The Contract: 5-years $54 million ($9 million AAV)
While I fell into the peer pressure, but how could you not with the way Hamilton has performed during the majority of his NHL career, especially in the last two seasons. Over the past two years, Hamilton has produced 82 points in just 102 games, good for 11th among NHL defencemen during that stretch despite playing 20 fewer games than most of his competition.
Combine Hamilton’s outstanding presence offensively with his tremendous 6’6″ frame and smooth skating, there’s no secret why he’s the hottest commodity in this year’s free-agent class, and why Senators fans everywhere are excited about the remote chance of attaining the star defenceman. The two-way defenceman doesn’t just stand out on the score-sheet, he is one of the better-graded defencemen analytically, here’s how he ranks league-wide in different metrics:
- 56.03 CF% (15th)
- 2.82 xGF/60 (2nd)
- 1.6 GA/60 (10th)
- 62.12 GF% (15th)
Hamilton checks out in every evaluation used, there’s no denying that he’s a top-10 defenceman in the league and he’s inched his way potentially into the top-5.
One of the Senators remaining needs is finding a partner for Thomas Chabot, bringing Hamilton into the fray gives the team the chance to stop force-feeding Nikita Zaitsev top-minutes and relegate him to the bottom-pairing. This simple swap would make the team exponentially better, Hamilton’s play would provide Chabot with a mobile, competent top-pair defenceman and would likely prevent the current Senators number one defenceman from being the league’s ice-time leader three years running.