Published On: Sat, Aug 20th, 2016

Stars' Hamhuis looking to provide experience, 'sound' defense

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Bruce Fedyck / USA TODAY Sports

Dan Hamhuis expects to play a big role in any present and future success by the Dallas Stars.

The veteran defenseman, who signed a two-year, $7.5-million contract on July 1, will be called upon by the coaching staff to help shepherd the likes of Stephen Johns, Esa Lindell, Patrik Nemeth, and Jamie Oleksiak, who may all be required to step up in light of the departures of Alex Goligoski, Jason Demers, and Kris Russell.

Hamhuis was brought in with a view to setting an example for the younger players on how to succeed at the NHL level, and it’s a role he’s more than comfortable with.

“I enjoy helping these guys along to learn what it is like to play in the NHL,” he told Mike Heika of the Dallas News. “It’s tough to get here, but it is even tougher to stay. It’s those habits and the day-to-day things that can make you a better player, and the ultimate goal is winning the Cup.”

On top of that, Hamhuis will bring a measure of defensive responsibility to a club known for an up-tempo, offensively minded style.

“The strength of this team is the offensive power, and I’m hoping what I can bring to the team is sound defensive presence,” Hamhuis said. “That’s the way I have played throughout my career, I take a lot of pride in my defensive game.”

Head coach Lindy Ruff said Hamhuis will play big minutes for the Stars, meaning the team’s ability to take the next step next season may hinge on how well he fares in each of those areas.

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