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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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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

    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.

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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…

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Anton CP

    I doubt many blame Chiarelli for not getting Hamilton, most of us knew that Bruins want an arm and leg from the Oilers. At this point with that kind of defense in front of Rask that I doubt he wants to stay in Boston for much longer. Now Bruins have Rask, Svedberg, Jones, and prospect Subban as goalies. Do they really need that many goalies?

  • 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??

  • a lg dubl dubl

    I’m sick of other GMs trying to fleece the Oilers while they trade with other teams fairly. All the more satisfying when we finally turn this ship around!

    • a lg dubl dubl

      Well when you threaten and try to strut with offer sheets, you can be expected to be treated like that

      The only thing that could make the Hamilton trade sweeter…is that Calgary stole him right out from under the Oilers. Sweet sweet emotions

      • a lg dubl dubl

        Say goodbye to your precious Gio, you can have Hamilton. Oilers have Nurse Klefbom, Reinhart, Hall, Eberle, Nuge, and some kid….what’s his name…. Oh yea MCDAVID!!

          • MacT's Neglected Helmet

            Its sad you are even commenting over here it will be even more sad when you need to resign guys and have that 7 mill tied up in Hamilton then I guess the rest of the league can cannibalize the flames too looking forward to it

          • smith

            edm oilers cant cry anymore[whiners]you already owe anything good about your team to all the honest paying fans and cities in nhl,, done less than nothing,,lololol to earn or deserve what lil bit of good players you possess… cry more and louder,,our collective laughter deafens us,,poor hard done by freeloaders

          • smith

            look in the mirror,,,,lmao,,,lol,,,calgary eaned and fought to be there…..all those pics will be gone,,,with less to show then you now have,,we wont give you the cup just to stop your whimpering….as for kickin cgy butt in playoffs,,game seven year after year,,eked out more like it,close games every year,,take off your rose colored glasses,they are too tight ,,keeping blood from unused brain

    • Mac07

      Dude you are so right!!!! but that’s the way its gunna be…Oil haters everywhere!!! PC will have to deal with all the bridges Lowe burned when he tried to be GM! The guys an idiot!! But my opinion don’t count cuz I’m a tier two fan

  • TKB2677

    I find it actually pretty pathetic that grown ass men are so petty like that. Sweeney’s job is to better his team so take the best package. If anything, Chiarelli is the one that should be pissed off and want to stick it to the Bruins. They fired him.


    You can add Boston to the “Let’s kick their a$$” list along with Vancouver. Both organizations snubbed us and traded after we offered more (Hamilton/Schneider). Karma will haunt them…McDavid hat trick in Boston assisted by Reinhardt!

  • BigMcD

    If i got this right Calgary will try to sign Hamilton and that will cost around 7 ml / season. If they go to arbitration and the arbitrator decides , it will be just a one year deal then UFA . They could still get an offer sheet for him too. At 7 ml per they can have him!

  • radicator

    Matheson thinks Shattenkirk is available. Yes please!! Not big, but we now need the RH offense from the back end.
    Trade the 57th plus Marincin.
    Decent contract too.

  • NJ

    I’m thrilled to see goalies coming off the market. This is not a playoff team next year. Too many inexperienced d men. Leave Scrivens in and pick up a goalie next year ( Talbot ) when they become a UFA.

    Fix the defense. Then the goalie.

    Hopefully GR is the start of a fix, only time will tell. If he landed as a minute chewing stay at home dman playing 23 minutes a night, that would absolutely be awesome. I guess we’ll see.

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    Listened to interview with PC last night and it put me more at ease after worrying about the Reinhart trade. PC was calm and I have much more trust in him then MacT. When MacT spoke when he was GM I always felt like I was on the Titanic.

    PC said that they will shore up the defence, and with him and McClelland and Bob Greene on the job, I have to trust that they will achieve this. It may take a few years, but it will be getting done as McDavid is learning the ropes.

    They need at least one top pairing Dman – maybe Sekera (LA’s Sekera money might be going to Lucic now).

    If the Oilers could get Sekera and a decent goalie, that should help them to have an improved season. Next year, when they have more money they can go big whale hunting.

  • Ndustry

    We came away with what looks to be a top 4 defenceman. check the box. And I believe Bob Green had more to do with this decision based on his role in the WHL and what he witnessed of Reinhart while he was captain of the Oil Kings.
    We have all seen defenceman take a step back before taking 2 steps forward.
    This year is not about making the playoffs, it may happen, but it is about letting Mclellan and staff change a culture and a style. When the coaching staff has had a chance to evaluate this team, the needs will be identified and I expect to see in season moves, trade deadline moves and with the contracts coming off the books at the end of the year a different look to the team before the 1st game in the new building. Chiarelli et al know this is about next year. Mcdavid with a year under his belt and the team positioning to make a serious run in the playoffs.

  • 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..)

  • a lg dubl dubl

    Lack to the Canes for a third and a seventh next year. Another situation where the price was a lot higher for a division rival, I think, since I have no doubt PC would have done that trade in an instant. We all should have expected that.

  • Ndustry

    Hey, now that Lack’s with Carolina, I wonder if they are planning to go with Lack and Khudobin and if so… we absolutely need to avoid Ward. Please tell me we’re going to ignore Ward. That contract and that injury history is terrifying.