Dougie Hamilton traded to Calgary, as Boston takes another blow

Greg Wyshynski
Dougie Hamilton traded to Calgary, as Boston takes another blow
Dougie Hamilton traded to Calgary, as Boston takes another blow

SUNRISE, Fla. – Defenseman Dougie Hamilton was traded by the Boston Bruins on Friday, hours before the NHL Draft.

As was anticipated, the pending restricted free agent ended up in Alberta. Just not with the team we expected. 

The Calgary Flames stepped up and acquired the 22-year-old defenseman, as the Bruins confirmed:

Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney announced today, June 26, that the team has acquired the 15th, 45th and 52nd overall picks in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft from the Calgary Flames in exchange for Dougie Hamilton.

Hamilton played for three seasons with Boston from 2012 to 2015, appearing in 178 NHL games, registering 22 goals and 61 assists for 83 points with a combined plus-23 rating.  In 19 postseason games with Boston, Hamilton posted 2-8=10 totals. The 6'5", 212-pound native of Toronto, ON was drafted by Boston in the first round (9th overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

The compensation for the Bruins had Hamilton been signed to an offer sheet that paid him between $5 milliion and $6.7 million annually was a first rounder, a second rounder and a third rounder. So, essentially, the Bruins moved up to a second rounder with that third pick. 

The Bruins and Hamilton couldn’t come to terms on a new deal, after he finished his rookie contract last season. The Bruins had only $11 million in cap space with 11 forwards and four defensemen signed. The Boston Herald reported that rookie GM Don Sweeney met with Hamilton’s agent J.P. Barry on Wednesday, with the talks centered around the length of the contract.

The Bruins may have sought a shorter bridge deal, while Camp Hamilton wanted to break the bank. As Steve Conroy wrote:

“A long-term deal could be between $6 and $7 million, pretty steep for a very good offensive-minded defenseman but not quite the complete package yet.”

There’s no painting this as anything but a huge coup for the Flames and a further disaster for the Bruins.

Calgary aggressively plucks one of the most promising young defensemen in the league, who cut his teeth with some pretty darn good D-men in Boston, and puts him in a D-corps with Mark Giordano (signed through this season, looking for an extension) and T.J. Brodie (signed through 2020). Based on the numbers they generated, Hamilton’s skills set is a great fit for the Flames.

They also prevent a rival like Edmonton from bolstering its blue line with Hamilton, as former Bruins GM-turned-Edmonton GM Peter Chiarelli reportedly was after him as well. There was also a strong rumor that Hamilton was in play for a trade with Arizona that had the No. 3 pick headed to Boston. 

And of course, the trade gives Flames team president Brian Burke a chance to hop in the DeLorean and correct a “mistake” from his past: Dealing away the picks that became Hamilton and Tyler Seguin to the Boston Bruins for Phil Kessel in 2009.

Seguin was traded to Dallas in 2013, in a seven-player deal, after concerns about his attitude and maturity were at issue. He promptly became one of the NHL’s top scorers when paired with Jamie Benn. Forward Loui Eriksson, the centerpiece of the deal for Boston, has been a disappointment who might be moved this summer.

Now Hamilton is shipped out after the team’s poor cap management handcuffed their ability to meet his price … provided they would ever meet it.

And it’s at this moment when Bruins fans, in unison, wonder what the direction of this team is under Sweeney and team president Cam Neely, who is calling the shots above him. How do they fail to get more for an asset like Hamilton, like a lottery pick that could have netted them someone like Noah Hanifin? It's baffling. 

Don Sweeney called Dougie Hamilton a "foundational player." And he will be. For the Flames.