The Philadelphia Flyers need a right-handed defenseman. Dougie Hamilton, the best right-handed defenseman in this free-agent class, reportedly has permission to talk to other NHL teams.
On Monday morning, Elliotte Friedman reported that the Carolina Hurricanes have given Dougie Hamilton permission to talk to other teams. That opens the possibility for a sign-and-trade deal for Hamilton.
Friedman gave further details and mentioned a few teams during his appearance on the Donnie & Dhali podcast:
“Carolina has given Dougie Hamilton permission to talk to other teams and I think you are going to see some teams pursue it. I know that a couple teams hadn’t yet been made aware of it because it just happened yesterday. I guess there were some phone calls going around today to people who kind of know him a little bit better,” Friedman said. “I think Philadelphia is going to be there, I think Seattle is going to be there. I’m sure there’s going to be lots more.”
It’s very interesting that Friedman specifically mentioned the Flyers. Trading for the rights to a pending free agent wouldn’t be anything new for Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher.
Fletcher traded a fifth-round pick for the rights to Kevin Hayes on June 3rd, 2019, during his first offseason as Flyers GM. That first offseason was a success for Fletcher, but last year was a disaster. This is his third chance and perhaps his most important one at the helm of the Flyers. Trading for the rights of another big-name free agent like Dougie Hamilton would certainly be a statement move.
Hamilton averaged 22:43 of ice time per game this season with the Hurricanes. He compiled 42 points (10 goals, 32 assists) in 55 regular-season games. In the playoffs, Hamilton played 25:21 per game and had five points (two goals, three assists) in 11 games.
Dougie Hamilton is going to be the most sought-after free-agent defenseman this summer, and perhaps the most sought-after defenseman period. The Flyers need a top-four defenseman, especially a right-handed one, to shore things up heading into next season. Chuck Fletcher would be smart to get ahead of things and see what Hamilton is looking for and if he’s interested in joining the Flyers.
The Flyers have had a few irons in the fire poking around on defensemen around the league over the past year. Whether it be the Arizona Coyotes, Nashville Predators, or perhaps the Columbus Blue Jackets, we should now be able to add the Carolina Hurricanes and Dougie Hamilton into the mix.
Hamilton would fit in perfectly on the Flyers’ blue line. Ivan Provorov has been at his best with an experienced top-four defenseman by his side. Provorov looked lost a bit at times without Matt Niskanen last season. Hamilton would replace Niskanen and then some.
If Hamilton is open to playing in Philadelphia, Chuck Fletcher needs to make it happen. Clear the cap space, open up the checkbook, and get the Flyers the top-pair defenseman that they need.
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