Going into the 2021 offseason, the Carolina Hurricanes have a lot of questions that need to be answered. One is going to be how they’ll shape up after the expansion draft; another is going to be free agency.
The biggest question, though, is going to be contract extensions, mainly with Andrei Svechnikov and Dougie Hamilton. I personally believe that it is a no-brainer to re-sign Dougie Hamilton, but for the right price.
Dougie Hamilton, who will be 28 by the time his current contract is up, is obviously a top offensive defenseman in the NHL. His numbers prove that. But injuries and some interesting comments by the media about “being a locker room cancer” have put him where he is today. Before the media and injuries drove him out of Boston, in a trade that sent him to the Calgary Flames, he had 83 points in 178 games, which was pretty good for a teenager.
Calgary didn’t treat him much better, with the “inside” joke of him and his love for museums starting here, even though he put up 137 points in 245 games. This, put together with the Hurricanes having a new owner and a new GM looking to make a change, put Dougie Hamilton in a trade. Alongside young prospect Adam Fox and known enforcer Micheal Ferland, these three were traded to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for LHD Noah Hanifin, a promising young center in Elias Lindholm and essentially Bill Peters.
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I will say that if Adam Fox wasn’t a person who only wanted to play for one team and not sign for any other team besides the New York Rangers, this article wouldn’t exist. Adam Fox has been a stellar player in a two way game, being ultra effective on both sides of the game.
In 2 years in New York, Fox has 81 points in 111 games, including 39 in 41 this year. Unfortunately, he only wanted to play in the Big Apple, leaving us here (but not without giving us the picks that were used to draft Jamieson Rees and Anttoni Honka in the process).
Since being traded to the Carolina Hurricanes, Dougie Hamilton has been absolutely stellar, putting up 112 points in 170 games, including 40 points in 47 games in 2019-2020 before going down with a horrific leg injury. Since Calgary was incredibly nice and signed Dougie to a 6 year, $34,500,000 million dollar contract in June of 2015, we haven’t had to worry about a new contract until now.
Now, Dougie obviously has his own shortcomings. Most people can see that his footspeed is in constant decline, as he gets beat by someone faster than him about once a game. He then has to use his stick to try and either stop the player or take the puck, which has lead to him taking a hefty chunk of penalties. Most of the time, though, as long as Jaccob Slavin is his partner (and he plays like Jaccob Slavin), he gets away with it.
Now, the Carolina Hurricanes have no shortage of cap space this offseason as they are predicted to have around have around $30 million or so to play with. But you need to think about what you need with the money and decide if re-signing Dougie is necessary. I truly think the Carolina Hurricanes need to re-sign him, as the expansion draft is likely going to poach a defender anyways and not re-signing Dougie leaves a huge hole in your defense, with the options in free agency being super weak this summer.