Almost four years since he was traded from the Bruins to the Calgary Flames, defenseman Dougie Hamilton still claims he doesn’t know why he’s still not with Boston.
Hamilton, now with the Carolina Hurricanes after a trade from the Flames last summer, is getting ready to face the team that drafted him ninth overall in 2011 in the Eastern Conference finals, beginning at TD Garden on Thursday.
By now everyone knows the story that was widely reported: Hamilton, who was due to be a restricted free agent in the summer of 2015, turned down contract-extension offers and forced Boston general manager Don Sweeney into a trade. The Bruins got a first-round pick and two second-round pick in return for Hamilton.
In his return to Boston with Calgary during the 2015-16 season, Hamilton declined to expand on the situation that saw him dealt out of town, which was fine. But all these years later and now 25, he stuck to that tactic Wednesday after arriving in Boston.
“I don’t know,” said Hamilton, who paused a couple seconds before answering a question about why his relationship with the Bruins ended. “That’s the way it goes, hockey’s a business and that’s how it works sometimes.”
Hamilton’s answer was fine had it not been for something else he said. Asked about whether he expected his career with Boston would’ve lasted longer than the three seasons (one back in junior, two in the NHL) it did, Hamilton said:
“I mean when I got drafted and stuff I wanted to be a Bruin for life. … For me it’s kind of this is the way my journey’s kind of taken me and I’m pretty happy with how everything’s gone and the experiences I’ve been able to go through and be able to learn and grow and see different things. It’s been good.”
After you’re done rolling your eyes you can know that Hamilton doesn’t anticipate he’ll have a problem dealing with the Garden crowd’s reaction to him. It’s expected he’ll get booed every time he touches the puck, the same way Bruins captain Zdeno Chara is greeted when the puck handles in road rinks.
“Yeah, I mean it is what it is type of thing. I think I’ve been through it and I’m not too worried about it,” he said. “I think I’ve been through it a couple of years ago and if they still care about me that much, I think it’s a compliment to me.”
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