The Winnipeg Jets need to forget prairie politeness and shove their way past all suitors for defenceman Dougie Hamilton.
At six-foot-six, 229 pounds, and a right-handed shot, Hamilton would bring stability to the right side of the Jets’ defence, which has been in critical condition with the departures of Dustin Byfuglien, Jacob Trouba and Tyler Myers.
Hamilton is agile for his stature and has an offensive upside, putting up 10 goals and 42 points in 52 regular-season games this season. In fact, he has led all defencemen in goal-scoring over the past four seasons.
He’s a top performer at 5-on-5 among his counterparts and he plays a ton of minutes.
The one hit on Hamilton is that he doesn’t “fit in.”
This narrative has followed Hamilton through his playing days in Boston and Calgary.
I covered him with both organizations and it’s a talking point that needs to be erased as it doesn’t detract from his play on the ice.
So, what will it cost? It will be big. Hamilton is 27 years of age and in his prime, wrapping up a six-year, $34.5-million contract.
Winnipeg could find the resources to get the deal done but there will be multiple teams clamouring for Hamilton’s services – including his current team in Carolina.
But this is a doable deal, and a chance for the Jets to add not just a piece but the key piece to the puzzle.
Everyone knows the Jets need a top defenceman and Hamilton is of that calibre.