The speculation has begun. In a time in where there are very few leaks out of the Toronto Maple Leafs, thanks to Lou Lamoriello, there has been talk that the Maple Leafs are in discussion with the Calgary Flames about a certain 23-year-old defenseman that already has ties to the Leafs organization.
Somehow, Dougie Hamilton might be available. While Nick Kypreos mentions the Arizona Coyotes and Pittsburgh Penguins might be interested in the defenseman, almost every time there are rumors floating around, the Maple Leafs usually get involved.
Mike Augello of HockeyBuzz.com reported that Flames General Manager Brad Treliving was listed as in attendance for the Leafs’ game against the Washington Capitals on Saturday night. He also reports that Dave Morisson, the Leafs’ Director of Pro Scouting was spotted at the Flames’ game against the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday night.
So something has to happen, right?
First things first, it seems odd that Calgary would even want to trade the young defenseman. In the second year of a six-year contract, the Flames gave up a lot to get Hamilton, so it would seem that it’s a little early for them to give up on him. That being said, if they do decide to trade him, they will want a hefty ransom.
Well, let’s start off by saying that the Leafs’ first round pick should be a non-starter. The Leafs are set to have two second-rounders in the 2017 Draft, so one of those could potentially be in play. When it comes to players currently on the Leafs roster, you have to think that Peter Holland would at least be involved in the deal seeing that he seems to have been made available by trade. Josh Leivo could also be a target for the Flames, as Flames President Brian Burke drafted him when he was the GM of the Leafs. With all the weird stuff that’s been going on, it might good for Leivo’s career for him to get a better shot elsewhere.
After that, one thing that the Leafs have that the Flames need more of is offensive depth. The Leafs have more than a few forwards on the Toronto Marlies that could probably be useful on some NHL teams. Kasperi Kapanen, Brendan Leipsic and Andreas Johnsson could be of great value to any NHL team. Of course, they would look good in Leafs uniforms but one or two of the Marlies’ top-tier forwards could be moved in exchange for Hamilton.
All this being said, it will be interesting what happens with this situation. The Flames have yet to come out and deny that Hamilton is available. If he is available, it’s understandable that they wouldn’t say anything. However, if he isn’t, why would the Flames just let all these rumors float around?
On the Leafs’ side of things, we all know that they need to improve their defense. Hamilton fits into the age group the Leafs want for their team right now and is a right-handed shot. It would also be interesting for the Leafs to acquire him, as he was selected by the Boston Bruins with one of the picks the Leafs sent them in exchange for Phil Kessel.
So what do you guys think? Should the Leafs look to acquire Hamilton? If the rumors are true, are the Flames crazy for making him available? Sound off in the comments.
Toronto Maple Leafs Writer At The Hockey Writers.