Carolina Hurricanes: Hamilton for Nylander a must trade for the Canes

RALEIGH, NC - NOVEMBER 10: Dougie Hamilton #19 of the Carolina Hurricanes fires a slapshot during an NHL game against the Detroit Red Wings on November 10, 2018 at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)
RALEIGH, NC - NOVEMBER 10: Dougie Hamilton #19 of the Carolina Hurricanes fires a slapshot during an NHL game against the Detroit Red Wings on November 10, 2018 at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Let’s face it, the Carolina Hurricanes need to fill out their top two lines and Andrei Svechnikov isn’t quite ready for top six duties. After taking a look at the salary cap of the Hurricanes and weighing their needs against strengths, I have come to the conclusion that they must trade Dougie Hamilton for William Nylander.

A Carolina Hurricanes trade for William Nylander is a necessity if they want to be a serious playoff team this year and the years to come. If you don’t want to give up a king’s ransom it will cost Dougie Hamilton.

The Financial Situation

For the next two years, including this one, the Hurricanes have $16.5m (18-19) and $33.5m (19-20) in cap space. There is no financial obstruction to paying William Nylander whatever he wants, bar the team’s own internal cap.

The Canes must re-sign Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen this offseason. Assuming both will be re-signed, Teuvo will likely be looking at $5.5m-$6.5m as a potential top scoring line center, while Aho should be around the $6.5m-$7m mark. It’s also worth mentioning that the Canes will have to re-sign Micheal Ferland, which will likely cost around $4.5m. That salary would likely come from captain Justin Williams, who is vastly overpriced at this point in his career and would surely only return at a much cheaper rate.

Some would suggest that Aho and Nylander could command the $8.5M was given to Leon Draisaitl. However, Peter Chiarelli of the Edmonton Oilers has a history that dates back to his time with the Senators of overpaying his players. The market testifies to that in the signing of David Pastrnak.

Looking back at this past off-season, the Boston Bruins paid Pastrnak $6.67m a year for 6 years. That’s almost $2m less than a very comparable player in Nylander! Proof that Chiarelli is hell bent on ruining franchise caps everywhere. In fact, I have long believed that Chiarelli gives out contracts like Oprah gives out free stuff on her show.

How the money would work

Let’s make a huge assumption that Nylander, Aho and Teuvo all received similar contracts with an average of $6.5m. That would be $19.5m tied up in those three young and exciting players. Subtract the $5.75m of Hamilton, and you come out after this off-season having spent only an additional $13.75m.

Also, have you looked at the Canes’ list of forwards? Only Justin Williams and Valentin Zykov are right handed. Adding a first line forward who shoots from his right will make creating lines much easier for Rod Brind’Amour.

Why the Leafs Need Hamilton

Hamilton will provide the Leafs with a reasonable contract for a top-pairing defenseman. The Leafs have about $12m in cap space and Hamilton would round up the top 4 for the Leafs for the next couple of seasons. As a right shot D-man he would allow them to keep their pairings in the traditional and strategically optimal pattern of left shot-right shot. Dougie is fantastic at jumping into the attack and with two forward lines that feature two of the greatest scoring threats in the NHL, he would have an immediate impact on their attack.

Several have suggested a Jaccob Slavin trade instead of Dougie, but that just won’t happen from a Canes perspective. He is integral to their core, a fan favorite, and a better all-round defenseman than Hamilton. Also, the need for the Leafs is greater on the right side than the left. Another left shot D-Man would provide too much top-pairing redundancy.

How the lines shakeout

Now that we have worked out the finances, and convinced the Leafs to take the deal, let me show you how the first two lines could shake out: Teuvo-Aho-Nylander, Ferland-Staal-Williams/Svechnikov. The defensive pairings would be: Slavin-Pesce, de Haan-Faulk, and Fleury-van Riemsdyk. The Canes would still have depth on defense and now their forward lines make a bit more sense.

There will be puck-moving defenseman available as well. The Bruins have a plethora in Torey Krug, Matt Grzelcyk, and John Moore. Most believe the Bruins signed Moore so that they could move either Krug or Grzelcyk. Either would be able to fill the Hamilton gap left on the power play. Krug is one of the best PP Quarterbacks in the league and may be expensive to acquire, but Grzelcyk is almost a clone of Krug, just a little younger. He could potentially be acquired if that defensive depth was felt insufficient by management.

The Other Scenario

The Canes could potentially trade Justin Faulk. However, he’s at least as good of a defender as Hamilton, about the same price, and has a good reputation in the dressing room. Hamilton is more likely to minimize other pieces going the other way in a trade due to his offensive upside. Faulk is coming off of a down year and could cost us more in the long run by way of prospects and draft picks that can help in saving valuable cap space. In today’s NHL you want to hold onto first round draft picks, unless you expect to make a deep playoff run. It’s the only way to stay out of cap jail.

Dougie has also long been a product of his surroundings as his success has risen and fallen with the quality of his pairing. As someone who has followed the Bruins for their entire life, I can testify that Dougie was a problem in the locker room. He has historically shied away from contact, giving him a reputation as “soft”. When you’re trying to establish an identity as a young team that can skate with grit as much as skill and you get tough guys in the offseason like Calvin de Haan and Micheal Ferland, you don’t need a 6 foot 5 defenseman like Hamilton who has yet to learn how to get his body and hands active in the physical areas.

Next. Canes back on track with a win in Montreal. dark