Team president Brian Burke also addressed the reports. He was, ahem, a little more verbose on the matter.
“It’s very frustrating when you have to deal with leaks,” Burke told TSN 1050. “As soon as one of the team that’s in the mix with the leaks is the Toronto Maple Leafs — now, it’s an army of leakers. An army of people that have no goddamn idea what they’re talking about, who’ll happily go on and say the Toronto Maple Leafs are in on this, and doing that.
“This is one where we think we can trace the leak. [GM Brad Treliving] got a call from a team — who shall remain nameless, at least for now, if this goes on much further I’m probably not going to remain them nameless — and said ‘would you move Dougie Hamilton?’ And [Treliving] said no.”
Hamilton’s name has been making the rounds lately, which included reports from TSN’s Darren Dreger and Bob McKenzie. It’s believed one of the most interested suitors was, as mentioned, the Toronto Maple Leafs, in a deal that would (theoretically) help both teams — Toronto would get some much-needed help on the blueline, and Calgary would receive a winger, potentially one that could play on the top line alongside Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan.
(Once Gaudreau returns from injury, that is.)
It’s been speculated that James van Riemsdyk could be a fit in the proposed trade.
As for Hamilton, this is the latest in what’s been an up-and-down transition since being acquired from Boston two years ago. Though his offense production in ’15-16 was impressive — 12 goals and 43 points, making him one of the top-25 d-man scorers in the league — there have been questions about his defensive play, and usage.
Hamilton makes a lot of money. The Flames gave him a six-year, $34.5 million extension — one that carries a $5.75 million cap hit — but he averaged less than 20 minutes per game last season, and that’s continued this year (19:17 TOI, down from 19:46 in his first season with Calgary).
That said, Burke remained fully committed to his 23-year-old blueliner.
“He’s 6-foot-5, 237 pounds, he’s a right shot, skates like a deer — he’s a good hockey player. Yeah, let’s move him! Let’s get rid of him. It’s not hard to get guys like that,” Burke said. “We told this team — and by the way, the offer they made was insulting — we told them not we’re not moving him and next time you have an idea that stupid, just save the quarter.
“Don’t go to the payphone.”