Hey Toronto, it’s time to shut up about Dougie Hamilton

The Toronto Maple Leafs are in town tonight. I’m sure you’re as thrilled with the completely nonsensical 6:30 p.m. start time as you are with these moronic Dougie Hamilton trade rumours that simply won’t die.

Let’s talk about the latter.

I’m just going to link to a couple of tweets here, because they pretty much sum up what’s going on. They’re referenced from a Darren Dreger chat the morning of Nov. 29 about whether or not the Leafs could be in on Hamilton.

And one more thing, transcribed from Pro Hockey Rumors:

I asked Brad Treliving point blank yesterday if he had anything going on with the Toronto Maple Leafs. I didn’t suggest Hamilton, I just said anything. His response was: ’Nothing. Zero.’ 

Have we got that cleared up now? Good. This is solely a media-perpetuated trade suggestion that the centre of the universe has taken and won’t stop running with. And why wouldn’t they? The Leafs are a rebuilding team in need of help on the backend.

Wait, am I talking about the Leafs or the Flames here?

Trading Hamilton doesn’t make sense, point blank

I’m not going to espouse on the virtues of Hamilton here. I’ve done that enough already. What I’m going to talk about here is how the Flames flat out cannot afford to lose him at this juncture.

The Flames’ defence is a mess, and will likely remain so for the rest of this season. That’s in large part due to bad contracts, particularly as Deryk Engelland and Dennis Wideman are still able to play. (Sorry, Ladislav Smid.) Hell, Wideman is currently being used as a top four defenceman, despite pretty much everything in the world indicating he absolutely should not be.

You trade Hamilton? Not only does Wideman stay a top four defenceman, but the way Glen Gulutzan has deployed his defence pairings over the course of this season, Engelland probably joins him.

Right now, the Flames have:

Giordano – Hamilton

Brodie – Wideman

If Hamilton goes, they’ll probably have:

Giordano – Wideman

Brodie – Engelland

Yeah, I’m just as horrified by that as you are. The Flames already have an incomplete top four, and somehow they’re supposed to fix that by trading away one of their good defencemen? And one of their youngest and biggest, at that? Sure thing guys. Totally see the logic there.

And as Jacob Stoller put it: “the only player the Calgary Flames should be seeking in a trade for Dougie Hamilton, is Dougie Hamilton.

Sorry, James van Riemsdyk doesn’t really fix anything, thanks though

Leafs fans have been trying to figure out a somewhat decent trade package they could propose in order to acquire Hamilton. In doing that, James van Riemsdyk’s name has come up a lot.

If that’s the premier piece the Leafs can offer, then sorry, but no.

Van Riemsdyk is not a bad player. What he is, however, is a 27-year-old left wing who has only had two 50+ point seasons in his career. He’s four years older than Hamilton, and to be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if Hamilton is outscoring him within a year or two.

Yes, the Flames are short on quality wingers. No, they are not short on quality left wingers. Van Riemsdyk probably slots in behind Johnny Gaudreau. Then there’s Matthew Tkachuk and Micheal Ferland, and Sam Bennett, too, if he ends up staying on the wing for whatever reason. It’s the right side that’s decimated, not the left. Van Riemsdyk does not address the Flames’ needs in the slightest.

Oh, and please don’t bring up 30-year-old centre Tyler Bozak. A rebuilding team is not trading a 23-year-old for a 30-year-old. If the Flames are looking to fix their issues down the middle – a middle that, at present, has Sean Monahan, Sam Bennett, Mikael Backlund, Matt Stajan, Freddie Hamilton, Mark Jankowski, Linden Vey for a bit, honestly guys they’re making centres play on the wing there is no shortage of options here – then I’d expect Monahan to be the catalyst for that deal. And again: not for a 30-year-old.

And before you start: no, nobody really cares about Peter Holland.

You want to talk trading for Hamilton? Start talking Morgan Rielly.

“But that defeats the purpose of trading for Hamilton – the Leafs need defence; trading away their top young guy doesn’t improve them.”

And as detailed above, it’s the same thing for the Flames.

Brad Treliving isn’t an idiot

This might be news to several, but Brian Burke is not the Calgary Flames’ GM. Brad Treliving is. Here’s the list of trades he’s conducted over that time:

  • Brandon Bollig for a third round pick
  • Drew Shore for Corban Knight
  • Second and third round picks for Curtis Glencross
  • Second round pick (Rasmus Andersson) for Sven Baertschi
  • Dougie Hamilton for a first round pick and two seconds
  • Second round pick (Oliver Kylington) for two thirds
  • Conditional fourth round pick (conditions not met) for Max Reinhart
  • Freddie Hamilton for a conditional seventh round pick (conditions not met)
  • Kevin Poulin for future considerations (whatever these are, I don’t think they’re going to be a thing)
  • Hunter Shinkaruk for Markus Granlund
  • A second round pick (Tyler Parsons) and a fourth rounder for Jiri Hudler
  • Jyrki Jokipakka, Brett Pollock, and a second round pick (Dillon Dube) for Kris Russell (and that pick was one win away from being a first rounder)
  • Niklas Backstrom and a sixth round pick (Matthew Phillips) for David Jones
  • Brian Elliott for a second round pick (Jordan Kyrou) and a conditional third
  • Alex Chiasson for Patrick Sieloff

Among those trades, which, exactly, looks like a GM that got fleeced? The Bollig one, aka the first one of his career, and… that’s about it? This is a GM who has acquired picks for players who were out of the league the very next season (Glencross, Jones at this point). And since the Bollig thing, his one-for-ones have been pure upgrades, or minor lateral moves at absolute worst. 

And you’re going to somehow fleece this guy? Trades are probably the thing Treliving is best at.

Two can play this game

But where there’s smoke there’s fire, you say? So Toronto and Calgary are definitely going to make a trade?

Cool. How about a top four defenceman for a fourth line centre? Dennis Wideman for William Nylander sounds more than fair to me.

    • Kevin R

      Actually, the way things are shaping up, Wideman appears to be getting more value as a rental at the TDL, ditto for Engellend. Those are the type of depth guys teams will load up on for a playoff run. Leafs are a little bit like Calgary was in 2014. Nothing like a dose of young talented players to inject a bit of magic & they do have a goalie capable of getting them some wins. They could be in the wildcard hunt. I see Wideman being an nice add to the Leaf PP & possible depth D. He did rise to the occasion when Gio went down in 2014 & he still is one of our top point getters on our current PP(big crocodile tears). So maybe Wideman & we throw in a 3rd for Nylander & Laich. If Leafs falter, Wideman would still have rental TDL value.

      The Toronto media want Hammy but the reality is I think Wideman is the guy in the actual dialogue , if there is any.

    • BlueMoonNigel

      If it were just TO squawking, I wouldn’t mind, but look at how many posters on FN have demanded Hammy be run out of town since the start of the season.

      I have twice had to post lengthy missives as to why Dougie should not be traded and as expected, I got more bad fingers than good ones for my efforts.

      I wouldn’t mind if FN posters who want Hammy moved made their point purely from a hockey POV, say trading the high-end Hammy for a high-end forward, but the comments I see talk about running Hammy out on a greased rail and damn the torpedoes. Utter ignorance and bush league thinking.

  • brodiegio4life

    last couple weeks I’d say he’s been their best dman ever since he was played in the proper role… Now first for points among dmen on the team and 2nd on the entire team in points. Move along Toronto

  • everton fc

    Wideman. Jokipaaka. Kulak. These are the only three available, unless the Flames move Gio.

    I wouldn’t move Kulak. The others – I’d listen to offers.

    What do the Leafs have they want to get rid of? Holland. And Michalek. About the same salary combined (I think) as Wideman. We can also throw in Bouma, who w/the emergence of Ferland, Hathaway… Is probably out of a job here once Gaudreau returns.

    Who do the Leafs have that might interest us? I like Andrew Nielsen on defence. But they want young defenders. Can Michalek score 20 goals again? Could he help on our left side?? At that price tag, I’d rather see one of the kids get a crack at the lineup.

    Do we need Holland? A centre?? Is he no more than a replacement for Stajan??? Do we re-sign Stajan to a one-year, low $ contract next season???? Stajan clearly has more value than Holland, even next season. Gauthier appears to be a bust, as does Rychel – and Lindberg isn’t lighting up the scoresheet since he was drafted; would they move any of these three, for a d-man, and to get Holland of their books??

    I just can’t see how we can help one another, the Leafs and the Flames.

  • EhPierre

    As good as Hamilton is/will potentially become, you still have to do your due diligence and listen to offers. Having an elusive RW like Nylander along with JG is tantalizing to say the least. Not saying either team will give up either players but it’s a deal I can see happen and wouldn’t be angry about at all

        • trox

          It is a big “if” that they will both be NHL ready next year. Even if they are, will one of them be ready to play on the second pairing? It’s a big risk to run, and if it doesn’t pan out we have a massive hole on our blueline.

          • EhPierre

            Yes it’s a big risk but you’re solving your long term problem by bringing in a calibre RW. You have to trade one of your assets to get another team’s assets. Having Hamilton in our team still leaves our team with a massive hole in our blueline for next year as you lose Widemand, Engs (possibly), Kulak (possibly) and another year of Gio being older so either way you look at it, our blueline for next year is gonna be a potential problem for us regardless if we trade or keep Hamilton because you have to promote one (potentially two) of the guys from the farm

          • trox

            If we–as you say–will already have a massive whole in our blueline WITH Hamilton next year, then why would we want to make it worse by trading him? And once we trade him, how do we now fill a whole that is even more massive than it was? You seem to be saying that we will have a problem withe our blueline, so why not make that problem even bigger; I don’t get that logic.

            I get that we need a RW–this is clear. But it makes no sense to fill one gap by creating another. There are other options (free agency; trading other assets, like prospects and picks; finding some unknown KHLer, etc.). Or be patient and wait.

          • EhPierre

            You make it worse temporarily because it will help solve the issue of our RW which I think is our bigger problem. If the first line isn’t playing well this team doesn’t play well so imo I feel like we should be prioritizing our RW acquisition over fixing our defence.

            It’s nice to say we can fill our gap with free agency, trades, prospects, etc but there really is no viable option other than to trade for one and if you want to get a good young RW then you’re gonna have to give up one of your own young good player which in this case it would be Hamilton

            @Kevin, I agree that now is not the time to be hasty. I was simply going against the grain in saying that a trade with the leafs for Hamilton isn’t necessarily a bad trade for either team, giving my reasons for it

          • Torchy


            Are you really suggesting that because Wideman, Engelland, and Kulak may not play for the Flames next year, they may as well just trade Hamilton now for a quality RW because the defence will be bad anyway?

            Let’s call that Plan B, OK?

        • piscera.infada

          You don’t trade a young, high-ceiling top-4 (with elite top-2 potential) right-handed defenseman, because you have players that might become young, high-ceiling top-4 (with top-2 potential) defensemen.

          If either, or both, of Kylington or Andersson become that, you make a trade then. The value on each of the three will not go down if that’s the case. If neither of, or only one of Kylington or Andersson become that, then you still have a need for Dougie.

          The logic of trading a player you already have–an elusive type of player to acquire, nonetheless–because you think a player currently in your system could become that, completely belies the point that it’s just as, if not more likely that those players don’t become that. Think about it this way: Dougie Hamilton is 4 years older than Kylington (who is 7 months younger than Andersson), he has played 303 more NHL games than Kylington has. Which one of the three is the safer bet?

          • EhPierre

            Don’t get me wrong, I understand the potential that Dougie possesses but if the opportunity presents itself to fix your RW issue then you do so because you are gambling on the risk that you have defensive prospects that can eventually take over. Looking at our RW issue its clear that we can’t fix it through FA (there’s no one good other than Tavares and that’s a pipe dream), there’s the draft which only Eeti Tolvanen looks good, other than that however your only option is through a trade.

            I’d much rather try to fix our first line issue and then focus on our defense because it’s clear that this team only succeeds when JG and Monahan play well and for them to play well they need an elusive RW to create space for them. The way our defence currently is structured, its weak. It’s been weak for years. It doesn’t matter if we have a player like Dougie’s potential because our defence system is atrocious that doesn’t play to our stengths so either we change our structure so it plays to the strength of Dougie but seeing as GG doesn’t want to do that, and if GG is going to be our coach for the next few years, then you trade away Dougie while his value is high

  • EhPierre

    We got and signed Hamilton to that contract in hopes he’ll become our 1-2 defender, with the way he’s been playing I don’t see him living up to that contract. It’s great that he’s been getting points but that’s not a defenders primary job. Hamilton playing in his own end hasn’t been fun to watch to say the least. He has been using his body more than he was last year but I don’t see him living up to that contract. Points wise, yes but defending in his own zone, no.

      • EhPierre

        I agree that $5.75 is the asking rate but some of those defenders (Trouba) are a lot better at playing their position than Hamilton. Sure Hamilton puts up points but he’s not necessarily good at playing in his own zone, certainly not better than players like Trouba and Fowler

        If GG is to be the coach of this team for the next few years and he continues to play a structured game, then players like Brodie and Hamilton that flourish under a game like Hartley will not be as effective. Atleast Brodie does a good job in his zone (albeit the last couple of games have been poor) but Hamilton does a poor job of it. Might as well solve our issue of getting a RW for JG while you can

        • Kevin R

          Pierre, now is not the time to do a deal like this. You are literally chasing your own tail. If Kylington & Andersson are the real deals, one of them might be ready next year & the opening will be there. You can’t rush anyone & we are kind of hooped trying to get a bonafide #4 to play with Brodie because we will only lose one at the expansion draft. The time we will have to look at maybe parting with Brodie or Hamilton will be in 2 years when Brodie will be getting a big pay hike & his contract is about to expire. By then, hopefully Kyllington or Andersson will make our position one of strength. Then we’ll get top dollar.

          Take a second & look at the top 3 D market, Fowler, Trouba, Shattenkirk.
          They are all top 3 defensemen. Lots of hype but no one has made a deal. Why? Because the ask price for a top 3 D is humungous. Don’t sell Hammy cheap, look what we gave up for him. We could have had Barzal & 2 2nds, & look who we got in the 2nd round that year. Nylander is not enough, no where even close. Oilers gave up Taylor friggin Hall for Larsson. & personally, I would not of flipped Hamilton for Larsson with Jersey.
          Now if Leafs came up with Nylander & their 1st rounder next year, I may be enticed to seriously consider that. But without a huge overpay, Hamilton stays for now.

  • EhPierre

    With the way Kylington has been progressing, he seems to be like Hamilton in terms of offensive prowess. If we can get that RW we’ve been dreaming of by trading Hamilton I’d say do the deal because you have Kylington and Fox to a lesser extent that can offset the decline of Hamilton’s production. It’s a win win

    Edit: sorry about splitting my posts into three, it wouldn’t let me put it all into one, talk about mobile friendly

  • Derzie

    TSN is the culprit here. They make crap up that serves Leafs nation. In a perfect world we would have an equally powerful non-Toronto media outlet to basically create our own rumours and refute theirs. Just as Ari has suggested. Wideman for Nylander is gaining momentum. I’m hearing McDavid to the Flames for Alex Chiasson and a pick. Leafs are in on the Mark Fayne sweepstakes, big time. Dreger is moving to the Score I hear. McKenzie is switching to curling. Good moves.

  • cjc

    With Andersson and Kylington projecting to be top 4 D, there will eventually be a need to make room for them. But that won’t be necessary until 2018-2019 at the earliest.

    Given how fragile the current D corps is, it’s a bad time to make a trade, but a hockey trade involving an similar age/ceiling RW coming back the other way is foreseeable in a couple years time.

  • Baalzamon

    Overall, Hamilton has been Calgary’s best defenseman this year. Full stop. And there really isn’t much of an argument to the contrary either.

    Most of his “struggles” the last year and a bit can be directly traced to carrying a marginal partner (Russell, Jokipakka, Grossmann).

    And before the inevitable “Russell is great!” mantra arrives… the team actually IMPROVED when he was replaced with Jokipakka. A guy who could barely crack Dallas’s roster.

  • Albertabeef

    As long as we get one first and two seconds for him I’d gladly dump him. This is TO we are talking about. They won’t make the playoffs and we’d end up with two top 5 picks in the next draft lol.

  • knappsacked

    Heres the thing toronto fans… If cgy trades you dougie hamilton, the returning package has to START with one of marner, nylander, rielly, or matthews(and we all know hes not going anywhere). Rielly could maybe be a one-for-one swap…but the forward kids, toronto will add to those packages given dougie has put in a larger body of work, and you have to pay for experience. So nylander or marner, plus maybe second round pick.

    Doesnt sound so nice does it? No? Then run along…cuz dougie is staying here.

  • jakethesnail

    Watched Hockey central today and there were the Toronto boys rekindling the Hamilton rumours..and downplaying the value of Hamiton – MacLean says maybe he will become a top #3 D man….etc.

    If any of the Toronto crew is involved in the game tonight that is all we will hear.

  • Deef

    Leafs fans are never happy enough with their own team, which is why they are constantly scouring the league for highly-talented (yet unavilable) players. Its also the reason certain players get run out of town – constantly being put out as trade bait by your fan base can wear on a player.

  • Bob's Hockey Stick

    seriously if were trading Dougie, and it’s to the leafs.Then the conversation starts with Marner, Nylander, or Mathews. If not then the whole thing is a waste of everyone’s time. I don’t see the Leafs giving up there youth. I also don’t see Rielly for Dougie straight up. as that’s a trade that makes little sense for either club.

    • Baalzamon

      I also don’t see Rielly for Dougie straight up. as that’s a trade that makes little sense for either club.

      There’s also the fact that Hamilton is better than Rielly. And it’s really not that close.

      Look, I get the criticisms towards the guy, but they’re mostly overblown. He’s not “terrible” defensively. He’s average (it’s too bad war on ice is gone, because their hextally illustrated my point perfectly).

      But we’re talking about a guy who’s average defensively and elite offensively. You know what that is? A very, very good player. And he’s still only 23.

  • piscera.infada

    There’s an article regading this on TSN right now.

    I’m not a Burke fan, but this is one of those situations where he’s exactly right, and as a fan you’re happy he’s in an advisory role with Flames management. If you’re too lazy to read the article, this is the quote I’m alluding to:

    “We expended a tremendous amount of assets to get this player. We’re really happy with him, he’s a quality guy. He’s 6-foot-5, he weighs 237 pounds, he’s a right shot, skates like a deer – he’s a good hockey player. Yeah, let’s move him! Let’s get rid of him! It’s not hard to get guys like that.”

    “We told this team – and by the way the offer they made was insulting – we told them no we’re not moving him and next time you have an idea that stupid, just save the quarter – don’t go to the payphone. That team started telling teams ‘Yeah, we made an offer on Hamilton.’ Now it’s a rumour, it’s got legs. Someone’s like ‘Wow, they must be moving him.’”

  • jupiter

    Coach can take some heat for these stupid rumours by treating Hamilton like a 4/5 defenseman.

    It.s only been a few games that he’s even seen special team time. Ridiculous.