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.

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  • toprightcorner

    You are letting Chiarelli off to easily here.
    Trading Nurse for Hamilton, and keeping him out of Calgary at any cost should have been a priority.
    Reinhart is at best a stolid , limited defenceman, no #1.

    At some point, Chiarelli should have been motivated to deny this coup to Calgary at any cost.

    A blunder.

    • MacT's Neglected Helmet

      Nurse is gunna be better than Hamilton…Nurse is a stud! Good luck Cowtown on signing the rest of your D core when their contracts are up! Sweeney is off his rocker with the moves he made! The only thing he did right was trying to get Nurse in that deal! PC did the right thing not trading him!

    • Mac07

      Fist of all. How is Chiarelli to know where Hamilton would end up. 2nd. Nurse will prove to be just as good as Hamilton. Now try to sign him and not lose anyone. Won’t happen.

    • MacT's Neglected Helmet

      The goal is a winning Edmonton Oilers team.
      Sure, a losing Calgary Flames team would be nice for many Oilers fans, but that’s not the primary objective.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • smith

    i don’t think anyone is blaming Edmonton from walking away from the deal, since it’s clear Boston wanted nothing to do with it.

    As a fan, I find it difficult to believe organizations can be ran by guys with such petty differences. Their job is to make the best decisions for their team. Taking an inferior trade for no other reason than to spite a former employee is so petty. This is stuff kids do in high school.

    What the Oilers can be blamed for is the over valuation of assets that they have certain relationships to. I have nothing against Reinhart and hope he does well here. He has done nothing wrong. The oilers management has made a trade that doesn’t address the need of the team.

    The biggest reason this team has such terrible record for so many season has been the inadequate evaluation and procurement of NHL defenseman. They need top end defenseman. Reinhart doesn’t address problem. Edmonton have limited resources available to fix this issue without giving up a core piece.

    Im not sure why some fans have a sudden live affair with Reinhart. You shouldn’t just look at his draft number at four. First, he wouldn’t even be ranked that high in a redraft. He isn’t better than five d man taken in the first round right now – murray, trouba, rielly, Maatta, lindholm. All those players were drafted in a “bad” draft year. This year, the draft class is suppose to be better. There were options at 16 that should have been valued higher than Reinhart alone. To give up both the 16 and 33 is terrible.

    The oilers had an opportunity to pick up a Barzal, Connor, or Svechnikov AND a Roy/kylington type. Even if it doesn’t address the needs right away, they could be used to bring in someone you need later on. Instead we are left with a question mark and will have to cross our fingers Reinhart turns into what the oilers hope he be….a reliable defensive d man.

    • HockeyYoda

      Since there were no defenseman ranked in the 16 range. I suppose they could have traded down a bit and picked two defenseman within the proper range. But then there would be years of development time.

  • camdog

    I wonder what the fan reaction would have been if the Oilers would have dealt Nurse straight up for Hamilton? Sounds like a fair hockey trade to me. I wouldn’t have liked that deal because I don’t like the cap implications the move would have on the team in 2-3 years. I’d like the team to have some cap flexibility moving forward.

  • CMG30

    Id have gone as high as yak and 16 for dougie. But im sure chiarelli knows what he is doing. Unless we leave the draft with no goalie. Then the doubting and pessimism (from previous regimes) comes back…

  • Ndustry

    I agree with the Bruins here, Hamilton is soo overrated. His possesion stats are totally boosted by Bergeron, its like playing with Datsyuk you can add a solid 10 to your Corsi. He has the second worst +/- in Bos D and half his points are second assists. Could easily be like paying 7M for another Tom Gilbert if this was just a good season. And the Oilers would be in Cap Hell with a 7M DMan so I’m glad we kinda got screwed.

    • a lg dubl dubl

      Would love to have Dougie H but at the same time this feels a little like when the Flames got Jay Boumeester – who was good, but not as good as the hype or the salary.

      Is Dougie Hamilton the next Jay B?

      • Ndustry

        Ya its kinda like paying a guy an extra 3M because he gets 5 more points. Not to mention he did that this year only so far. I’d rather pay for depth than stars is most cases anyway. Being really good in sports I know the hardest teams to play against were teams full of solid “medium” players not the ones with a couple of “great ones” so depth is really important if not the most important.

        I was reading some of Bostons boards before this deal, and Bruins fans aren’t nearly as thrilled with Hamilton as the rest of the league was that’s for sure. Not too many people wanted to see him get Drew Daughty money. they’d love to keep him for 4M or 5M but even I wouldn’t want to pay him more than that, I’d be much more comfortable if I could wait 2 more seasons before committing like that. And many were crtical of his play (just like any player here so..)

  • JackB

    The thing that I find most impressive about the Hamilton trade was the conduct our new GM !

    1) Chiarelli didn’t give in to Sweeney’s request for more than what Calgary was offering. He didn’t trade Nurse, who is going to be a Stud D (And in fact our offer of #16, #33 and #57 was probably better than Calgary’s offer of #15, #45 and #53)

    2) When questioned by the media as to the demand for Nurse, he declined to comment. THAT SHOWED CLASS!! . . . he refused to throw his old team under the bus . . . a team who fired him.

    He knows that he will have deal with Boston in future.


    OH . . . and he also out waited Sather (the Great White Shark) and we got the goalie most everyone wanted us to get . . . for an even lesser 2nd round pick (#57 not #33) and a 3rd rounder (the swap of 7th round picks was inconsequential)


  • 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??

  • 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