After purging most of their restricted free agents back in June, the Calgary Flames were left with just four qualified: Tyler Wotherspoon, Sean Monahan, Freddie Hamilton, and Johnny Gaudreau.
It is Sept. 22, and three of the four have been re-signed.
F.Ham – the forgotten Hamilton, if you will – is officially back with the Flames. He has been re-signed to a two-year deal with a $612,500 cap hit, as reported by Cap Friendly.
Calgary #Flames resigned RFA Freddie Hamilton
2 year deal / 1 way deal
$612,500 cap hit
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) September 22, 2016
Let’s take a look at just where he might fit in.
Hamilton seems to be one of those players who’s perfectly serviceable at the AHL level, but hasn’t been able to make things stick in the NHL. In fairness to him, he is only 24 years old – not particularly young anymore, but not past his prime, either – and has only had the chance to play 33 NHL games to date.
In those 33 games, he’s scored two goals and one assist. Two of those points came in the four games he played last season for the Flames; in a heartwarming twist, his first career assist came off of a Dougie Hamilton goal.
So it’s entirely possible there’s more than meets the eye with Freddie, at least as far as his NHL career is concerned. He averaged 12:42 with the Flames, which is more than he did during his stints with the San Jose Sharks and Colorado Avalanche. His shot rates with Calgary went up, as well: seven shots over four games, compared to the 13 in 11 he had during his first NHL stint (and the 11 in 18 he had the season before he came to Calgary).
In short: Hamilton could be a decent (not to mention cheap, which is extremely important for this season) depth find, should he find himself able to stick on the Flames’ roster.
It would also make for a nice story to have a pair of brothers in the lineup, but that’s more of a cute little side bonus than anything actually necessary.
However, should Hamilton not make the Flames’ lineup, he’s still proven himself to be a useful player in the minors. In 2015-16, he scored 43 points over 62 games with the Stockton Heat as their third-highest scorer (numbers one and two, Kenny Agostino and Derek Grant, have since moved on from the organization). Hamilton, a right-shooting centre, could prove to be a valuable leader on a farm team that’s been completely overhauled from last season to this one.
Wherever Hamilton ends up spending his year – and it very well could be both in the AHL and NHL – he should prove to help out. This is another item the Flames needed to check off of their list, and while it wasn’t the most important one, it should still prove to be beneficial to the club.