The Vancouver Canucks Jump into the Free Agent Market with Hamhuis and Malhotra

Nucks IceManCorrespondent IJuly 1, 2010

As reported by TSN at 1:11 PDT the deal with Dan Hamhuis is done. The contract amount is $4.5 million a year for six years.

Other teams offered more money but Vancouver was the team that Hamhuis wanted to go to.

That now brings the total to nine D-men that are under contract (if you count Shane O'Briens qualifing offer) and someone will have to go to get under the cap before the season starts.

Look for GM Mike Gillis to try and trade one of the D-men that have no trade contracts and are over $3 million (Kevin Bieksa).

Earlier this morning the Canucks signed, Manny Malhotra, to a three-year, $7.5M contract with a no-trade clause attached.

This now gives the Canucks some very good depth at centre with Henrik Sedin, Ryan Kesler, and Malhotra all under contract along with first-round draft prospect Cody Hodgson.

Malhotra, who just turned 30 in May, is 6’2”, 210 lbs. and last season with the San Jose Sharks scored 14 goals and had 19 assists in 71 games while acquiring 41 PIM.

This signing adds depth to the all important centre position. It also begs the question of what the Canucks have in store for Cody Hodgson.

I do not see Hodgson as a fourth-line centre, so the team must have concerns that its top draft choice’s back is still problematic and/or that he cannot make the jump straight from juniors to the NHL.

It will be interesting to hear the response from the Hodgson camp concerning the addition of Malhotra in the coming days.

Hodgson is not a proven NHL player, and a two or three year wait is not an option for this team.

Also added was 27 year old centre Joel Perrault  - 6'2", 202 lbs - who last season split his time with the Phoenix Coyotes (2 GP, 1G, 0A) and the AHL San Antonio Rampage (47GP, 17G, 19A, 38 PIM).

The contract was for one year at $510,000.

Perrault was an orginally selected by the Anaheim Ducks (137th) in the 2001 Entry Draft.

This looks like a signing to bolster their farm team in Manitoba but this is really puzzling what with a glut a centre.

Left winger Steve Tambellini has been signed to a one year deal.

Tambellini played with the New York Islanders last season and in 36 games had seven goals and seven assists.

This sigining also looks like another player that will end up in Manitoba because at 5'11" and 186 lbs. and 14 PIM, this is not the type of player that the Canucks were looking for to upgrade their third line.

Stay tuned, as I will add to this article as the free agent day proceeds.