The Red Wings have been trying to rebuild their defense for what seems like a lifetime ever since Nick Lidstrom announced his retirement from the NHL. Since then, there have been dozens and dozens of trade rumors speculating Ken Holland making a bold move for a top defenseman. Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet dropped some more trade speculation on the Red Wings front early Wednesday morning. While it’s not an actual rumor, it does seem like an enticing idea:
That brings us to Dougie Hamilton. Nick Kypreos mentioned the rumours last weekend. Hamilton’s name has been in and out of NHL whispering circles since the draft, but Calgary GM Brad Treliving has always denied them. What no one can dispute is Hamilton’s minutes per game: 17:07 as a rookie, then 19:06, a career-high 21:20 in his third year, 19:46 and 18:26 so far in season five — fifth among Flames blueliners. He’s been above 20 minutes once since Oct. 20. His last three games saw him play 16:24, 14:39 and 15:56. If you trade him now, you might be selling low, but I think there are teams who believe they can make a better player out of him yet. He’s 23. Wonder if Detroit, having struck out so far on Cam Fowler and Jacob Trouba, would have interest.
Hamilton, a former Boston Bruin, is a strong, young, and mobile defenseman. In his first season with the Flames after being traded, he put up 43 points in a full 82-game season. In Boston, Hamilton was touted as one of their top rearguards, but has since slipped in Calgary. This could be largely due to the fact that the Flames have been one of the bottom teams in the NHL for some time.
While this is nothing but speculation from Friedman and Kypreos, who brought up the idea of trading Hamilton to teams like Arizona, or Pittsburgh, it is worth noting that there is a good chance Ken Holland will reach out to see what Hamilton could be had for. You’d have to assume that trade talks start at a young player like Anthony Mantha, along with a draft pick and additional roster player.
Hamilton is 23, and on a contract with an AAV of $5.75 million through the 2020-2021 season. Does he make sense for the Red Wings? Absolutely. Should the Flames try and trade him? No, I don’t think so, and if they do, they will command acquiring a king’s ransom for him.