Whether it’s cause-and-effect or pure coincidence, one can’t help but notice Dougie Hamilton‘s recent offensive surge, one that came after Flames president Brian Burke aggressively shot down trade rumors involving the young d-man.
Burke’s rant happened on Nov. 30.
In the five games since, Hamtilon’s scored four goals and five points, earning massive praise in the process.
“There have been a lot of games that I’ve thought Dougie is one of the most dominant players on the ice,” Flames head coach Glen Gulutzan said, per the Herald. “There’s been a few of those lately.”
“He’s been great,” Calgary captain Mark Giordano added. “It’s so easy to play with him. It’s hard to explain. He’s been jumping in and making plays and shooting the puck — he’s doing everything well right now.”
Gulutzan and Giordano have both played instrumental roles in the turnaround.
The former paired the latter with Hamilton about 15 games ago. It was a significant switch, given Hamilton had spent the early parts of the year skating alongside the likes of Dennis Wideman and Jyrki Jokipakka.
Giordano’s proven to be a stabilizing presence for Hamilton who, many often forget, is still only 23 years old. The new pairing has also meant an uptick in Hamilton’s ice time, which had previously been an issue (he was at 19:17 TOI, down from 19:46 in his first season with Calgary).
In a six-game stretch to close out November, Hamilton played at least 20 minutes per night, including a season-high 24:28 in a (regulation) loss to the Flyers.
The creation of the Giordano-Hamilton pairing is one of the three big reasons why Calgary’s shot to within one point of first in the Pacific Division. The return of Johnny Gaudreau is the second, and Chad Johnson taking over No. 1 goaltending duties is the third.
Hamilton’s rebound, though, has had a domino effect. Aside from helping turn the Flames’ fortunes around, it also silenced any lingering trade rumors that might still be out there.