Dougie Hamilton quiet in return to Boston
As Bruins captain Zdeno Chara continues his decline, Dougie Hamilton was supposed to be the one who would eventually take over the reigns as the Bruins’ top shutdown defenseman. As they should have been, the Bruins were patient with Hamilton, who hit growing pains as expected during his development.
As the 2016 calendar flips to March, Chara is very much in decline and Hamilton very much continues to develop into an eventual top defenseman. Unfortunately for the Black and Gold, not everything went according to plan.
On June 26, Hamilton was traded to Calgary in exchange for a 2015 first and two 2015 second round draft picks. Reports later surfaced that Hamilton was unhappy in Boston and wanted out leading to his eventual trade. Whether they were true or not, the Bruins once promising plan was that no more.
Twenty-four hours after adding veteran blue-liner John-Michael Liles to help their defensive depth, Hamilton returned to TD Garden as a visitor for the first time.
On a night where he should have been slotted alongside Chara in a game where the Bruins so badly needed two points, Hamilton instead was logging minutes on the opposite side of the ice where he was severely booed every time he touched the puck.
Hamilton has had a down year in Calgary for a team that has severely underperformed just one season after earning a playoff birth. But for anyone that watched Hamilton during his tenure in Boston should know how high the ceiling is for Hamilton.
“Yeah I mean it’s… we’re a young team and developing for the future and stuff so, if you look at our core players, we are young players and we are only getting better,” Hamilton said following Tuesday’s 2-1 loss. “We’ve got to just keep developing as a team and keep improving and hopefully we can win a Cup one day.”
Although his former team got the best of his new team, Hamilton had “fun” in his return to the Garden despite being booed from start to finish. Hamilton said he actually enjoyed being booed by the fans that cheered him for three seasons.
“I don’t know I kind of liked it so… it kept me going,” Hamilton said of the booing. “I don’t know I just did (liked the booing). They are obviously watching me out there… it means something to them, so it’s just motivation for me.”
Even if Hamilton wanted out, playing against the team that drafted you and developed you as a player is motivation enough. On the ice Hamilton was pretty non-existent as he finished the night a minus-one.
“Yeah I thought they were pretty good. I mean I think I liked our teams in the past better when I was there and I think they made a lot of changes and stuff, too” added Hamilton. “So there are a lot of faces you don’t really know, it’s not quite the same as before, but at the same time they play a really good system and didn’t really give us many opportunities.”
When asked if Hamilton had any regrets in leaving Boston his answer was simple.
Hamilton was wearing a Mike’s Pastry hat when he met the media postgame. It’s safe to say there’s, at least, one thing he misses about Boston.