The Edmonton Oilers were clearly interested in bringing Dougie Hamilton over from the Boston Bruins. Not only did they fail to do so, but Boston then turned around and flipped the 22-year-old top pairing defenceman to the Calgary Flames – and did it without even getting a roster player in exchange.
But it really wasn’t Peter Chiarelli’s fault.
BREAKING: Bruins acquire 2015 1st round pick (#15) & two 2015 2nd round picks (#45 #52) from CGY for Dougie Hamilton: http://t.co/7TmPoYevOu
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) June 26, 2015
That’s really not much of a trade package for a player of Hamilton’s quality. It’s one the Oilers should have been able to best, even without dipping into their NHL roster; with the No. 16, 33 and 57 picks they could have offered the Bruins a better package in this year’s draft alone.
My first thought was that it was baffling that Edmonton wouldn’t make that offer. After some conversations, it became apparent that it wasn’t so much an offer the Oilers wouldn’t make as an offer the Bruins wouldn’t accept.
That was quickly confirmed on the Boston end:
Rival GM: “They wanted much more from us.”
— Fluto Shinzawa (@GlobeFluto) June 26, 2015
Per a source, Edmonton offered B’s 16th, 33rd & 57th picks in this draft, but Boston wanted Darnell Nurse as part of the package for DH27
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) June 26, 2015
Peter Chiarelli was asked after the conclusion of the first round about what his discussions with Boston looked like. Did they ask for Nurse? No comment. Did the Bruins have an issue trading with him? No comment. Was he surprised by the team’s moves? No comment. Was his offer better than what the Bruins got? No comment again.
The only answer he did give, which was in response to the first question he took on Hamilton, went a long way toward confirming the reports out of Boston:
I had discussions with Don [Sweeney] for picks and other things. At the end of the day it was a different ask than what was the end result. Significantly different.
It’s an unfortunate result for the Oilers. Edmonton would greatly have benefited from the addition of Hamilton, particularly at the modest price of the No. 16, 33 and 57 picks. Lots has been written about how good a player the newest member of the Flames is; he’s the complete package and he’s already a top-pairing defenceman at a very young age. That he went to Calgary, a division rival of the Oilers, is a particularly unpleasant pill for Edmonton.
But there’s nothing to be done about it. Chiarelli obviously made an honest try; just as obviously Boston wasn’t willing to deal. That’s going to happen sometimes and it’s not the fault of Edmonton’s management.
But while this is an unfortunate result for the Oilers, it’s an even worse one for the Bruins. Edmonton has made decisions in the past for reasons other than best hockey value – notably declining to trade Mike Comrie to Anaheim in a deal that would have seen Corey Perry come the other way – and it’s hurt the club badly. Boston’s likely to learn the same lesson.