Hamhuis expects to talk contract with Canucks during the season

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Back in April, Vancouver defenseman Dan Hamhuis seemed somewhat taken aback when asked if he’d considered waiving his no-trade clause.

“I’m not really prepared to give an answer on that,” said Hamhuis, a pending unrestricted free agent with a $4.5 million cap hit.

“That’s something I’ll think about if that were to happen, but probably more something to talk with [general manager Jim Benning] about.”

Today, Hamhuis was asked for an update on his contract status.

“We’ve talked a little bit with Jim through the summer, just where things are at,” he said. “Right now it looks like something that may be talked about through the season.”

Hamhuis, a British Columbia native, has never wavered in his commitment to Vancouver. And at 32 years old, he should have a few seasons left as a quality defender.

At the same time, there are those who believe the transitioning Canucks should try to trade him prior to the deadline, perhaps for a first-round draft pick, which is what Carolina was able to get for Andrej Sekera.

Benning has not outright dismissed that option, saying over the summer that the plan with key UFAs like Hamhuis and Radim Vrbata is “to go into the season and see how it goes.”

Whichever route the Canucks take with Hamhuis, what they absolutely cannot do is let him walk away for free next summer. It’s either re-sign him to an extension, or trade him.