Irresponsible Rumormongering

Could Dougie Hamilton be on the radar for the Rangers?

dougie hamilton

It is no secret that the Rangers want to improve defensively. It is not just the bloggers who say it too, as NHL insider Pierre Lebrun yesterday said that the Rangers are doing their due diligence and will likely make a trade for a defenseman this season. I don’t really consider this “insider news” but I am a narcissist and like when the league is talking about the Rangers doing something potentially smart.

There are many factors that go into this small rumor. First and foremost is the Rangers’ ability to value players and defensemen. I’d say that for the most part, supreme leader Jeff Gorton has impressed a good portion of the fan base by revamping the NYR offense and creating a speed team once again.

They have reaped the rewards so far in a small six game sample. At the time that I am writing this, the Rangers are top 10 in the league in Corsi For at 50.85%, tops in the league for Scoring Chances For at 59.62%, second in the league in xGF% and first in the league in xGF60 (data via Corsica).

Don’t even get me started on how improved the PK and special teams look.

Actually… you don’t need to get me started, it is all right here from my tracking project MICRO. This is like night and day compared to last season, in this six game stretch.

The Rangers have played better consistent hockey than they did all season. In the games that they get “out possessed” from a Corsi standpoint, they still out chance their opposition such as against Arizona and San Jose. This makes the hockey fun and inspiring to watch. Similar to the Penguins last year, the Rangers can truly become a possible contender, if they improve defensively.

A player like Nick Holden shouldn’t be in the top-four, and that doesn’t bode well for how Alain Vigneault may value defensemen. That can be an issue when making a trade. Benching a younger guy like Adam Clendening, who has done well as a 6D, makes me fear that although the Rangers may be looking for a defenseman, they may not be looking for the right kinds.

We know about Cam Fowler. We know about Jacob Trouba. Heck, there may even be a chance that Sami Vatanen or even Hampus Lindholm were talked about by the Rangers brass. But one thing that may be interesting is Dougie Hamilton in Calgary. Hamilton is by no means the offensive defenseman that Vatanen is, but he may just be the all around two-way guy that not only would help the team statistically, but also fit whatever AV thinks a good defenseman may look like.

Teams have called about Hamilton, and if we look at the teams that were interested in Jacob Trouba, I feel that the Rangers are likely one of the teams that asked (pure speculation on my part). According to Bob McKenzie, Hamilton was a conflicting topic during the draft with some saying that he may be available. Following up with other McKenzie rumors, the teams are allegedly the finalists, or serious contenders, for Trouba. In every segment we’ve seen, those teams are Boston, Arizona, Colorado, Detroit and the Rangers.

If we assume that Trouba and Hamilton are similarly desired players by these teams, then we can play the elimination game:

  • Boston traded him away so it is definitely not them.
  • Would Calgary trade Hamilton to a team in their division? That eliminates Arizona.
  • Colorado is also in the Western Conference already have Erik Johnson and Tyson Barrie. Where would Hamilton fit there?

That would leave Detroit and the Rangers. Neither teams has the pieces to land Trouba (allegedly a left handed top defenseman of similar age), which puts Hamilton at the forefront.

Jeff Gorton has shown that he is willing to do his job meticulously, I truly do wonder if he can add Hamilton, who is already signed to a long-term deal at a team friendly cap hit. It certainly adds some negotiating leverage over Anaheim or Winnipeg.

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  • Hamilton would instantly have the biggest cap hit ($5.75M until 2021) on the Rangers’ blueline, how exactly is that cap friendly? Furthermore, the fact Dan Girardi would have to be bought out just to keep Hamilton past the Expansion Draft means Hamilton’s effective cap hit would be closer to $8M over the next four years.

    Dougie Hamilton is a decent fit, but he’s not worth and $8M cap hit per year plus trades away assets.

      • Possibly. Of course, not acquiring a D that requires protection, would allow the Rangers to kick that very expensive can down the road. Buying out Girardi summer 2018 is a slighty more cap friendly move than buying him out summer 2017.

        • Pretty sure, if we trade for a D man that we want to keep (no matter who), its a foregone conclusion that we HAVE to buy G out or he has to be protected. We dont know much in the way of rules governing trades during the expansion, specifically during the draft, and with the drafting team.

          No disagreement regarding the cost of the buyout, I do believe that his NMC turns into a NTC at some point to, not sure if that happens before the draft. Anybody know? If that happens and he gets exposed, no doubt he doesn’t get taken, but at least then we dont have to waste the protection slot.

          • The NMC is in play for Girardi’s entire contract, the NTC becomes limited this summer.

            You have to keep in mind that No Movement Clauses are not No Trade Clauses, the NMC only prohibits the player from being sent to the minors without their permission.

          • Incorrect.

            Per CBA:
            11.8(c) A no-move clause may prevent the involuntary relocation of a Player, whether by Trade, Loan or Waiver claim.

          • Then why would contracts have Modified NTCs and NMCs at the same time?

            The may in your definition makes me think that one can supersede the other.

    • I’m not at all concerned with Girardi’s buyout cap hit. Holden makes more than the buyout ding will be. Find a way to ditch Holden, there you go 2018 is paid for. Figure the rest out later. A team can certainly live without $1.25M. It’s not crippling.

      • Oops my bad I looked at the chart wrong…its more than that the next few years. Later on $1.25M. Still…I don’t know why any team in their right mind would take on Girardi even if we retain half. There will be better options around for the same money. I just feel like the buyout is more or less inevitable is all. If you get a quality D like Hamilton and have to buy our Girardi to protect him, it is what it is. Besides, in not too long we may see D like Hamilton getting an actual $8M a year. His HERO chart is gorgeous.

  • Big reservation on Hamilton is Boston traded him before they needed to sign him. They Kept Seidenberg(did not buy him out until this year) and Adam McQuaid over Hamilton? Now rumblings The Flames want out? or wanted out near the draft? Granted Calgary has some good D men, but the willingness for teams to part with him and in the case of Boston who are definitely looking for a top 4 D man makes me wonder what’s the problem? Locker room poison? I would not on the surface object, but I would look a little deeper before I was willing to pull the trigger on Hamilton. Then again I guess Trouba refusing to report is probably not reflecting a good attitude either. But the right sided thing makes some sense.

      • Exactly, though that was former Boston GM and current head hocho in Edmonton Peter Chiarelli that dealt away Seguin and Phil Kessel for pennies on the dollar. Actually, Chiarelli also dealt Taylor Hall for pennies on the dollar. Basically, Boston and Chiarelli now have a track record, Kessel, Seguin, Hamilton, Hall, and Yakupov, for dealing really good young players for next to nothing.

        ‘Character issues’ tends to be GM speak for ‘we made a mistake’ or ‘we are too cheap to afford such a fine player’.

        These are professional hockey players, they could care less about the other players’ personalities if that player can help the team win.

      • good point on Seguin, but in all fairness he actually did not fit their system. They still think gritty and grinding trumps speed. Hamilton did perform well in their system. I think letting Erikson walk and signing Backes is a good reflection of their thought process.

        • Yes, signing Backes is a good reflection of Boston’s thought process. It illustrates that the Bruins love to burn money in some of the most hysterical ways possible.

          It’s going to fun watching the Bruins grit themselves to a 10th place finish in the East.

          Just remember that the Bruins dealt Hamilton because they were afraid he was going to command too much money and then a year later they gave more money to a 32 year old center who’s contract will be another albatross to throw on top of pile of all the other bad deals they have signed.

      • Stall is a top four a defenseman now. Graves will be a top for defenseman and throw in Ottawa’s second rounder

        • Staal is not a top four defenseman right now. He’s a fine third pairing guy who is about to turn 30, with an onerous contract, and a lengthy injury history. Expecting him to chew up minutes in the future when he failed in the past is not a good plan.

          The wildcard is how other teams value Skjei. Is he a top four guy? He certainly can skate, but it’s not clear how good his passing and general game sense play out.

          • Skjei has massive value, beyond his playing potential, so massive that the Rangers can’t afford to trade him.

            Skjei has a low cap hit, is expansion draft exempt, and will be part of the Rangers’ Top 4 by the end of the season. Trading Skjei for Trouba feel like creating a bigger hole over here to fill a smaller hole that is over there.

          • I disagree. The hole on the right side is as big as the Grand Canyon. Our right side is probably worst 5 in the league.

            On the left side we can at least pretend Staal can handle second pairing minutes and Holden can handle the third pairing minutes. The right side is a tire fire. Plus Graves is coming up eventually.

          • You’re not wrong, the lack of a true compliment to McD is a problem. I just prefer to take a longer view than just the next 6 months. And I really think Skjei can become McD’s full time partner this season. He is gradually improving each game. As his confidence grows I think his simple high-efficiency game will start to shine through.

            I’d rather keep Skjei and Graves and build around those two. Trouba is a fine player, but not one I would mortgage everything (assets, cap space) for. Especially if Shattenkirk is out there for just money over the summer.

            I’d rather roll with the following in 17-18

            It’s not impossible that after the expansion draft, Dan Girardi can be traded if the Rangers apply the max. 50% salary retention. That’s bad, but slightly less bad than the buyout route. I’d rather trade Dan Girardi and have a $2.25M cap hit for the next three years instead of buying him out and getting stuck with a $2.6M cap hit next year, $3.6M for the next two years and $1.1M for the following two years.

        • Your “throw in” is the best chip in your proposal. Staal has negative value. No, other team’s won’t take the Rangers scraps for their best players.

        • And you don’t trade Graves. Graves is a beast, and exactly the guy to replace an aging Marc Staal on the second pair.

          Also, Graves is another player exempt from the expansion draft. With all the turnover going on on the Rangers blue line, Skjei and Graves are massive pieces of the Rangers future. They are the only real top tier D prospects the Rangers have.

          Day is a question mark and only 19, McIlrath seems to not be a fit in NY, Bodie is 26 and org. filler, Gilmour is 23 and also nothing more than an AHL placeholder.

          Skjei and Graves are the future, hopefully another McD and Sauer, minus the concussion history.

          • I’m really excited about Graves too. As a matter of fact if Mcilrath isn’t gonna be part of this team but fans want to see a big D man on the team then just wait till Graves gets here. I know he’s not the fighter and all that but the guy will be a better skater and a smarter player who also happens to have a 103 mph slap shot. The only thing I’m wondering about is when does Graves get to be a part of the team. He’s still young. Isn’t he only 20 years old? I could be wrong but I know he’s definitely real young still. But yeah man I totally agree Graves is the perfect guy to take over for an aging Staal on the 2nd pair.

          • When I saw Graves manhandle Simmonds last preseason, I figured he would be here sooner rather than later. As a matter of fact, if Holden wasn’t traded for this summer, I think Graves would have made the roster this season.

  • If you’re not going to offer sheet Trouba(which is the cheapest way to obtain him) then put Skjei on the right with McDonagh, Holden and whoever as 3rd pair and be done with it.

      • How can anybody make any conclusion on D given AV’s deployment history? He’s looked fine in the few minutes he plays when I’ve seen him in person.

  • TOO much trade talk ‘rumoring’, if that’s a word!
    Our best scenario would be to bite the bullet, get through this year, figure out how to rid ourselves of 3 biggest contracts Girardi, Stall and Stepan and even consider Hank and his enormous $.
    Sign or extend our future now to long term [miller, kreider, vesey, zib, maybe buch ]
    and look to sign big time FA righty defenseman.
    Be grateful we hit the jackpot with Vesey!!!!

  • I don’t think you need to be much of a pundit to think the Rangers will do something to address their their D between now and the trade deadline.

    I like that other names like Hamilton are coming out. The clock is ticking on the excess cap money they are burning.

  • Dougie Hamilton, hell ya in a heart beat. He would be the first pair defencemen playing on the right side with McDonough. I disagree with all the hate towards Girardi, I believe he would be a serviceable 2nd pair dman. Offer up Klein and Hayes (who can be replaced with Miller) and I believe Calgary may bite.

  • I spoke to a friend of mine from Boston, who has seen far more of Hamilton than I have. He said the Bruin’s wanted him to use his size more, and couldn’t get Dougie to use his body. Just what the Ranger’s need, the second coming of Willie Huber.

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