Marty Hamhuis hasn't slept the same since his son, Dan, returned to his home province 3½ years ago to play hockey for the Vancouver Canucks.

“Since he became a Canuck, I have to get out of bed an hour earlier every day just to talk hockey with people,” Mr. Hamhuis laughed Tuesday. “Everybody is good about it. They're happy to have northern B.C. represented in the NHL.”

Imagine how they feel about having Dan Hamhuis represent Smithers and northern B.C. on Team Canada at the Olympics.

As a regional sales rep for Coca-Cola, Marty Hamhuis knows a lot of people in a lot of small northern towns. Dan joked that between his dad and his sister, Erin, who works in the credit union in Smithers, the Hamhuises pretty much know everybody.

“I've been staying in the house all day because I don't dare go out,” Marty said after Dan was chosen to play for Canada in Russia next month. “Judging by the texts I got, a lot of people in Smithers are elated. Out of all the players, Dan might have been one of the easiest guys to sweep under the carpet because he doesn't get the press that a lot of other guys do.”

For instance, Hamhuis gets only a sliver of the coverage devoted to Canuck goalie Roberto Luongo, who was named to his third Olympic team. Luongo is never out of the headlines, Hamhuis rarely in them.

The defenceman plays a game as quiet as he is, which is why the 31-year-old has been “under the carpet” for most of his National Hockey League career.

With the Nashville Predators, for whom he spent his first six NHL seasons, Hamhuis was blacked out by the giant shadows of Norris Trophy-calibre defencemates Shea Weber and Ryan Suter.

In Vancouver, where Hamhuis moved in 2010 as a free agent, he has been merely one part of a core group of good defencemen. Even amid the laser-like glare on the Canucks in this city and province, a lot of people probably didn't realize how good he was until No. 1 defenceman Alex Edler was injured five weeks ago and coach John Tortorella soon started playing Hamhuis 28-30 minutes a night.

“My game is not a game that makes a lot of noise with headlines for the media and fans,” Hamhuis, 31, said. “But I've always felt that hockey people appreciate the game that I play. My dad has always told me that, too.”

Hamhuis speaks softly when he speaks at all and rarely displays emotion. But he came close to crying Tuesday when asked about the support he receives from his community and people in northern B.C.