Analyzing a potential Dougie Hamilton trade

There’s no denying that Dougie Hamilton is off to a shaky start in his second season as a Flame. After merely a year and a half since being acquired from the Boston Bruins, Hamilton has found his name circulating around the rumour mill and chatter of a possible trade has arisen. 

Hushing those type of rumours isn’t easy with Hamilton’s struggles becoming apparent, along with the Flames’ struggles of their own. But when it’s all said and done, would the Flames actually go through with dealing their talented defenseman so soon after acquiring him? 

It’s no secret that Hamilton has yet to live up to expectations in Calgary. It was expected of him to build off the solid foundation he laid for his career in Boston and become a premier defenseman in the league. Hamilton was supposed to help T.J. Brodie and Mark Giordano eat up some serious minutes on the backend and round out a really solid top four for the Flames. Brodie and Giordano are getting top minutes, but Dougie Hamilton’s ice time is starting to decrease more and more – at least until very recently, that is.

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Improving Hamilton’s ice time could jumpstart his game. Playing with Giordano on the top pairing is good for it, but he’s not seeing the ice enough to play out of his struggles. 

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The Flames’ bottom pairing guys are eating up minutes that could go to Hamilton and provide him with more opportunity to succeed. That’s not to say that Deryk England and Dennis Wideman don’t deserve solid minutes, but they could each take a handful of minutes off their plates to be distributed to Hamilton. 

Providing Hamilton with some more opportunity would help both the Flames and him going forward. Even if the Flames are inclined to move Hamilton, they’ll have to improve his workload to get his stock up. The Flames aren’t going to trade him when his stock is low, and that’s where it’s at right now.

As the Flames creep up on the 20-game mark, Hamilton has six points in 19 games and is on pace for 26 points, which would be his lowest since the 2013-14 campaign. Things aren’t looking too bright for him and the six-year, $34.5 million contract he signed last summer is only going to magnify his on-ice issues. 

Now does this necessarily mean the Flames should give up on Hamilton and trade him? What would the Flames even get in return? The Flames shouldn’t heavily consider any deal. Unless they get an offer that blows them out of the water, there really isn’t a valid reason to ship off Hamilton.

When watching Hamilton, you can get mixed reviews. His game against the Rangers back on Nov. 12 was a night to forget for the defenseman. Hamilton was on for three even strength goals against while playing a minimal 14:39 minutes of ice time. Nights like those, you will see a lost defenseman that needs to brush up on hockey IQ 101 in the defensive zone.

But when he’s on his game and he’s quarterbacking the power play and moving the puck well, he’s a dangerous player and there’s no denying that.

The reality is, the only player the Calgary Flames should be seeking in a trade for Dougie Hamilton, is Dougie Hamilton. What could possibly justify giving away a 6’6 offensively gifted 23 year-old defenseman that already has two 40-point NHL seasons to his name? He’s one of a kind; an equal return would be nearly impossible to find. 

Flipping Hamilton for a pair of picks and prospects isn’t going to do much for the Flames. It’d be a step back. After losing Johnny Gaudreau to injury for the next six weeks, the Flames don’t want to throw their season in the garbage; they still have a chance to make a run at the playoffs. A Hamilton trade would throw a wrench in that plan entirely and set the team further back.

When the going gets tough with young defenseman, do you simply give up? Hamilton has so much more to give and if the Flames could increase his minutes and provide him with more opportunity, a Hamilton trade wouldn’t even cross the minds of the Flames brass. 

Calgary could use some more blueline help as it stands now, and with that being said, a Hamilton trade is even more questionable. 

  • brodiegio4life

    if the coach knew how to utilize him properly (which he has seemed to finally figure out) this wouldn’t even be a conversation. He’s been anchored by Russell, engallend or grossmann almost all of his time with the flames while playing bottom pairing minutes. Drew doughty couldn’t succeed under those circumstances

  • RKD

    Well if you are showcasing a guy you play him more, not less. Dougie has played much better on the top pairing in the last 3 games than he has all season but that being said everyone was playing poorly so it’s very easy to single Dougie out. He had a career season last year. He gets a bad rap because he’s not physical but recently he has added more edge to his game. Trading him now is foolish, we got into a mess by trading away young talent. Why give up 3 first round picks? BT knew what he brought to the table.

  • OKG

    Shakey start? He was bad in about two or three games during a four game losing streak, but he has been pretty damn solid overall. If we could get him uo to our top prnalty kill unit we would have a top PK too.

  • MontanaMan

    I agree with the logic that GG hasn’t used Hamilton well and seems to have him on a very short leash. Having said that, the ball is in Hamilton’s court and only he can demonstrate why he deserves more ice time. The shifts he gets, he needs to perform at a much higher compete level and force the coach to play him more.

  • buts

    Boston got rid of him for a reason. His hockey IQ is very low, just way too many brain cramps. He doesn’t use his size in front of the net or on the wall. Any D partner struggles when paired with him. I’d shop him and take the best offer at the trading deadline.

  • Trevy

    You would have to do your due diligence and at least listen to offers. Having said that, people are going to say your dealing from a position of weakness but not if your dealing with other struggling teams. There’s been talk that the Flames are looking for a defenseman with more grit, obviously Hamilton despite his size, doesn’t fit that description. So why not entertain a trade of Hamilton to the NYI for Hamonic and Matthew Barzal? Just spitballing here…

  • everton fc

    They won’t move anyone until they are convinced they have no chance to make the post-season. They are starting to play okay the past few games; a little run of wins and they are miraculously in the widlcard chase. On the flip side, a slide of four or five games could be the end of the line for some players here, if there are teams willing to trade.

    Time will tell, soon enough. Hamilton is a good #3 defender. Could he be a #2 defender?

    I wonder…

    I also wonder how a pairing of Kulak and Brodie would do together – Brodie back on the right side…

  • BlueMoonNigel

    How many current 23-year-old NHL defencemen have a body of work that equals or exceeds Hamilton’s? Very few.

    Kid’s a stud. He is part of a large group of Flames who have been on a prolonged slump since the season began.

    The only reason Hamilton gets dealt before his contract expires is if he requests a trade.

    • Trevy

      Everyone keeps saying what he’s accomplished and what a stud he is, believe me, I like the guy and hope he succeeds but why then is his stock dropping and you have guys like Engelland playing more minutes? Obviously the coaches aren’t as convinced as the fan base otherwise he’d be getting top four minutes. I don’t know if we will ever see his true potential if GG continues to utilize him the way he is. Either fish or cut bait!

  • Jakethesnail

    Edmonton will keep Russell at half the price. To hell with the analytics. The eye says he is a good Dman . He would be your third Dman right now. Certainly better than Hamilton.

    • Rock

      Russell and Hamilton are examples of how analytics are not very reliable. It diffently favors players who are offensive only and if a player is more defensively responsible and a better defenseman Corsi will be low.

      The Edmonton Fans apparently have a better eye then we do they missed Russell while he was injured They have recognize a player for being defensively responsible and can appreciate it after years of having no defense I guess helps

  • Baalzamon

    It just amazes me how Russell always manages to avoid scrutiny. He makes Brodie worse? Brodie’s fault. He makes Wideman worse? Wideman’s fault. He makes Hamilton worse? Hamilton’s fault. He makes Goligoski worse? Goligoski’s fault. He makes Sekera worse? Sekera’s fault.

    Russell is not a defensive defenseman. He’s an offensive defenseman who can’t score.

    BTW, if Hamilton has been so bad this year, why is Giordano playing better with him than he has with anyone else (Brodie included) this season?

  • dontcryWOLF88

    Russel is an easy guy to like as a fan, cause he’ll throw his face in front of the puck if he can save a goal. However, there are flaws in there that matter. Hamilton has way more upside. Offensive talent is hard to teach. Defensive responsibility is something that comes with time for most. Thats why you generally judge defensemen , as well as goalies, later in their careers than forwards.

    Last i checked Russel had been injured for quite some time, so not sure if Oilers fans really know what theyve got just now.