While the suggestion over the weekend that Calgary defenseman Dougie Hamilton caught many by surprise, TSN’s Darren Dreger suggested to a Montreal ‘s TSN690 that his name has been out there for a little while now (transcription from FanRag’s Chris Nichols):
That rumor has been fairly consistent. It really has. I can think back to the draft in Buffalo, where Dougie Hamilton’s name had surfaced at that point. He’s one of those guys, right or wrong, that always seems to have that lure about him or carry the possibility that a trade could be in the future again.”
While Hamilton has played fairly well with Calgary – he set a career high in points last season and leads all Flames blueliners in scoring this year – he carries a cap hit of $5.75MM for five more years. While that’s a fair market price for a top four defender, the Flames are spending nearly $27MM on their back end currently (and that doesn’t include $3.5MM for Ladislav Smid who’s on long-term injured reserve). In theory, moving an area of positional strength to fill a hole or two makes sense.
If Calgary were to move Hamilton, they should have no shortage of suitors as most teams are always on the lookout for a top four defenseman. Dreger feels they should have no issue moving him if they do decide to go that route:
“And there’s a premium market right now for defense. That seems to be the case on an annual basis. So if Calgary gets to a stage where they want to make that move, I don’t think it’s going to be a huge issue finding Hamilton another address.”
Elsewhere in the Pacific Division:
- The Coyotes are close to getting a pair of key veterans back as goaltender Mike Smith and center Martin Hanzal both skated on Monday, notes Sarah McLellan of The Arizona Republic. Head coach Dave Tippett is optimistic that both players should be back in the lineup this week. Smith has been out since October 18th with a lower body issue while Hanzal has missed five straight games, also due to a lower body injury.
- After recalling Jake Virtanen from his two game ‘conditioning stint’, the Canucks don’t plan to have him in the lineup right away, writes Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province. The team is looking for him to play with more intensity and consistency after a slow start this season that has seen him record just one assist through ten games. Vancouver also provided a couple of injury updates. Defenseman Chris Tanev will miss another ten days with a foot injury while right winger Jannik Hansen will be out for another three weeks with a fractured rib.