Carolina Hurricanes’ Dougie Hamilton wants to stay in Carolina
By Neil Becker
Once NHL Free Agency kicks off, you can bet there would be a ton of interest in blue chip defenceman Dougie Hamilton.
Hamilton, who at 27 years of age, is still in his prime, is coming off a strong season which saw him lead the Carolina Hurricanes defense core with 10 goals and 42 points in what was the final year of a lucrative six- year $34.5 million dollar contract.
Originally drafted ninth overall by the Boston Bruins in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, this up-and-coming star played three years in Beantown before being dealt on June 26, 2015 in a blockbuster trade with the Calgary Flames. Days later, Hamilton was awarded with a lucrative six-year $34.5 million dollar contract which he signed.
In Calgary, Hamilton’s offensive statistics would continue to steady rise as he became among the league’s elite defenseman. During his second year as a Flame, Hamilton produced 13 goals and a career high 50 points. All together he would stay a total of three years out west until once again finding himself on the move. This time, he was traded on June 23, 2018 in another blockbuster trade only this time with the Carolina Hurricanes.
This past season, which was Hamilton’s third in Carolina, he was getting early consideration for the Norris Trophy until he suffered a fractured left fibula on January 16 against the Columbus Blue Jackets. He still managed to score a more than respectable 14 goals and 40 points in only 47 games played.
Looking ahead, Hamilton, who on July 28, will be an unrestricted free agent, stressed that he would like to stay in Carolina.
“For me, I’d like to stay here, but I’m going to let my agent (J.P. Barry) and (Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell) talk,” Hamilton, back in early January told nhl.com Independent Correspondent Kurt Dusterberg. “I just want to focus on hockey and helping the team win.”
During Hamilton’s career this 6 foot 6, 245- pound nine- year veteran has competed in 607 games where he has scored 106 goals along with 341 points and 390 penalty minutes.
Without question, Carolina would like to re-sign Hamilton, however they do have some major decisions to make in the coming years on other important expiring contracts.
Next summer, decisions will have to be made on the contracts of scoring forwards Vincent Trocheck, Nino Niederreiter and Martin Necas. Meanwhile, the following off-season will see captain Jordan Staal’s contract up for renegotiation. Other tough decisions will have to be made when in the summer of 2023, Sebastian Aho, Teuvo Teravainen, Brett Pesce and Brady Skjei’s contracts all expire.
Hamilton is an established smooth skating top six defenseman who not only bring offensive punch but plays physical and is a leader. He wants to stay in Carolina, but if an agreement can’t be met, expect plenty of interest in the open market.