It seems that when it comes to Dougie Hamilton, the Calgary Flames can't help but be total thieves. First, they got the 22-year-old potential franchise defenceman for a mere three draft picks (and then went on to have an excellent draft themselves with their remaining picks). Now, they've gotten him at a hell of a deal.
The Flames have signed RFA Hamilton to a six-year, $5.75 million deal. His deal will carry through until he's 28, thereby taking up two of his UFA years. This is the longest contract the Flames have signed a player to in recent history (TJ Brodie's extension with the Flames was a five-year, $4.65 million AAV deal.)
Hamilton is getting paid as much as Andrei Markov, Matt Niskanen, and Toby Enstrom. He is younger and better than all of them.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Yr by yr for Hamilton: 1)$5.5 mil 2)$5.5 mil 3)$5.75 mil 4)$5.75 mil 5) $6 mil 6)$6 mil. Ltd no trade clause in years 5-6.</p>— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) <a href="https://twitter.com/DarrenDreger/status/615944627875618817">June 30, 2015</a></blockquote>
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Hamilton is now the most expensive player on the Flames' roster, but he's completely worth it (definitely more worth it than the previous most expensive player, Dennis Wideman, and his $5.25 million cap hit). He's already an elite top four defender at just 22 years of age, and to get that kind of talent on a deal this low - relative to his skillset and what he should develop into, it's low - for six years is an absolute bargain.
Of course, he likely won't be the Flames' highest paid player for long. Even if the team doesn't make any free agency splashes this year, Mark Giordano - Calgary's current number 1 defender - is set to earn a big raise from his $4.02 million cap hit, and the Flames have made it clear keeping him on board is a priority.
Hamilton will, in all likelihood, get his really big contract one day, too. That day, however, is years from now.
Six years, in fact.
Six years of being paid $5.75.
It's a good time to be a Flames fan - especially when your top three defencemen combine for a $14.42 million cap hit.
Consider this an official welcome to Calgary, Dougie. We're happy to have you.