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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  • 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.

  • 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


    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!

  • smith

    Nurse will be a good player I would expect but saying will be better than Hamilton seems unlikely.

    Hamilton is only a year and half older and is a #1 defensemen. Same sort of path as Peterangelo, Subban and Karlson. He was 23 in defence man points and has as good possession stats as people like Chara, Giodano etc… Have a look at his WOWY. Bergeron and Chara are both a lot better when playing with Hamilton.

    Nurse will be a very good player but looks like he will be slower to make an impact and the NHL than Hamilton. (he may end up being as good eventually it might just be a longer progression)

    The oiler failure was not getting an established defence man with their 16th and 32nd picks. Reinhart while his progression seems to have stalled now, may eventually make it as a good player but it will take time. Talbot is a young goalie who seems very good. How will he be after being shell shocked by 200 shots a game for the next couple years while the OIl wait for defence men to develop? Hopefully the Oilers can do something to add a couple of at least defensively capable d-men (and not bottom pairing ones).

    • Mac07

      HAHAHAHAHAHA dude Nurse was the best D-man at the world jrs and he’s way better skater than Hamilton…Nurse makes the team this year coz he’s that good. Everybody is entitled to a opinion but in 2 years Nurse is gunna be special. Hamilton played on a very good Boston team…if he’s playing on the Oil the last few years he wouldn’t be gettn 5-6 mil offers! Oil country would probably all over him like we are with shultz right now..yes he’s better than shultz but you get my point. The numbers don’t mean s..t

  • 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?

  • toprightcorner

    Sweeney is obviously in way over his head. The trade with Calgary was a disaster and two of their three draft selection in the first half of the first round could easily have been picked up later. This is less a rebuild then a tear down. Or a surrender. They come out of the draft without their best young player and a signature forward in exchange for very little. When is Chara going? Glad I’m not a Bruins fan. They are a much weaker team with a saw-off at best in young players.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

    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)


  • 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…

  • 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

      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.

    • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Dwayne Roloson 35

    The headlines out of Boston would have been bad, “Sweeney fleeced by ex-Bruin’s GM”. At least with the trade with Calgary, everyone in Boston is asking, “Calgary? What’s Calgary?”

  • MacT's Neglected Helmet

    I am very happy looking at the new line up of Oiler defenders coming in…. Klefbom, Nurse and now Reinhart, with Davidson make up a very good start to the back end.

    Concerning a new goalie or defenseman…. Nikitin should be a buyout while Ference, Schultz and Marancin are assets to trade. There are guys to move as well like Purcell and maybe Yak.

    Now if the Oilers can pick up one or two more top end type guys for vet support like a Sekera, Martin, maybe even Green then what a change that us Fans have been waiting so long for.

    Hell I am still game to cheer hugely if Chiarelli can somehow package next years number 1 plus another good pick along with some prospects and get Seabrook from Chicago.

    Now then the Oilers are in the driver seat against the league. We are on the right track and I am happy getting Connor first and Griffin second so far.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • JackB

    You know, we do have a pretty classy GM.

    He wouldn’t throw his old assistant GM, Sweeny, under the bus yesterday.

    And I bet he even feels badly that his old assistant is really screwing up Boston’s rebuild.

    Sweeny is actively showing that maybe Boston shouldn’t have fired Chiarelli. I wonder if there was some bad blood between he and Cam Neely?? There may have been, but Chairelli will never admit it – he’s too classy.

  • smith

    Ok Oilers fans, you should not be so concerned about the one who got away! You just got one of the best players o come along in 10 years! You have has numerous 1st round, 1st picks and many others, and on paper your team has nothing but potential. Myself, grew up in S Alberta, was a Rangers and Oilers fan…forever. Moved to Calgary, and of course have become a Flames fan, you live here and you cheer here. Having said that a rare bird who would cheer on the Oil when they make the playoffs…except, well you. The Flames needed a bit of luck, we had no picks, very few players to leverage into picks and a pile of picks traded away by Sutter(GM days). We go lucky with Johnny, Monaghan and maybe Bennett. Gio stepped up. remember he went on a sabbatical to Russia, at one time…hardly a top D man. So we got Hamilton, look what you got over the last 10 years. Personally, I think the Oilers needed a top notch coach…it matters, and at least one good driver ala Messier. Had the good fortune to live in Edm in the later 80’2 early 90’s, when Gretsky got traded, but took nothing but pleasure to see the Oilers and Rangers win cups with Messier leading. So, good leader, good coach, and strong players (mostly), you should enjoy the ride, better to win when you don’t expect it…that’s what we are experiencing in Calgary!

  • BigMcD

    Klefbom Franson

    Fayne Reinhart

    Nurse Ference


    Not the best but definitely an improvent. Just give Klefbomb and Nurse some more time and they could be very good.

    • smith

      What? How is that an improvement?

      Petry was the best defence man the oilers have. Did you not see how effective he was for an actual playoff team? Reinhart is very doubtful to be ready for the NHL. Nurse probably is ready for NHL but might be best spending some time in AHL. Franson is not capable of being a Number 1, and Klefbom is a somophore. Did you not see what happened to Maricin in his second year? If you do not start sheltering some young d-man they will not be developing too well. Nurse, Klefbom and Reinhart can be good defence-men in a few years. Shelter them and develop them appropriately for once.

      Gryba is no more relevant than Aulie and certainly does not shelter anyone.

  • smith

    I think the oiler fans are in a dream. Anyone in same draft positions would have taken the majority of selections in the first round over the years. They are sure gonna wish they took bennett over Leon. Bennett should win the calder. The rest of the rounds in the draft are for professional scouts. The oilers lost out on the hamilton deal because of pc history with the bruins. Winsome lose some. You got all your good draft luck and for most part have squandered it. The whole NHL agrees. I hope good things for connor in spite of the oilers no honour for connor 2014 2015 season. I truly feel sorry for him when thousands show up for a practice and cheer every time he scores. Can you imagine the pressure there is on this 18 year old kid. The coach is going to have to protect him the first year. Good luck to the oilers and now maybe play with some class and quit trying to lose every night for a draft pick.