One of the last unsigned restricted free agents is off the table, as the Calgary Flames have extended forward Freddie Hamilton. The deal, which was first reported by TVA’s Renaud Lavoie, is for two years at only about $613K per season. Surprisingly though, it is a one-way deal as well, meaning Freddie will either stick around at the NHL level with brother Dougie Hamilton or face waivers in order to be sent down to the AHL. This portion of the contract was likely the hold-up that kept the RFA center from signing earlier in the off-season.
In his first season with the Flames organization in 2015-16, Hamilton played in just four games with Calgary, recording two points and finishing +1. While that may not sound impressive, relative to the 24-year-old’s earlier NHL action it was quite a step up. In 29 games with the San Jose Sharks and Colorado Avalanche the two years prior, Hamilton had just one point and was -7. Hamilton also had his best AHL season last year with the Flames’ affiliate, the Stockton Heat, putting up 43 points in 62 games.
While some opine that Freddie is simply in Calgary as a measure to keep little brother Dougie happy – and his NHL numbers seem to support this – the Flames are also in need of some role players in the bottom six, a position that Hamilton can fill. Should he struggle this season though, the lengths that the Flames will go to to keep the reportedly temperamental Dougie Hamilton content will be tested. A waiver claim of his big brother in the midst of another down season could see Dougie try to force himself out of Calgary like he did Boston.