Hamhuis decision looms for Preds
Will they or won’t they?
Predators general manager David Poile says the biggest decision the team will make leading up to the NHL’s March 3 trading deadline will be whether or not to move defenseman Dan Hamhuis.
Hamhuis’ contract expires at the end of June and the Preds’ chances of re-signing him don’t look too good. So the team has to decide whether to try to get something for him at the deadline, or whether to hold onto a key defenseman as the Preds make a run for the playoffs.
“We’ve had some discussions in trying to sign Dan Hamhuis and also some overtures into whether we’d trade Dan Hamhuis. So I think that keeping him or trading him would be the most significant thing we do at the deadline,’’ Poile said from Vancouver, where he’s serving as Team USA’s associate general manager.
If the Preds do choose to move Hamhuis before the deadline, Poile believes the team would need to add a defenseman to the roster.
“Yeah, for sure,’’ Poile said. “I still feel that way.’’
That would seemingly require a second trade, since it’s unlikely a team acquiring Hamhuis would be dealing an experienced defenseman at the same time.
As for the goalies, it doesn’t sound as if the Preds will be dealing either prior to the deadline. Dan Ellis and Pekka Rinne could both become unrestricted free agents at the end of June, and it’s likely the Preds would only re-sign one of the netminders.