Bartkowski gives the Canucks six NHL d-men under contract for 2015-16, plus Frank Corrado and Adam Clendening are expected to push for spots on the roster.

Alex Edler — Chris Tanev
Dan Hamhuis — Yannick Weber
Luca Sbisa — Frank Corrado
Matt Bartkowski — Adam Clendening

Related: Canucks have a puzzle to solve on the blue line

Canucks have a puzzle to solve on the blue line

Edmonton Oilers v Vancouver Canucks

Jim Benning learned something in his first year as general manager of the Vancouver Canucks.

You can never have enough defensemen.

As such, he plans to start next season with eight blue-liners, not just seven, like he did this past season. And he wants even more options down on the farm, in case of injury.

“We’ll start with eight defensemen, but we want to have 11 D capable of playing in the NHL,” Benning told The Province. “That’s something I learned this year from being in the West. The travel wears the team down a bit and it seems to take a toll on your defense.”

Currently, if you had to pick a group of eight Canucks defenders, it might look something like this:

Alex Edler-Chris Tanev
Dan Hamhuis-Yannick Weber
Luca Sbisa-Kevin Bieksa
Ryan Stanton-Adam Clendening

But there’s also young, right-shooting Frank Corrado. The 22-year-old is arguably ready for the NHL. Hence, the speculation Vancouver may try and trade Bieksa.

Of course, trading Bieksa would mean one less defenseman, on a team that wants to have lots of them.

The challenge for Benning is a dearth of waivers-exempt, NHL-capable blue-liners. All nine that have been mentioned above require waivers to be sent to the AHL.

There’s also the mix to consider. The current group, as a whole, failed to create enough offense, and in the playoffs had trouble beating Calgary’s aggressive forecheck.

At the very least, Benning has time to figure out a solution.

“The season doesn’t start for four months,” he said. “If we want to add a certain type of player by trade, it’s something we’d look at. Like, say, a better transition defenseman.”

Related: Despite ‘step in the right direction,’ do Canucks need to alter core?

Canada thumps Austria, remain undefeated at Worlds

Canada v Austria - 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship

Jason Spezza and Matt Duchene each had two goals and two assists as Canada thumped Austria 10-1 on Tuesday at the World Hockey Championship.

Mike Smith made 14 saves in the victory.

With the win Canada finished the round robin a perfect 7-0 while scoring 45 goals and is the top seed in Group A.

The Canadians will now play Belarus on Thursday in the quarterfinals.

Canada elected to rest captain Sidney Crosby for the game and defenseman Dan Hamhuis wore the ‘C’ as the team’s captain.

Duchene, Tyson Barrie, Taylor Hall and Aaron Ekblad scored first period goals giving Canada a 4-0 lead after 20 minutes.

Spezza and Jordan Eberle made it 6-0 after two periods.

Dominique Heinrich spoiled Smith’s shutout bid early in the third getting Austria on the board.

Spezza, Duchene, Nathan MacKinnon and Brayden Schenn added third period goals for Canada.

Thirteen members of Canada’s roster had at least a point in the win.