Hamhuis heads home to Canucks

HOSEA CHEUNG, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:28 PM ET

VANCOUVER -- Dan Hamhuis is heading home.

The Smithers, B.C. native signed a six-year, $27 million deal with the Canucks Thursday, sending the NHL's most coveted free agent defenceman to his home province team.

The 27-year-old gives Vancouver a much-needed top-two blueliner and another quality addition in GM Mike Gillis' quest to revamp the back end.

He had five goals and 24 points and was a plus-4 in 78 games last season.

In addition to the acquisition of Keith Ballard in a trade with Florida last week, Vancouver now has eight defencemen under contract with six making over $3 million a season.

The signing, however, will likely spell the end of Kevin Bieksa who still has a year left on his contract with a $3.75 million cap hit and without a no-trade clause.

Hamhuis was drafted 12th overall in 2001 by Nashville after playing four seasons with the WHL Prince George Cougars.

In his six years with the Predators, he missed only nine games.


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