One of the first orders of business for the new general manager of the Boston Bruins will be assessing the value of Dougie Hamilton. Hamilton enters the offseason as a restricted free agent and in a season where the Bruins took many hits defensively; ensuring the future is stabilized with a contract extension will be on the minds of many individuals covering the team. However, the signing of Hamilton could prove to be a complicated process given the financial status of the Bruins.
Potential Numbers For Dougie Hamilton
The potential numbers for Dougie Hamilton depend on a lot of different variables. At the start of the season the Minnesota Wild signed defenseman Jonas Brodin to a six year extension for $4.16 million a year. Brodin’s contract is noteworthy because he was selected immediately after Hamilton in the 2011 entry draft and his contract could be seen as a barometer. Another contract to examine is the one recently signed by Dallas Stars rookie standout John Klingberg. The offensively gifted Klingberg posted numbers comparable to Hamilton and received a contract which will pay out $4.25 million over the next seven years.
Hamilton has seen steady progression in all areas of his game; especially in the offensive zone as his numbers for goals and assists has increased each of his three years in the league. The 2014-2015 was a season where the Bruins saw defenseman after defenseman go down due to injury for some amount of time. In trying times, Hamilton was able to take his game to another level not only on the score sheet but he was third in ice time for the Bruins. If I had to guess I would say his contract comes out to six years at 4.5 million per year.
Peter Chiarelli Leaves Behind Cap Crunch
Given the fact the Bruins are aging at the position, they might be in a more desperate position to keep Dougie Hamilton’s services for the foreseeable future. The biggest obstacle will of course be the 6.1 million dollars available to the Bruins which will need to be divided up as only 14 players are currently signed through next year. Boston might attempt to convince Hamilton to sign a bridge contract similar to the ones Torey Krug and Reilly Smith signed a year ago, however there is always the chance he will not be interested in signing a contract without additional security.
If things begin to go awry in contract negotiations, something else to consider is another team potentially trying to swoop in and sign him to an offer sheet. For example, if a team puts in an offer sheet at the projected market value of $4.5 million and the Bruins don’t match it would mean a first and a third round pick would be headed back to Boston. Provided below are some of the potential outcomes if a team comes in with an aggressive offer for the services of Hamilton.
Here are the new draft pick compensation figures for teams signing RFAs to offer sheets. pic.twitter.com/THWfBcmKiU
— James Mirtle (@mirtle) July 1, 2014
In the end, I predict a deal to get done with Hamilton simply based off the need at the position and that there is no one else even close to his level down in Providence. The road to making this a reality is most likely going to require an addition by subtraction scenario where pieces such as Milan Lucic might need to be moved to clear space. Hamilton is still growing into his own and needs time to round into form but the foundation is laid for him to become the next great Bruins defensemen and rest assured it will be one of the first tasks the new general manager undertakes.