NHL Free Agency: Three best landing spots for Dougie Hamilton

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Dougie Hamilton (19)

Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Dougie Hamilton (19). Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

These are the three best landing spots for Dougie Hamilton.

Defenseman Dougie Hamilton is arguably one of the biggest prizes available in NHL Free Agency this year, and there will be a lot of teams after his signature once teams can start making moves on Wednesday, July 28.

Hamilton is probably the premier blueliner set to hit the open market this year, and he is set for a huge payday given the significant interest in him.

It is no surprise that the 28-year-old will garner strong interest given his incredible couple of years with the Carolina Hurricanes, who will still be hoping that they can come to terms with the pending UFA.

Hamilton was on pace to become a Norris Trophy candidate in 2019-20 with 40 points (14 G, 26 A) in 47 games, but a broken fibula suffered in a game against the Columbus Blue Jackets in January 2020 cut short the blueliner’s stellar season.

However, he made a successful return in 2020-21 and put up 10 goals and 32 assists for 42 points in 55 games with a plus / minus rating of +20, while averaging 22:43 minutes of total ice time per night.

Also, 18 of Hamilton’s 42 points last season came on the power play and we all know how valuable offensive defensemen are in the modern-day NHL, so Wednesday could be a very good day for the right-shot and his camp.

And, on that note, let’s take a look at what would be some of the best landing spots for Hamilton once Free Agency opens…

The Three Most Perfect Landing Spots for Dougie Hamilton in NHL Free Agency

Dougie Hamilton (19)

Dougie Hamilton #19 of the Carolina Hurricanes. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

3. Carolina Hurricanes

We start with the team that Dougie Hamilton most recently played for, and you will have to think that the Carolina Hurricanes will make one last attempt to retain their premier blueliner before he has chance to sign elsewhere.

The main stumbling block for the Canes and General Manager Don Waddell could be the asking price, with Hamilton and his representatives believed to be seeking a long-term deal with an Average Annual Value in the range of $8 to $9 million.

That could prove to be a steep asking price for Carolina, despite the fact that they have around $29 million in cap space, per CapFriendly, although they do have a number of pending UFA’s and RFA’s to deal with.

It is clear that the Hurricanes want Hamilton back and, I mean, why wouldn’t they given what he has done for them over the last couple of years, coupled with the fact that he’s bang in the middle of his prime, but there is the very real possibility that they could be outbid on the open market.

He is the lynchpin of both their blueline and their power play, he ranked tied third in team scoring during the 2020-21 regular season and while the Hurricanes have a good core, they will be a weaker team in 2021-22 if they lose Hamilton to Free Agency.

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