Report: Flames lock up Dougie Hamilton with 6-year, $34.5 million contract

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Photo Credit: Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports

The Calgary Flames have signed 22-year-old bluechip defenseman Dougie Hamilton to a six-year contract worth a reported $34.5 million. The contract will carry an annual average value of $5.75 million.

It’s a steal of a contract for a young, 6-foot-5, two-way defender who has produced first-pairing results throughout the first three seasons of his NHL career, and is only scratching at the surface of what he might accomplish in the NHL.

What will really grind the gears of Boston Bruins fans, surely, is how reasonable this contract looks. In the wake of an earth shattering deal, Bruins general manager Don Sweeney described Hamilton’s demands as significant. 

“We extended Dougie a very significant contract offer,” Sweeney said during a pre-draft availability on Friday. “And it didn’t lead us to where we thought we’d be able to with him being comfortable being part of our group long-term. That sort of changed the course a little bit.”

Whether Hamilton really was taking a harder line with the Bruins than he took to the Flames or not – and it sure seems as if the Bruins offered Hamilton something close to the deal he signed, according to Darren Dreger – this is an eminently reasonable contract. It’s far less than the $6.5 million plus that the likes of Alex Pietrangelo, Erik Karlsson and Drew Doughty signed for following their entry-level contracts – and fair enough, since they were more productive and impactful earlier in their careers. 

The comparable players would appear to be Arizona Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Nick Leddy (though Leddy signed a bridge contract following the expiry of his ELC), both of whom are locked up long-term to deals that carry a $5.5 million annual average value.

Hamilton is now tied with Matt Niskanen, Andrei Markov and Tobias Enstrom as the 15th highest paid defenseman in hockey (based on annual average value). He’ll be 16th or 17th once Mark Giordano and Brent Seabrook sign their new deals at some point over the next 12 months…

The deal also moves the Flames up to being about an average spending NHL club for the first time in a while and the team’s payroll is going to go an awful lot higher over the next couple of years. With Giordano, Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau all signed to deals that are expiring after next season, and Sam Bennett expiring the year after, the Flames will very probably have to get creative if they hope to keep this elite group of young talent together. 

Let’s file that under ‘great problems to have’ though.

  • Koolmoedee

    YAHOO!! After all the bad stuff that we went through especially when Sutter was the GM I am so happy to see this teams Management doing a great job of the much quicker than anticipated rebuild. Give Feaster some credit though, he drafted a lot of the young guys that are now having a big positive affect on this team. We are going to be good for years to come. Love it!!

  • Scary Gary

    Fair deal for both sides, I can’t wait to watch Dougie for the next six years!

    Once the free agent frenzie quiets down after July 1 Wideman will be in high demand; hopefully we move him then.

  • The GREAT Walter White

    To think a stud like Hamilton is cheaper than any of those “luck&suck trophies” up north(Hall, RNH, Eberle)……

    Great work by BT!!!!

    WW

  • beloch

    Random thought:

    I feel like the Flames have passed a tipping point.

    Last summer, Calgary was not a popular destination for UFA’s, to put it diplomatically. This summer, even after a surprisingly great season, there remained significant doubts around the league regarding the Flames ability to repeat or improve on last season. However, by bringing in Hamilton without giving up any roster assets and signing him to a contract that won’t cripple the team, Treliving has quashed those doubts. The Flames now boast one of the top blueline’s in the league, and Treliving may not be done yet!

    With their status as a rising contender now cemented, the Flames are going to attract significant UFA interest. Signing with the Flames is no longer a sentence to wander the wastelands. For this reason, Treliving might be able to add some decent UFA’s at prices that aren’t idiotic. By the next trade deadline, players with NTC’s asking for trades might add Calgary to their short list too.

    The result of this is a positive feedback loop. Attracting better price/performance ratio contracts makes the Flames better, and the better the Flames get, the easier it will be to attract more players willing to take less pay for the chance to go deep in the playoffs.

    So, what does this mean for the remainder of this summer? Those who think the Flames 2015/2016 roster is now pretty much set may be very wrong. Treliving has the opportunity to use the Flames’ newly found attractiveness to UFA’s to bring in a few more major pieces. For example, a RW’er who can play above the fourth line would be a nice add. Imagine how deadly the Flames blueline would be if Treliving added a player like Andrej Sekera to it! Sekera/Hamilton could be a top pair on many teams. Given Treliving (and Burke’s) knack for larceny, we need not fear seeing a few more “hockey trades” either. If Treliving picks up a UFA defenceman, Wideman would almost have to go, and he could bring a decent return.

    Here’s to an unusually interesting summer!

  • RyanCoke

    As an oilers fan I am excited about a calgary and edmonton rivalry that is more than just for the basement. Looks like the future is bright on both sides of alberta

    • Koolmoedee

      Are you certain the Oilers are getting out of the basement???

      They still only have 3rd pairing (or worse) D-men; they need to make some trades to get better on D by giving up Yakupov and/or Eberle. Otherwise, this years goalies will show no better than last years.

      Anyways…get excited when the Oil actually prove they can compete with the Flames.

  • Greg

    Also, as much as I love how the flames core is shaping up (and I do!), in not sure it’s the best D mix in the league yet. Potential is there but Stl is still pretty dang good, and don’t have engelland on the blue line.

    Future looks bright though, I’ve been giddy since the trade!

    • beloch

      It’s funny how your tripping over yourself…do you think St Louis always under achieves because they lack leaders and toughness like Engeland??

      They have exactly what you desire ….heartless defense!!

  • RKD

    Excellent contract and a more than reasonable cap hit, to have him making $5.75 even in his prime years is a total steal. I’m not too worried about the cap, I know Gio, Gaudreau, Monahan and Bennett eventually will get more dollars but guys like Wideman amongst others will keep coming off the books. Treliving is a creative guy at negotiations and even if we do get into cap problems, hopefully we will have won a Stanley Cup or two at some point and it will become a moot point.