Dougie Hamilton is a name that is being connected to the Flyers by a lot of fans. It makes sense, he would definitely fill that hole that Niskanen left, and then some. He is that elite RHD that they have been needing. He is an upcoming UFA this summer and is the marquee name on a very talented Hurricanes blue line. Landing Hamilton would be amazing, but just how feasible is it?
First, the Expansion Draft
A lot of talk surrounds who will go to Seattle this summer. In order for the Flyers to be able to get Hamilton, they’d have to lose Jake Voracek to Seattle, or more likely beg Seattle to take him. The Flyers are not the only team that will leave players with high cap hits exposed in hopes of Seattle taking them. They would have to make a trade for Voracek to be a member of the Kraken. If we look at the trades that happened for Vegas to select players, one name that immediately pops into my mind is Marc-André Fleury.
The Pens traded their 2020 2nd round pick for Vegas to pick Fleury. Fleury was probably their selection anyway and 2 years at 5.75 mil for Fleury isn’t like Voracek at 8.25 for 3 more years.
The Jets sent their 1st round pick in 2017 (13th overall) along with their 3rd round pick in 2019 for Vegas to pick Chris Thorburn (who was on an expiring deal) along with sending Columbus’ 1st round pick (24th) back to Winnipeg. That’s not a good comparison. Basically the deal was for Vegas to select an expiring contract, who probably wouldn’t have been anything more than a 4th liner, along with a a 3rd in 2 years, and using a draft pick they got from another team to move up 11 spots.
Another one worth noting is Florida’s awful trade. Florida sent Reilly Smith to Vegas in exchange for selecting Jonathan Marchessault. Florida sent their 2nd highest point getting winger to Vegas for them to select their top goal scorer. Probably closer to what Chuck Fletcher have to do.
The Flyers gonna have to give up a decent package for the Kraken to take Jake. It’ll probably include a player like Sanheim and possible a draft pick as high as their first.
Jake being gone opens up 8.25 extra in cap space.
Next, Signing Dougie Hamilton
So, I’d like to preface this section with a little paragraph about a possibility as to why Dougie Hamilton has not signed an extension yet. It’s a very real possibility that he hasn’t signed because Carolina could use another protection spot for one of their many defensemen. Seattle probably won’t take Dougie Hamilton on an expiring deal. There’s a very real possibility that a guy like Hamilton already has a deal in place with Carolina and just haven’t made it official. That would lead to Carolina leaving him unprotected because even if he gets picked, he’ll probably go back to Carolina.
First of all, Dougie Hamilton is going to be expensive. I’m willing to pay the money for him. The Flyers will have about $11 million in cap space. If Philly loses Jake Voracek in the expansion draft that’s more than $19 million. That’s enough for Dougie Hamilton. He will probably get a 7-year deal worth at least $8 million a year. If we get him at 7yrs x $8 mil then that leaves us over $11 mil in cap space to re-sign Hart, Patrick, Twarynski, and Morin (I’m not putting Sanheim in here because I assume he’ll be in the deal to get Jake in Seattle). And then needing to get a back up goalie as well. I don’t think Hart’s next contract will be too big. Patrick won’t be a lot, Twarynski won’t be a lot, and Morin won’t be a lot.
Last, Where Does That Leave Us?
Assuming that’s what Fletcher does this offseason, this would leave us with this roster:
Frost, Twarynski, Bunnaman
Braun, Zamula, Morin
That roster looks good. Probably a bubble team. We lose a significant piece in Voracek on our offense, and that role is filled by TK or Allison. Our defense is drastically improved with the addition of Hamilton. This could bring a resurgence of Provorov back, especially with him being the number 2 guy and less responsibilities and pressure. This team would need our young players to take that step forward that was supposed to be taken this year. Does Dougie Hamilton make the Flyers a better team? Yes. Does he make them a Cup contender? He doesn’t, at least not by himself. As much as I would love for Hamilton to be a Flyer next year, I don’t see it happening, and it’d be very hard to do so. Though, the biggest meaning for this would be that the Flyers’ management is committed to moving big pieces to bring in bigger pieces to try and improve the team.
By Noah Caplan (@Phlyers24 and @NoahlyPod)
Pic creds: canescountry.com