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Former Cougars defenceman Dan Hamhuis retires following 16 NHL seasons

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Following a 16-season NHL career, former Prince George Cougars defenceman Dan Hamhuis has retired from professional hockey.

A 37-year-old native of Smithers, B.C., Hamhuis spent his formative years patrolling the Cougars blueline, skating in 247 career WHL regular season contests and logging 156 points (34G-122A) from 1998-99 through 2001-02.

The 6-foot-1, 205-pound rearguard made his presence known in his NHL Draft year, participating in the CHL Top Prospects Game and being named to the WHL Western Conference First All-Star Team for the 2000-01 season. Ultimately, that led to the Nashville Predators calling his name in the first round (12th) of the 2001 NHL Draft.

20-08-14_PG_HamhuisHamhuis followed up the 2001 NHL Draft by proving the Predators right when it came to their selection. Hamhuis marched to his best WHL season yet, securing 60 points (10G-50A) in 59 games, and collecting big-time hardware as the WHL Player of the Year, WHL Defenceman of the Year, and CHL Defenceman of the Year, in addition to being named a WHL Western Conference First All-Star for the second-consecutive season.

On the international stage, Hamhuis added three assists in six games as a member of Team Canada’s silver-medal squad at the 2002 World Junior Championship. He had previously earned a bronze medal with Canada at the 2001 World Junior Championship.

Hamhuis continued to enjoy success on the international stage. He won two World Championship gold medals, two World Championship silver medals, and most importantly, was a member of Canada’s gold-medal winning team at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

As a consistent and reliable NHL defenceman, Hamhuis split time with three NHL franchises, beginning his career with the Predators (2003-04 to 2009-10), before returning to his home province to suit up with the Vancouver Canucks (2010-11 to 2015-16). A two-season tour with the Dallas Stars (2016-17 to 2017-18) eventually led Hamhuis full circle, where he wrapped up his NHL career playing two final seasons with the Predators (2018-19 to 2019-20).

In total, Hamhuis skated in 1,148 career NHL regular season games, scoring 356 points (59G-297A). He participated in another 68 NHL playoff contests, contributing 21 points (3G-18A), including a run to Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals as a member of the Vancouver Canucks. Ultimately, Hamhuis and the Canucks fell just short in the NHL championship, falling to the Boston Bruins in the seventh and deciding game.

Though Hamhuis’ WHL playing days came to a conclusion in 2002, the hard-hitting defender did not forget his northern B.C. roots, returning to the Cougars as part of a new ownership group ahead of the 2014-15 season.

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