The Carolina Hurricanes were 11th in the NHL last season allowing 2.84 goals per game. One key member of the tight defensive unit that wants to remain with the team following the expiration of his contract is 27-year-old Dougie Hamilton. He can become an unrestricted free agent following the season and so far, little has been done in terms of working out a new deal.
Dougie Hamilton remains hopeful that his agent J.P. Barry and Carolina Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell can come to terms but in the meantime, Hamilton just wants to help the Hurricanes win this NHL season. Last season the Hurricanes fell to the Boston Bruins in the first round of the playoffs.
In the past season, Dougie Hamilton was limited to 47 games due to a fractured fibula on January 16. At the time of the injury, he was a top candidate for best defenseman in the NHL with 14 goals and 26 assists. A testament to his grit and hard work, Hamilton was able to get back on the ice for the playoffs against the Bruins.
Carolina Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour doesn’t believe negotiations between Hamilton and the team will be a distraction to the club on the ice. He does, however, realize that Hamilton is a crucial part of the team and would be best if a deal is reached sooner instead of later. The idea was always to get Hamilton’s contract taken care of prior to the start of the season on January 14, but wanted to see how the Covid-19 pandemic and salary cup affected the free agent pool.
As it stands now, Dougie Hamilton is one of 12 defensemen on the Hurricanes’ roster. Losing him following the season wouldn’t hinder the team in terms of raw numbers, but certainly in production. Hamilton was by far the top scoring of the defenseman despite the injury. By comparison, Jaccob Slavin scored four less points as the second-best scoring defenseman on the team, despite playing in 21 more games. For the Carolina Hurricanes’ franchise moving forward, signing Dougie Hamilton is a top priority. This is something they have to do very soon.