The Oilers tried for Dougie Hamilton, and it wasn’t their fault they missed

Dougie Hamilton

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.

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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:

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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.

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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.


  • The Oilers Shot Clock

    Bostons own version of the boys on the bus is going to be as self destructive as ours was. Those three consecutive picks were…..interesting.

  • toprightcorner

    Sweeny may set the record as the shortest tenure of a GM in the NHL. He blew it yesterday big time and set his team back a number of years when they barely missed the playoffs last year.

  • smith

    IMO, in a few years Nurse will be as good, or almost as good, as Hamilton. Based on what is reported above, the way this went down says more about Sweeny than it does about Chiarelli, i.e. hubris. Anyway, lets move on. Also, I don’t understand all of the anger and negativity about Reinhart. I watched him play several times and wished that we had been able to draft him. I think we have the foundation for a really solid defense corps in the future.

    • CMG30

      the negativity has to do with his pro perfomance. I’m guessing you watched him play junior in Edmonton and I think everyone agrees he was an elite level junior player, at the pro level he has been pretty underwhelming at times and his numbers and the way he’s played reminds me of fringe guys like Teubert. I saw him with the Islanders during the playoffs and it wasn’t just inexperience that soured me on him, he just seemed lost out there and his skating wasn’t good enough to recover, Klefbom is much better in my opinion because he makes confident decisions and commits, something Reinhart doesn’t seem to do.

      • a lg dubl dubl

        I admit that I haven’t rely watched him as a pro. He may not become the player I think/hope he will be, but it could also be situational and coaching, as we saw with Lander, Yak, and to a lesser extent Marincin. I am going back to what I saw him do as an Oil King and what I understand to be his character. I hope that in three years Nurse, Klefbom, Reinhart and possibly Schultz and Marincin will be a really solid group.

    • radicator

      What you said first: in a couple of years Nurse will be just as good as Hamilton (and a lot cheaper).
      But I’m afraid Reinhardt will not be more than a #4 D. The 16th and the 57th would have been much easier to understand. Then we could use the 33rd for a goalie.

  • CMG30

    Boston was not willing to deal with Edmonton unless they added Nurse with the 3 drafts. I thought Calgary would have to give more but it is obvious that Boston wasn’t willing to negotiate with Edmonton. Anyone else surprised to see Mac T and Howson front and centre and seemingly very involved at the draft table?

  • Chris_Cruise

    It’s pretty easy to see what happened here.

    No former employer wants to see an ex-employee excelling right after firing them. This goes for any job in any industry.

    Imagine you get fired from your job, only to land right back on your feet with another company. You then get a monumental bonus before doing anything for the new company (McDavid), and THEN look to take a valuable asset from the very company that let you go which would in turn make you look like an absolute rock star.

    Of course Boston didn’t make that deal. This was more personal than it was a business decision.

    • The Oilers Shot Clock

      A good GM of a multi million dollar franchise that is supposed to be held “accountable” by the fan base should know better and get the best return possible. We of all fan bases should recognize incompetence when we see it. Sweeney was incompetent yesterday. I’m sure Bruins fans appreciate the spite.

  • NJ

    SHAME ON DON SWEENEY.. Shame shame.

    After everything Peter Ciarella has done for you????

    Sweeney got shafted in every trade yesterday.


    Who made this guy GM anyways??

  • CMG30

    Ya, I don’t blame PC for this one.

    In fact this whole debacle puts my mind at ease in a strange way: PC was fired, Seguin was traded, Dougie Hamilton (apparently) wanted out. It was fair to ask what was going on over there.

    The fact that Boston took half value for a top end defensive prospect and sent him to Calgary to boot in what could only rationally be seen as a spite move, goes a long way to confirming that the problems in Boston didn’t involve PC.

  • toprightcorner

    I don’t think we can be disappointed in not getting Hamilton until we see the contract he signs. if it is $7 mill plus for max term then the Flames can have him.

    This is a classic case of Bos doing business with their heart instead of their head and I am glad they could not do anything with those picks to move up in the draft and better yet, make an off the board pick that they could have made in the second round.

    Chairelli did the right thing to make no comment as he may have the opportunity to make a deal for Martin Jones now that Bos has 3 NHL goalies

  • NJ

    My concern is that Peter C relied on Mac T and Kevin L big time on the draft floor when he asked them about Rheinhart and they wouldn’t know a good 2015 type defence man if you hit them over the head with one .They have shown they are incompetent when it comes to assessing Defence mensTalents.

    • radicator

      Seeing KBlowe, MacLoser and Howson next to Chiarelli gave me the chills, but Chiapet probably leaned on Bob Greene for info, not Howson.

      Bob Greene seems to have a good eye for talent, so I’m not worried about that.

      However, WTH was Howson doing at the table? Dude has nine lives.

  • NJ

    In regards to Boston, they also went way off the board with 13, 14 & 15. The skaters they picked were ranked 19, 23 and NOT rated.

    Along with shipping Lucic and Hamilton out, makes you REALLY think if someone is gonna pick up Chara and Rask on the cheap. Obviously not us as Boston has shown their preference in regards to dealing with us.