|Sides meet, but Bruins and Dougie Hamilton still not close on contract extension||06.25.15 at 2:22 pm ET|
FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Bruins general manager Don Sweeney and agent J.P. Barry met Wednesday night in Florida as the sides continue to discuss Dougie Hamilton’s next contract.
The sides are not close to a deal, as the meeting focused on where Hamilton stands at this point in his career and the term of a potential contract. Sweeney declined to reveal his preference for term when asked at Thursday’s pre-draft availability.
Sweeney described the status of negotiations as “further discussions” and said the sides are keeping “real, real good communication” in an effort to strike a deal.
Asked whether signing Hamilton before July 1 (the start of restricted free agency for Hamilton) is his priority, Sweeney replied, “In a perfect world, it would be.”
“You’ve got to have two sides to make a deal,” Sweeney added. “We’re just going to continue to explore that and communicate as best we can to continue to find the right deal.”
Sweeney said that if a team is to present Hamilton with an offer sheet in July, the B’s would “have to be aware and prepared for it.” It is expected that the Bruins would match any deal, though they would like to sign Hamilton on their own terms.
“We’re going to do whatever we have to do in order to protect the player,” Sweeney said when asked about potential financial maneuvers to ensure that the Bruins don’t lose Hamilton.
Given the salary cap in the NHL, the ideal scenario for the Bruins would be to sign Hamilton, a rising star, to a lengthy contract to buy out years of unrestricted free agency. That way, the Bruins would get more of Hamilton’s prime years for less money. Hamilton is four seasons away from having the service time accrued to be an unrestricted free agent. The max length for a team signing their own player to a contract is eight years.
Where that gets tough for the Bruins is that they don’t have the cap space to sign a player for a high average annual value, which is what such a contract would require. A shorter contract would command less per year, but the Bruins would either have to pay more at the end of it or risk losing their player on the open market down the road.
Both Ryan Spooner and Brett Connolly are also days away from restricted free agency. The Bruins have already begun talks with the representatives for both players. Sweeney reiterated that he hopes to re-sign Adam McQuaid.
Sweeney and Barry are expected to meet again before the end of draft weekend.
|Dougie Hamilton contract talks could pick up this week||06.22.15 at 4:04 pm ET|
Talks between the Bruins and restricted free agent Dougie Hamilton could soon pick up steam.
J.P. Barry, the agent for Hamilton, will be in Sunrise, Fla. later this week for the NHL draft. It’s expected that he and the B’s will talk shop as the sides look to find common ground on Hamilton’s next contract.
Hamilton, 22, is coming off his entry-level contract. Given his experience and his comparables, a long-term deal would likely command a steep cap hit, perhaps similar to that of Drew Doughty’s eight-year, $56 million deal signed back in 2011.
The Bruins could sign Hamilton to a shorter-term deal with a lower cap hit, but that would get Hamilton closer to unrestricted free agency, at which point he could command much more money.
If the Bruins and Hamilton do not strike a deal by July 1, Hamilton will be able to seek offer sheets from other teams. Should he sign with one of those teams, the Bruins would have seven days to either match that contract or take draft pick compensation instead.
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|Don Sweeney says ‘highly unlikely’ Bruins bring back Carl Soderberg, offers ‘no comment’ on Dougie Hamilton||06.19.15 at 11:34 am ET|
Carl Soderberg appears to be the latest casualty of the Bruins’ salary cap crunch.
The 29-year-old center had 13 goals and 31 assists this year while playing in all 82 games, playing out the final year of a three-year, $3 million contract. Soderberg will be looking for a big pay day as an unrestricted free agent.
The Bruins have just 16 players signed on their current roster and project to have $6.531 million in cap space remaining. Don Sweeney, preparing for his first NHL draft as general manager, knows he’s up against it.
“We’re trying to plan for every circumstance that may exist,” Sweeney said on a conference call Friday with reporters. “Carl was a very important part of our team this year. In a perfect world, we would be able to retain Carl. It’s highly unlikely at this point in time that that will be happening relative to our overall situation.”
With that eventuality in mind, the Bruins signed forward Joonas Kemppainen on May 21 to a one-year, two-way contract which would be worth a cap figure of $700,000 at the NHL level.
The 27-year-old played 59 games for Oulun Karpat in the Finnish Elite League during the 2014-15 season and recorded 11 goals, 21 assists and a plus-15 rating. In 19 playoff games for Karpat this year, the forward potted 10 goals and 14 assists for 24 points with a plus-14 rating. Kemppainen also competed in this year’s IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship where he ranked third on the Finnish team in goals (three), second in assists (six) and second in points (nine) in eight games played.
“I think Joonas represents a player of similar nature, similar skill set. He’s a big strong player,” Sweeney said. “He’s responsible. He’s 27 years old so he’s been through the pro ranks and he’s ready for it. He’s got some heaviness to his game. Look at his offensive production, it was pretty darned good this year in particular but really the last couple of year, he’s been very, very consistent and he rolled that right over to world championship, where again he was both very reliable, accountable as a two-player but also produced offensively, which is huge, huge for us.”
|A cheat sheet for those confused about the Dougie Hamilton situation (with visuals!)||06.15.15 at 12:17 pm ET|
Dougie Hamilton is going to get paid a lot of money and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. Any conversation about how he shouldn’t — and there have been several over the last few days — generally exposes a lack of understanding on the part of its participants.
We’ve written about Hamilton’s next deal multiple times now, outlining his comps and and what they made. Here’s an attempt at summarizing things for folks who may still be confused.
HIS COMPS ARE VERY GOOD
For the third time, look at this table:
Those are not advanced stats. It’s points per game. Division is not an advanced concept for most elementary school graduates.
NONE OF THESE GUYS WERE IN THEIR PRIME WHEN THEY SIGNED THEIR DEALS
The Kings took a leap of faith with Doughty by giving him that contract, and it has paid off. Doughty has led the Kings to two Stanley Cups since, and one could only imagine what he’d command if he had taken a short deal and had his contract come up again a couple years late.
The reason teams should go long at a higher cap hit is to buy out years of free agency. The goal is to have a player’s prime years cheap. A bridge contract means the team would have to later pay way more for those prime years.
|How Victor Hedman plays into Dougie Hamilton conversation||06.09.15 at 1:06 pm ET|
Victor Hedman has most definitely arrived. His sixth season in the NHL, despite an injury detour early in the season, has cemented his status as one of the top defensemen in the league. The Bruins could use someone like that, and they can only hope Dougie Hamilton becomes such an impact player.
They can do more than hope, actually. They can look at the players’ career paths and project accordingly.
Like Hamilton, Hedman is a big, skilled, offensively creative defenseman whose detractors note a lack of physicality. He was also a top prospect in his draft (second overall in 2009).
Hedman’s bigger than Hamilton; he’s 6-foot-6 and, after coming into the league at 220 pounds, is now listed at 230 pounds. Hamilton is 6-foot-5 and 212 pounds. He could stand to continue to bulk up.
Yet where Hamilton has Hedman — and pretty much everyone — is how his career has begun. If Hamilton has reached his ceiling, he’ll be a solid player who has a solid career. There’s little reason to think that, however, as he has outperformed plenty of great defensemen who ascended to stardom after their first three seasons.
Back in April, we compared Hamilton to P.K. Subban, Drew Doughty, Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Alex Pietrangelo, looking at the how they performed in their entry-level contracts and noting the contracts those players got. Given that Hedman has become one of the top young blueliners in the game, it’s worth revisiting with his numbers as well.
|Why Bruins should extend Dougie Hamilton for as long as they can||04.17.15 at 1:41 pm ET|
On Friday the Stars announced a seven-year extension with an annual cap hit of $4.25 million for John Klingberg, a promising defenseman coming off his entry-level deal. This offseason the Bruins ideally would use Klingberg’s contract as a template for Dougie Hamilton’s next deal. Hamilton’s camp likely will have other comps in mind.
One of those comps wears No. 76 for the Canadiens. You may have heard of him.
When it comes to Hamilton’s worth at the end of his entry-level deal, P.K. Subban is a very realistic comparable. Just look at their numbers through each of their first contracts:
In terms of points per game, Hamilton also is in some pricey company:
Hamilton will become a restricted free agent on July 1. The Bruins probably want to give him a long-term deal, but if he takes a shorter deal and gets to sign his third contract soon, he could potentially make a lot more money.
That’s what happened with Subban. The Canadiens were actually unwilling to give him the long-term deal he wanted after his entry-level deal expired, so he took a two-year deal worth just $2.875 million per. Subban shoved that in Marc Bergevin’s face by winning the Norris in the first year of that deal and later cashing in with an eight-year deal with an annual cap hit of $9 million.
The Bruins should avoid that scenario at all costs. Hamilton already is the Bruins’ second-best defenseman and easily is worth $5 million a year, and probably more.
The Bruins should give Hamilton a number that high for as long as he’ll take. Seven years at $5 million-plus per would buy out three years of unrestricted free agency, delaying perhaps Hamilton’s biggest payday until he is 29.
Because of that, Hamilton’s camp will demand more per year the longer the deal goes. A shorter deal will mean a smaller cap hit, as Hamilton will easily make up that money in free agency sooner if he gets there. Read the rest of this entry »
|Dougie Hamilton will not play in Bruins’ regular-season finale||04.10.15 at 3:17 pm ET|
TAMPA, Fla. — There will be no rush-job in Dougie Hamilton’s recovery from an upper-body injury. His March 21 injury was expected to keep him out for the rest of the regular season and will indeed do so.
Hamilton has been skating since Monday but has yet to practice with the team. He did not travel with the Bruins for their current three-game road trip. Asked whether Hamilton would play Sunday, Chiarelli reiterated he would not. Claude Julien had said on Tuesday that Hamilton would not go on the trip, though the Bruins were in less of a bind before losing two straight in regulation.
If the Bruins are still in playoff contention at the time, Saturday night’s game against the Lightning will be a must-win. They could be eliminated prior by either a Penguins win Friday or a Senators win earlier Saturday.
In 72 games this season, Hamilton had 10 goals and 32 assists for 42 points. As of Friday, his 21:20 time on ice per game ranked third on the Bruins, while his 54.91 Corsi for percentage in five-on-five play ranks fifth among Bruins players with at least five games played this season.
The 21-year-old will be a restricted free agent following the season.