The Toronto Star published a glowing profile of Niagara IceDogs defenseman Dougie Hamilton today that’s sure to make Leafs fans feel fantastic.
In case you don’t follow junior hockey too closely, Hamilton led all OHL blue-liners with 72 points in 50 games during the regular season and was named the league’s most outstanding defenseman for his efforts. On top of that, the big 18-year-old, who isn’t afraid to drop the gloves either, has 23 points in 19 playoff games.
Of course, Hamilton is perhaps best known as one of the three players the Boston Bruins drafted with the proceeds from the Phil Kessel trade to Toronto. (Tyler Seguin and Jared Knight were the other two.)
“I think Dougie Hamilton is the best defenseman outside the NHL,” Dennis MacInnis, director of amateur scouting for International Scouting Service, told the Star. “He’s got a terrific future in Boston. Can you imagine him and Zdeno Chara on the point on the Bruins power play?”
No disrespect to Joe Corvo.
Well, some disrespect.
As for the Leafs’ angle, it’s actually unfair to say GM Brian Burke traded away Hamilton. After all, Kessel scored 32 goals in 2010-11. Without him, Toronto might’ve finished much lower than 22nd and ended up with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Gabriel Landeskog or Sean Couturier.
There was stiff competition for the backup goaltending job in Boston, but with a signing this afternoon, it seems likely that the matter has been resolved.
The Boston Bruins announced that Jonas Gustavsson has agreed to a one-year, $700,000 deal. It’s a one-way contract, according to the Boston Globe’s Amalie Benjamin.
That contract is still small enough that the Bruins could bury it in the minors if they so desire, but it does set him apart from his last competitor for the goalie position, Jeremy Smith, who has a two-way deal. The fact that Boston went this route seems to imply that Gustavsson will serve as Tuukka Rask‘s understudy, although both netminders attended Sunday’s practice.
In Smith, the Bruins would be getting a 26-year-old goaltender who was dominant with the AHL’s Providence Bruins last season, but has no NHL experience. By contrast Gustavsson, 30, has played in almost 150 NHL games.
Boston sent Zane McIntyre and Malcolm Subban to the minors last week, but an argument could be made that either one of them is worthy of the backup job. However, both of them have a lot of potential and it’s not surprising that the Bruins felt they were better served by staying in the minors where they can play regularly and focus on honing their game.
The Calgary Flames have released Ryan Wilson from his professional tryout.
The 28-year-old was trying to make a comeback after missing 79 games with a shoulder injury last season.
Even with T.J. Brodie sidelined because of a broken hand, Wilson still faced long odds to make the final roster.
The veteran will be hard-pressed to find NHL work with another team.
He hasn’t suited up in more than 12 regular season games since 2011-12.
The Stockton Heat, Calgary’s AHL affiliate, also made some news on Sunday.
The club announced that they’ve signed Colton Orr to an AHL contract.
The 33-year-old tough guy suited up in just one game for the Toronto Maple Leafs last season. He has 12 seasons of NHL experience under his belt.