If the Rangers are still looking for a top pair right handed defenseman, Dougie Hamilton may be available
The consensus by most experts, bloggers, and fans is that the Rangers need a right handed top pair blue liner to play with Ryan McDonagh. Well, rumor has it that there could be one available on the market.
The Flames’ ongoing struggles sparked an increase in the Hamilton trade chatter through November. Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos recently reported the Arizona Coyotes and Pittsburgh Penguins were kicking tires on the 23-year-old defenseman. Despite his defensive struggles and $5.75-million cap hit, there’s a belief Hamilton could improve on a team with better coaching.
We wouldn’t be the first to connect dots on the Rangers and Dougie Hamilton but there appears to be a little more meat to this bone now. According to Kypreos, Hamilton has been available since the draft but his struggles this season seems to be cranking the rumor mill harder.
Elliotte Friedman added that the Flames would be looking for a defenseman in return with “a bit of bite” to his game. Do the Rangers have that kind of a defenseman? If you consider Kevin Klein a moveable option and the centerpiece of the Flames return (along with a player like Oscar Lindberg) a deal could be made.
Is Hamilton worth it?
Despite his recent struggles, we are talking about a 23 year old defenseman with 136 points in 281 games. He is coming off back to back 40 plus point seasons, with 10 and 12 goals respectively. He also has PP QB ability with a good shot from the point and he has 14 PPGs to his resume as well.
Of course, trading a right handed defenseman for another is not optimal but currently they are only playing 2 in the lineup. If the Rangers really want to utilize 3 L/R pairings they could always insert Adam Clendening in favor of Nick Holden. Remember Girardi has a no move clause so please don’t mention him instead.
The bottom line is this…Hamilton is absolutely worth it. Especially if you are moving 31 year old Kevin Klein and getting 8 years younger on the blue line. Hamilton’s 5.75M contract is expensive, but the Rangers I’m sure will be happy to fit it in.