With talks extension talks cooling with Matt Duchene the Ottawa Senators could be forced to consider moving their unrestricted free agent forward before long, and they’re not the only Eastern Conference team in that situation. The Carolina Hurricanes were also discussed on last night’s Headlines panel between periods of the Vancouver-Toronto game, and Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman indicated that the team are not close on an extension with UFA forward Micheal Ferland and also have two free agent goaltenders who could be of interest before the deadline.
Most notably though, Friedman mentioned Dougie Hamilton as a player that Carolina could consider moving for the right package:
Another name I’m curious about is Dougie Hamilton. They have four right-shot [defensemen], they have been asked about Hamilton. If you’re willing to come back at them with a score, I think that they would consider doing it.
That revelation may come as a surprise, given that Hamilton was the centerpiece in a trade that cost the team both Elias Lindholm and Noah Hanifin just last year. Hamilton hasn’t been quite the dominating right-handed puck mover that the Hurricanes expected, only logging 13 points through his first 40 games. That pact would put him at his lowest point total since 2013-14 with Boston, and much lower than the last few seasons with the Calgary Flames.
Perhaps most telling is Hamilton’s ice time, which has decreased to just over 17 minutes over his last six games including a season-low 14:22 against the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night. Part of that decrease can be explained by the Hurricanes’ almost unmatched depth on the right side, with Brett Pesce, Justin Faulk and Trevor van Riemsdyk all right-handed and capable. It’s also not the first time that Hamilton’s name has been included in trade talks.
Originally selected ninth overall by the Boston Bruins in 2011 with a pick the team acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs, Hamilton lasted just a few years before trade rumors started surfacing. The young defenseman would only play three seasons in Boston before being shipped out to Calgary for a trio of draft picks, only to once again find himself on the block after three years with the Flames. Reports vary on whether Hamilton fit in well with teammates and coaching staffs, but his on-ice play never suffered.
Throughout his short career, the 25-year old has 233 points in 463 games and has been one of the darlings of the analytical community. Driving possession in a way that very few players can match, Hamilton can boost teammates and be a force at both even-strength and on the powerplay. The idea that he could be available once again may not come as a surprise given his history, but it certainly should perk up a few ears around the league. Hamilton carries just a $5.75MM cap hit through 2020-21.