There was Dougie Hamilton news today. So it’s the perfect time, again, to mention that he would be GREAT for the Chicago Blackhawks. He would also be great for about a dozen other teams in the NHL, including the Carolina Hurricanes, who have first dibs at trying to sign the defenseman this offseason.
On Monday morning, SportsNet’s Elliotte Friedman reported that the Hurricanes had given Hamilton permission to talk with other teams to seek the best possible deal for the soon to be 28-year-old defenseman.
The other thing this does: allows Hamilton to see if the Hurricanes do make the best offer for him…potentially allowing for a return if he doesn’t like what he sees out there. Very interesting manoeuvre by team and player
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 14, 2021
Hamilton is coming off of two shortened seasons with the Hurricanes, playing in just 47 of 68 games last season and 55 of 56 games this past season. Although both seasons were not “normal” for anyone, including Hamilton, he had his best stretches of play in his career, averaging 0.85 points per game in 2019-20 and 0.76 points per game this season, helping the Hurricanes become one of the top teams in the league.
Hamilton added five points in 11 Stanley Cup Playoff games with Carolina this postseason before being eliminated by the Tampa Bay Lightning. The knock against Hamilton for most of his career is that he is only an offensive forward, but points aren’t the only dimension Hamilton brings to the table, contrary to what so may believe.
Watching them, it's clear that Slavin carries the defensive burden on their pairing. But what Hamilton does offensively in terms of puck possession is an extremely important part of what makes it work and it pays off results-wise at both ends of the ice.
— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) June 14, 2021
He’s not going to be a shutdown defenseman, but driving puck possession from the blue-line is a great way to keep the puck out of your own zone and in a sense, is a way of defending. They cannot score on you if you control the puck. Turning 28 in three days, Hamilton is coming off a six-year, $5.75M AAV deal signed back in 2015 with the Calgary Flames. He will garner a hefty pay increase and the Blackhawks have some room in salary cap space to make it work, for once.
We’ve talked about the need in Chicago for a No. 1 defenseman and Hamilton would instantly become that with the Blackhawks if he were to sign with the club. Unfortunately, Stan Bowman and the Blackhawks are going to have to be out-bidding close to half of the league for Hamilton, and with so many areas to address with the team, I’m not sure the Blackhawks go for one big cannonball splash this offseason with Hamilton.