Friedman Provides Dougie Hamilton Contract Details

With the NHL Draft in the rear-view mirror, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman’s 30 Thoughts provided its usual blend of insight and intrigue. Most relevant in Calgary Flames circles? The circumstances of Dougie Hamilton’s exit from Beantown, apparently related to his contract desires.

I’m more curious about practical analysis, as in, what does this tell us about the new regime? One GM compared it to “Harry Sinden running the team again.” What he meant was Hamilton and Milan Lucic made contract asks the Bruins didn’t like, and rather than doing much negotiating, pulled the trigger.

To be fair, Don Sweeney was up against a July 1 offer sheet possibility, although not with Lucic.

The best information I can give you is it appears the team offered six years and $33M to Hamilton, while the response was about $2M per year higher.

Sometimes, we get caught up in initial proposals. Any good negotiator will tell you to exaggerate your opening position.

Time for some math: $33 million over six years is a $5.5 million average annual value (AAV), which is the figure we’d heard bandied about as the number that could get a deal done. Whoops. This also means that the Hamilton camp’s counter-offer was likely around $7.5 million. A “meet in the middle” strategy would probably end up around $6.5 million, though if the Flames want him to go long-term and give up some years of unrestricted free agency, that number may creep up a bit.

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Hamilton’s 22 and would become an unrestricted free agent in five seasons, so anything beyond that would involve some give-and-take between Hamilton’s camp and the Flames.

But in the grand scheme of things, a cap hit between $6.5 million and $7.5 million for a defenseman of his caliber doesn’t seem like a big stretch, or a big overpayment. (The bigger question may be what it means for the Mark Giordano negotiations, but that’s a whole other kettle of fish.)

  • The Last Big Bear

    So they offer him Duncan Keith/Brett Seabrooke kind of money, and his agent comes back with Shea Weber/Zdeno Chara kind of money…

    Hope he’s got a nice vacation home to sweat it out while he reconsiders his position.

  • The Last Big Bear

    I was wondering how long it would take for people to start asking “how are we going to sign both Gio and Dougie”…one wants 9mil/year and the other wants 7.5mil/year…I’m sure we’ll get it sorted but man…that’s going to cost alot of cash for both guys…

    • everton fc

      Bingo. I don’t see both being on the team after next season. But that’s “me”.

      Perhaps it is Wideman that gets moved first. We shall see. Soon. Wideman may garner a decent 2nd line RW if you throw in a pick. Maybe. Again, we shall see.

  • The Last Big Bear

    For me an excellent contract comparison is Pietrangelo, 6.5 AAV for 7 years. Age, talent, production by most numbers you look at there’s not a lot to separate the two.

      • The Last Big Bear

        Uh huh, and when he leads his team in ice time, they win the Stanley Cup, he gets nominated for the Norris, makes the Canadian Olympic team, and then wins an Olympic gold medal, well…then it’ll be a realistic comparison.

        Until then, Roman Josi makes $4m, TJ Brodie makes $3.9m, Justin Faulk gets $4.8m, and PK Subban got a $2.9m bridge.

        They all have similar or better production, mostly see more ice time, and were within a year or two in age when signed.

        There are a lot more comparables pointing towards a $4-5m contract than there are to a $7+M offer.

        • The Last Big Bear

          If he would have signed for $4-5m he would still be a Bruin.

          I look at what TJ makes and say that would be awesome if we could get Hamilton for this but it is unrealistic. However sign him for 8 years average 6-6.75m, Starting at TJ money @ $4.3 for 3 years, 6.5 for 3 years and 7.5 for 2 years.

          • The Last Big Bear

            And if RFA defencemen got to name their own price, then a lot of them would be making $6.75m per year.

            I certainly don’t see any reason to pay him 150%-200% of what guys like Josi and Subban got, just because that’s what his agent wants.

          • MontanaMan

            Not sure if I understand your comparison to Subban who signed an 8 year deal worth $72 million, averaging 9 milion per year. I am not a Subban fan and I’m really not a fan of 9 milion per year. Hamilton at $6 million +/= will get it done and it’s likely where he belongs over a long term deal. He’s a different defenceman than Brodie but certainly needs to be paid more than him and will bring much more to the team. He slots in between Gio and Brodie salary wise (forget about Wideman – that’s just a bad deal) and that’s where he should be. End of story. Big Bear – why the negative comments on Hamilton?

          • The Last Big Bear

            My comparison is to Subban who signed a $2.9m bridge contract after delivering a similar performance to Hamilton.

            If Hamilton goes off, improves his production by 25%, leads the Flames in TOi, and wins a Norris trophy, THEN he will be a good comparison to Subban’s $9m deal.

            I don’t have any negative comments about Hamilton.

            I have negative comments about paying him vastly more than his peers, and more than he is presently worth, and on a 7+ year term to boot.

            He’s good, but hes not THAT good, hes certainly not $6m good. He was 3rd in TOI on a non-playoff team, behind Denis Siedenberg. He probably will be worth $6.5m, and probably soon. And when that time comes, I’ll be more than happy to see him paid.

            I just want to pay the player what he’s worth. Not what his agent thinks he’s worth, and not what he’ll be worth when he’s 27.

          • beloch

            No doubt what you are saying is the approach & attitude Sweeney had. So OK, I’ll bite, let’s say BT wants a 2 year deal similar to Subban & remind them what the payday could be if he has a Norris trophy season. Then they tell you no thank you. July 1 comes around, he doesn’t sign, talk starts to mount & next thing you know a team like the Oilers offer sheet him a 6 year 45 mill deal. Do you let the Oil take him for that 1st 2nd & 3rd in next years draft??? BT would lose all credibility. He loses credibility if this thing goes to the point we have to match an offer sheet & pay the kid anyway. My sense & what I see in the reaction of rest of the league & fans is Flames got a franchise 22 year old RH shooting 6’5″ Dman. I would have no problem overpaying him for 2 years to get a bargain for the remaining 6 years. This kid is your future core, wrap him up. It just means we stay clear from UFA’s this year & jettison some of these contracts like Smid, Wideman, Raymond, Engellend. All these guys can be replaced with younger cheaper players we currently have in our system. Sign him quick & re-evaluate the cap projections & adjust accordingly.

          • RedMan

            I see it much the same way Kevin. I’d rather overpay him by a couple million for the next 2 years (where the Flames probably aren’t going to spending right up to the cap) and get a bargain for the next 5-6 when he’s become more experienced than try to play hardball with him.

          • BurningSensation

            Here’s the thing, he really is THAT GOOD. He’s literally a franchise changing defenseman for us, the kind of 6’5″ possession monster you dream about building your team around. .

            Sign him at $9M a year for 8 years for all I care.

          • Truculence

            Subban`s bridge deal led to a much richer contract for Subban: 9 mil per year. They ended up paying him in the end anyways, but the AAV went way up and now his contract eats up 2-2.5 million more of the cap than it would have had they not played hardball. The Canadiens screwed up, plain and simple.

            Also, let`s not jump ahead of ourselves. Dougie was 20 years old when the last Olympics happened. Using an exceptional case like Doughty is rather unfair. His advanced and traditional stats suggest he is already a top-ten defender in the league at the ripe age of 22. He is only going to get better. Give him the Pietrangelo money he is looking for and sit back and enjoy a decade or more of Norris-caliber play.

          • Truculence

            Yeah, I was referring to the fact that Doughty suited up for Team Canada as a 20 year old in 2010. I think that may be the first time that has happened on a Canadian roster since the professionals started going.

        • RedMan

          BT had to have known where his contract demands were from Sweeney while they were discussing the deal. Why give all what we gave up to take a hard line & get an OS thrown at us that we’re going to have to match. DH camp know there will be some team to O/S close to his numbers so why go this route & have another GM negotiate this deal deal for us. Hell Franson & Sekera are going to get between 5.5 -6.5 mill & that would be a horrible deal. If you believe this kid is that good & a future cornerstone of your franchise, give him his 8 year 50 million deal & call it a day. Get Gio done for 5 years at 38 mill & we’ll cross Brodie’s extension when we get there.

          I know a lot of people have visions of Wideman on the bottom pairing dancing through their heads but you just can’t pay a guy 5.25 mill on the bottom pairing & some PP time. We all know Hartley is going to dump monster minutes on DH, Brodie & Gio & Russey not too far behind.

  • Graham

    Likely means Wideman is gone to free up money for Gio, but Hamilton, Gio, Brodie is a lot of money on the back end….the other alternative is to move Gio for a package including a top flight RW…

  • beloch

    10.4 Draft Choice Compensation for Restricted Free Agents

    Any Club that is entitled to but does not exercise its Right of First Refusal pursuant to Section 10.3 shall be entitled to obtain Draft Choice Compensation from the New Club. The number and quality of draft choices due to the Prior Club shall be based on the average annual value of the compensation contained in the Principal Terms (as defined in Section 10.3(e) hereof) of the New Club’s Offer Sheet (determined by dividing such compensation by the lesser of the number of years of the Offer Sheet or five)

    Here’s an interesting thing about offer sheet compensation:

    The average yearly value for determining compensation is calculated by dividing the total salary by the lesser of either the contract length or 5 years.

    So, if Dougie signed an offer sheet for $33M over 6 years, the average value would be $6.6M instead of $5.5M. If an offer sheet was for 7 years at $5.5M, it’s average value would be $7.7M. Note that an offer sheet of this value, if not matched, would result in compensation of not one, but two first round picks.

    So, to trounce any offer sheet that comes their way, all the Flames really need to offer Dougie is a contract with a reasonable annual cap-hit that extends until he’s 29 or 30. Because of the divide by 5 rule and the term that Treliving will no doubt be offering, any successful offer sheet of Dougie Hamilton is going to result in a ridiculous number of draft picks coming the Flames’ way.

    For this reason, I think it’s realistic to hope for Hamilton to be signed with a cap-hit in the range of $5.5M-$6.5M. Treliving only needs to add a couple of years to the term to get into territory where no other team is willing to go. Heck, let’s say Treliving went with a 10 year term, locking Dougie up until he’s 32. If that contract had an annual value of just $4.6M, it would take an offer sheet of $9.2M/year to match that, which would mean a compensation of 4 1st round picks.

    TL;DR: The extreme young age of Hamilton plus the 5-year rule mean that owning Dougie’s rights gives Treliving a huge advantage over anyone trying to offer sheet him.

      • beloch

        If the max term is 8 years, then Treliving could offer $4.57M/year for 8 years to make 2 1st rounders the minimum return for a successful offer sheet. Offering $5.71M for 8 years would make that three 1st rounders.

        Note that I’m assuming that an offer sheet would be torn up if Treliving makes an offer with a higher average value. If that’s not the case, and the only options are to match an offer sheet as is or let the player walk, then opposing GM’s could make things more difficult for the Flames.

        Also, I’m not clear on whether or not an offer sheet could be signed by a player if he already had a higher valued contract offer from his team. A player might be motivated to do so if he wants a shorter-term, higher value contract, but could he?

        These are interesting questions that we hopefully won’t have to see Treliving answer. He has until Wednesday to get Dougie inked or, at the very least, keep Dougie happy enough not to sign offer sheets.

        • beloch

          Less than $1,205,377 Nothing
          $1,205,377-to-$1,826,328 Third-round pick
          $1,826,328-to-$3,652,659 Second-round pick
          $3,652,659-to-$5,478,986 First and third-round picks
          $5,478,986-to-$7,305,316 First, second and third-round picks
          $7,305,316-to-$9,131,645 Two firsts, a second and third-round picks
          $9,131,645 or greater Four first-round picks

          This is a table from Elliott Friedmen. Looks like compensation around an offer sheet is based on average annual salary, doesn’t appear that term enters into it. Also, once an offer sheet is made, the team owning the player’s rights has the option to either match (accept the offer sheeting team’s contract terms as is), or don’t match and receive compensation based on the above sliding scale.

          Also part of Elliott’s comments:
          “Essentially, the deal has never been sweeter for a team looking to poach young talent away from another organization.”

          If I’m in the DH camp, I’d demand something in the $7mln range or hold out for July 1st to see if anyone throws an offer sheet. Really they have nothing to lose by doing this.

          • beloch

            @ beloch

            “10.4 Draft Choice Compensation for Restricted Free Agents

            Any Club that is entitled to but does not exercise its Right of First Refusal pursuant to Section 10.3 shall be entitled to obtain Draft Choice Compensation from the New Club. The number and quality of draft choices due to the Prior Club shall be based on the average annual value of the compensation contained in the Principal Terms (as defined in Section 10.3(e) hereof) of the New Club’s Offer Sheet (determined by dividing such compensation by the lesser of the number of years of the Offer Sheet or five)”

            Sorry, missed this, annual salary is calculated from a 5 year average (based on the gross total of the offer sheet contract). Which you already knew…

          • MWflames

            So effectively, the maximum an offer sheet is going to come in at is 5 years because otherwise a team would be paying more compensation than the contract would usually dictate?

          • piscera.infada

            But there’s the rub, right?

            If the Flames, say (completely off the top of my head), offer him 6.5 million for 8 years, that’s a total value of $52 million dollars. For the offer-sheet to be worth it for the Hamilton camp, you would think a contract would have to be at least of commensurate value. As such, as outlined above, you then average that out based on a five year term, as $10.4 million per year–that’s your highest-class compensation (4 first-round picks). So now, let’s say a team offer-sheets him to $7 million per year for 6 years, again you’re looking at compensation in the second-highest tier.

            As such, to make it worth an offer sheet, the team submitting the offer-sheet would likely have to offer either less than 5 years, or less than $7 million dollars. In both of those cases, the Flames probably match.

            Also, I have a hard time seeing the Flames and the Hamilton camp not being able to come to an agreement before Wednesday. Moreover, I also suspect the Flames organization to sign him to a fairly reasonable contract–I don’t see it as being as bloated as many are suggesting.

        • Truculence

          So we can probably that some team would offer sheet at $36.5 mill for 5 years to keep within that 1st, 2nd & 3rd compensation level. If I were DH, I wouldn’t take more than a 5 year term anyway. That puts him at 27 UFA & another big payday. If I were BT, I would want to buy those extra 2 years of his UFA & I would want to do it when he is feeling charitable coming to a new team. If you can get him to go 7 years at 48mill, that is probably a good deal for both parties. Pay him the money. The team is that much better with him. If we had a healthy Gio & DH, that Anaheim series is a different series. That is incredible when you think about how much this move has changed this team.

  • The Last Big Bear

    Lets put it this way:

    There are 9 defencemen in the NHL making $6.5m or more. So we’re talking top-10 in the entire world money.

    The only players on that list who don’t have a Norris, Stanley Cup, or Olympic gold medal, are Ryan Suter (who is a god), and Dion Phaneuf (who shouldn’t be on that list).

    This is the pay grade people are talking about, giving top-10 in the entire world money, for the maximum term allowable, to an RFA who is currently a #3 guy on his own team (both in Boston and Calgary).

    • BurningSensation

      His possession game at 22 is so good he was carrying Zdeno Chara (check his WOWY out, it’s illuminating).

      He checks all the boxes, size, speed, shot, passing, offensive pedigree, possession driver, you name it.

      I dont care what the $figure is, he”s worth every penny in a deal for as long as we can make it.

    • BurningSensation

      Let’s put it this way:

      Hamilton’s statistical comparables are Erik Karlsson, Dion Phaneuf, Alex Pietrangelo, Drew Doughty, Shea Weber, and Michael Del Zotto.

      Only Weber and Del Zotto weren’t making at least 6.5 on their second contract.

      Prepare yourself. Hamilton is going to get paid. A lot.

  • RedMan

    Anyone have any info as to where the Flames now sit in comparison to the other 29 teams In terms of quality of top 4 Dmen, where our top r rank in comparison?

    Giordano & Bodie, Hamilton & Russell, Wideman & Engelland

  • I say go max at 7 years, 6.5 AAV.

    Oh, by the way, for Dougie, 7 years is max value:

    “Maximum contract length of seven (7) years subject to Club’s ability to re-sign its own Player for a term of up to eight (8) years (provided the Player was on the Club’s Reserve List as of the most recent Trade Deadline). With respect to potential Unrestricted Free Agents only, the option to resign a Player for an 8-year term expires with the opening of Free Agency on July 1. “

    • beloch

      I’m perfectly fine with this number. 6.5mil x 7= 45.5 mil, divide that by 5 due to the 5 year average rule and thats 9.1 mil which makes the contract at the highest compensation (4 first rounders). That contract is honestly good for us for what we’re getting and he’ll only be 29 even after that contract expires. Of course if that number can be lower that’s even better but offer sheets pretty much become moot point now.

  • Truculence

    You guys are hilarious. Boston said they would qualify at 7 mill a year on an offer sheet. Your paying top dollar to keep this kid. Don’t go back to contracts that qualified 3 years ago. Deal with it. For your top 2 d men you’ll be dropping 15 mill a year minimum. You flaming fa$!ets

    • Greg

      There’s a difference between offering someone $7M, and matching an offer of $7M. In the former case, you are negotiating against a risk of someone offering more but a non-trivial likelihood no one will. In the latter, an offer now exists and has forced your hand.

      Sure, you match it if it happens, but otherwise that potential is just one of many considerations in the negotiations. As is all the contracts signed in the past several years, particularly since the cap has stopped rising 7% annually. Flames will no doubt try to discuss the implications of any contract on their salary structure and hope Hamilton wants to be here and be a part of building a winning team, and will take less than $7M to do that. But they’ll match anything up to the 9.1M mark… And perhaps even beyond that. If not, that’s a 1st and 2nds for 4 1st rounders.

      I understand you are bitter about us winning this trade you wanted but you’ll have to learn to accept we got a hell of a deal, won hands down no matter what happens, and our rebuild is going just fine thank you, even without all your 1st overalls.

    • RedMan

      & you goof balls are even funnier. Right now you rocket scientists up there are paying a combined $8.0mill for 2 bottom pairing dmen you were hoping would be able to crack the 2nd pairing. Last time I looked at your roster, you “still” don’t have a top pairing dman. Coming here with this crap only makes you & your fan base look like a bunch of morons.