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.
The Canadiens gave P.K. Subban a bridge deal, which he used to enter his prime, win a Norris Trophy and establish himself as a $9 million-per-year player. If the Canadiens had played things correctly, Subban would simply be halfway through a much cheaper contract right now.
NOBODY IS SAYING HE’S DREW DOUGHTY
The salary cap in 2011-12, the first year of Doughty’s deal, was $64.3 million. Doughty’s $7 million cap hit took up 9.18 percent of the Los Angeles’ allotted cap space.
Let’s be honest: the fans and media don’t care about how much actual money these players make, but rather how much cap space they take up.
If the Bruins were to give Hamilton a long-term deal with a cap hit in the $6.5 million to $7 million range, they wouldn’t be suggesting they think Hamilton is as good as Doughty. They’d be suggesting that, after three seasons, he’s a little worse than Doughty was after three seasons (even though Hamilton has stats on his side).
The salary cap for next season is not yet official, but Gary Bettman has mentioned $71.5 million as a possibility. If Hamilton were to get rewarded the way Doughty did in such a cap climate, it would mean a $7.78 million cap hit. That isn’t going to happen.
STOP SAYING JULY 1
If a team is to swoop in with an offer sheet, it would not happen until mid-to-late July, as teams don’t offer-sheet players unless they think it won’t be matched. They wait for their targeted team to spend their money elsewhere.
Again, Steven Stamkos went nearly three weeks into restricted free agency and still wasn’t offer-sheeted. Tuukka Rask wasn’t offer-sheeted. Assuming Hamilton will be is counting on the improbable.
THE BRUINS SHOULD NOT LET HAMILTON GO
Draft pick compensation is awarded to teams who lose their players to offer sheets.
While the picks might look enticing, draft picks in the NHL are a very dicey commodity. As such, it would be risky to take any picks for Hamilton that aren’t in the top 10. Here’s a chart we made for a recent post on draft picks.
Compensation aside, the Bruins are in no position to let their best young defenseman (and second-best defenseman on the team) go. The Eastern Conference is still relatively weak, and they aren’t far off from contending. Losing their future No. 1 defenseman would be an obvious step in the wrong direction.