We’ve spent the evening accumulating some quotes encapsulating the reactions regarding the trade earlier today between the Calgary Flames and the Boston Bruins involving Dougie Hamilton.
Even more than digging into the numbers, you get the sense from the quotes from both sides – and from Hamilton – that this is a big deal for everybody involved. When you have a 22-year-old player of this caliber, when he gets moved to another team – and a team that’s in many ways seemingly headed in the opposition direct of the Bruins right now – it’s huge.
We’ve organized what we’ve collected and curated after the jump: big thanks to Sportsnet 960 The Fan for making the audio of the Brad Treliving press conference in Sunrise, FL available, to Nations overlord Thomas Drance for the quotes from Bruins GM Don Sweeney, and to the Flames PR staff for organizing a quick conference call with Dougie Hamilton prior to the beginning of the first round.
On what the trade does for the team overall:
I look at our team right now, with Mark Giordano, T.J. Brodie, Kris Russell, Dennis Wideman, Deryk Engelland, Laddy Smid, as he recovers, and adding Dougie Hamilton into that mix, I like that defense, and I think it’s critical to build your team from the defense out. You look at the playoffs. You look at the Stanley Cup Champions. You look at the Tampa Bay Lightning that were playing in the finals. As wide open as our game is in today’s game, you need to be able to defend, you nede to be able to exit your zone, and when we looked at Dougie, it was a player that, this is an age-group asset for us. This is a player that fits where we’re going in Calgary. This isn’t a deviation in terms of the young players that we’re building around. To me, he adds to it. He’s in that peer group. And the things that he does well. We’re talking about getting out of your own end. This player is able to retrieve pucks. He’s able to go back, retrieve pucks, exit the zone. His ability to deny entries. His ability to create offense, both with his passing, his legs, his ability to get shots on the net. We think this is a really good addition for us.
On getting a contract done with Hamilton, who is an impending restricted free agent:
I’ve got a great relationship with J.P. [Barry, Hamilton’s agent]. We plan to talk tonight, and we’ll hopefully push it forward. Obviously, any contract there’s a process, but we’ll go through that process. It’s not a concern that we’ll come to a good conclusion.
Treliving also mentioned that the team’s accumulation of second round picks in this year’s draft, given its reputation as a deep draft, was with the aim of being able to add to the team with such a transaction. There was a high cost, but he also noted, “we coveted this player, knew we had to
pay a price, and we were prepared to do it.”
“We extended Dougie a very significant contract offer and it didn’t lead
us to where we thought we’d be able to (get) with him being comfortable
being part of our group long term. So that sort of changed the course a
“There’s no ‘had’ involved in terms of the situation… We were in a
position to react accordingly if we felt that that was necessary. The
more important part of it was that I don’t believe that Dougie would’ve
been comfortable in Boston going forward, long-term.”
extended a long-term deal to pursue that, I think everybody views
Dougie as a foundational type of player, and it was indicated to us that
that might not be the case going forward in Boston.”
“No he didn’t ask out, but we thought we would be better served to go in a different direction.”
Did he think something would happen?
There was a lot of speculation about it and rumours and everything. I kinda thought something might happen, but I wasn’t really sure. When I heard, I was obviously really excited, and I’m really excited still. Pretty happy.
On his phone call from Flames captain Mark Giordano after the trade:
He called me pretty soon after the trade. I think for me, it shows a lot about him and the organization and him as a leader and everything. He’s one of those players that you watch and look up to and try to learn from. For me, I’m excited to be able to play with him, and learn from him. He told me a lot of good things and I’m excited. It’s definitely nice to get that call. It was good.
On the depth of Calgary’s defensive group now:
I think when you look at the players here now, it’s a pretty special group. Definitely a tough team and tough defensive core to play against. I’m excited to be a part of it now. They’re all really good skaters, good puck movers, skilled and smart, and I think I fit in well with that. It’s exciting.
On the whole situation with Boston that resulted in the trade:
I don’t really want to get into details with it. It’s something that happened and something that I’m excited about and looking forward to my opportunity with Calgary. I don’t really want to get into all that stuff. I guess it’s something that happened, and I’m looking forward to being a Flame.
SUM IT UP
I listened to Treliving’s entire press conference and was on the call with Hamilton, while I only caught clips and quotes from Sweeney. But judging from the wordings and tones, you get the sense that the Flames were totally fine with the situation they found themselves in, while Hamilton comes off excited. I mean, he used the word or a derivation of it in basically every answer he gave. And moreso than his word choice, his tone – both on the call and on his radio appearance later on – seemed to indicate a sense of relief. The situation with Boston, whatever it was, it’s done, and he’s moved to a new team that seems to have excitement and momentum. The only thing that gives me pause is the lack of mentions for defensemen like David Schlemko or Tyler Wotherspoon by Treliving, but to be completely honest, those are minor details and things to be more concerned with when the team’s larger contractual situation becomes clearer after July 1.
Sweeney? His answers came across a tad defensive based on tone and word choice. Granted, he was painted into a corner of sorts with the contracts and cap hits he inherited. It’s never a fun position to be in, and instead of going “Hey look, we got all these awesome draft picks! Three in the first round! And Martin Jones!” it came across like a cross-examination based on the (few) clips I heard.
You can say what you will about how the Bruins used their picks – and goodness knows the Bruins sites are doing their fair share of that – but you can’t really argue with the returns he managed to get for the assets he had, particularly in the tough spot he was in as a manager.
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