BOSTON (CBS) — On Tuesday, Dougie Hamilton signed a six-year contract with Calgary which will pay him an average of $5.75 million per season.
Considering the Bruins were reportedly offering nearly the same contract, it’s led many to believe that Hamilton simply wanted out of Boston.
From that, one might question why it may be the case.
Marc Bertrand and Adam Jones (filling in for Scott Zolak) explored that topic on Wednesday.
First, they played some audio from Hamilton, where the young defenseman refused to acknowledge anything that happened in Boston.
“Um, I don’t know, I think uhh — I don’t really want to talk about the past too much, like I said,” Hamilton told the media Tuesday. “I, umm, enjoyed my time there and, umm, right now it’s for me it’s all, umm, my excitement about the future and, umm, the last couple of days I’ve just been really excited about, umm, this new opportunity and, umm, being a Calgary Flame, and umm, for me it’s just really exciting. So, umm, I’m not really thinking about the past right now, and umm, just looking forward to getting to Calgary and starting a new chapter in my life.”
“Again, for me, it’s just, I’m excited to be a Flame and, umm, I think it’s a, I guess, that’s it for me.”
Hamilton was later given the opportunity to expressly deny that he wanted out of Boston, but he did not issue a denial of any kind.
“Well yeah, it’s for me it’s, umm, I’m just going to keep on saying how excited I am, umm, to be a Flame, and, umm, looking forward to the future and everything,” Hamilton said.
Bertrand and Jones said it would have been easy for Hamilton to squash the notion that he did not want to play in Boston.
“How you do it — ‘I loved Boston, enjoyed my time there, I just am looking forward to the opportunity in Calgary.’ Boom, done,” Jones said.
“I just think he’s not savvy enough to know what to say to quiet it down,” Bertrand said.
While it seems clear that Hamilton didn’t want to be in Boston, Bertrand laid a lot of the blame for that reality on the Bruins.
“I think you may have been able to nudge him a little bit and say, ‘What’s going on here? Why don’t you want to be here? What can we do to make it better? We want you to be a part of the team.’ You can kind of appeal to his senses a little bit as a young player and say ‘No, Dougie, you’re important to us. We want to make sure that you’re comfortable and you feel good playing here,'” Bertrand said. “And you know what, if it took until this, if it took until a contract negotiation to be saying that to a young player, I think the Bruins are living in the past. I think the Bruins are living in an era of decades ago in the NHL.”
Bertrand noted that young players these days came up through minors thinking very highly of themselves, much like Hamilton has been accused of.
“So is that a Dougie Hamilton problem, or is that a Bruins problem?” Bertrand asked. “I’m not saying I like that about these young players. Who likes that? Who wants that to be the case? But there’s a point where you have to say let’s deal with the realities that exist in our game and let’s adapt to them. Let’s live in the present.
“I think [Claude Julien] is living in the past, and I think that’s part of the problem. And maybe I’m a little late to the party on realizing this, but it feels that way. It feels that they’ve got a problem understanding the realities that exist with young players in their game.”
Listen to the discussion below: