I got quite a kick out of the initial reaction to the Hamilton trade on day-two of the draft. Everything from 'Worst trade in Flames' history' to 'Fire Treliving Immediately'. Holy over reaction Batperson!
Dougie's name had been popping up in rumours since the end of this dismal season and it was disclosed after the trade that the teams had been working on the deal for a month.
But if we look back further, Dougie's name was being brought up in trade rumours after his first season in CGY. However the rumours didn't get much traction because he was such a recent addition and a coveted commodity.
Then we heard rumours after his second season, and again they were dismissed.
Finally, this year, the rumours proved to be accurate.
There has been much speculation regarding what was 'wrong' with Dougie and there has even been a liberal amount of Hammy-bashing. I am not going to engage in that, I have never met him. I will say however that I believe there is no single reason he was dealt, it was probably a combination of a lot of things which in their totality necessitated a move.
When GM. Treliving was interviewed after the deal he looked like had slept in the car overnight and went through a grueling negotiation; a sharp contrast to his demeanor after his prior trades where he always looked excited, bordering on manic. I think it is safe to say regardless of the reasons Dougie was moved, Mr. Treliving was in a position of having to move an asset he really wanted to keep. So what do you do?
Some people feel Hamilton should have been traded one-for-one for help up front(Mark Stone?), but Dougie's departure creates a bigger hole in the template than the current right wing deficiency. So it had to be addressed first.
Enter Noah Hanifin: Similar numbers to Dougie in his first three seasons, projected to be a top-two defenseman in his draft year and is definitely on track to hit that ceiling. Good fit in the dressing room with Gaudreau and Chucky who are untouchable parts of the young core. A good start, but Hanifin for Dougie wasn't enough.
Enter Elias Lindholm: Legit 40 point versatile RHS forward who is responsible defensively and gives you 18:00 minutes a night playing both PP and PK minutes. Solid addition to the top six. Just 23 years old and could take another step like so many other Swedish players have after several years in the league. Instantly becomes the Flames best Face-off man.
But both of those players would be (arguably I guess) an over payment for Dougie.
Exit Micheal Ferland. A tough give for sure. But only one year of Micheal Ferland. Being under contract for only one more season with no extension diminished Ferland's trade value and the uncertainty of what that contract might look like may have given the Flames pause for consideration.
Exit Adam Fox. High-end prospect who apparently was not interested in signing with the Flames. With all the Flames' young defense prospects I can see why. The 'canes traded for him without a commitment, so his value was based solely on owning his rights.
Since I believe Treliving's hand was forced I think he did a good job. He identified and acquired two age-appropriate core pieces who will probably be signed between five and seven years each. Two players who are very well known by the current coach.
A lot of people feel Treliving should have got more, but Carolina is taking a risk that Fox will not sign, Ferland will sign elsewhere after next season and Hamilton will walk at the end of his contract. Dougie Hamilton's shelf life in both Boston and Calgary was three seasons and coincidentally his current contract is up in three seasons when he will become an UFA.
But perhaps the biggest thumbs-up goes to Treliving for getting ahead of this and getting fair value before it became public and the vultures started to circle.
Treliving is earning his stripes and salary the hard way and starting to earn my respect as well...not that he (or anyone else) cares I am sure.
Cheers and thanks for reading.