Dougie Hamilton

Bruins past and present don't understand why Dougie Hamilton wanted trade from Boston

DJ Bean
August 10, 2015 - 9:42 am
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MIDDLETON -- Summer Tuukka Rask is different than the one we'€™ll see in the fall, winter and spring. Summer Tuukka Rask isn'€™t as fiery, perhaps because he isn'€™t at work. As such, when he said that he isn'€™t concerned about the state of the Bruins'€™ defense -- a group that made his life hard last year before it lost Dougie Hamilton -- his outlook should be taken with a grain of salt. "I don'€™t think there'€™s a reason to worry," Rask said of Boston'€™s defense Monday at Shawn Thornton'€™s Putts and Punches for Parkinson'€™s golf tournament. "I haven'€™t been worried." Rask knows better than anybody how much the Bruins needed to improve on the back end, as his play had to make up for a rough season on the blueline. Between having to play nearly every time the B'€™s took the ice (70 of 82 games) and facing tougher challenges as a result of the team'€™s defense, Rask was overworked as a result of the team'€™s shortcomings. So when Boston'€™s defense lost Hamilton, a 22-year-old restricted free agent who wanted out, it would have been understandable for the 2014 Vezina winner to head to the dairy section of his local grocer and go H.A.M. on some milk crates. Instead, Rask took an it-is-what-it-is attitude when asked about Hamilton'€™s trade to the Flames. "Obviously I was surprised," Rask said. "I think everybody was surprised, but there'€™s always the truth somewhere. I haven'€™t heard what happened, but if he felt like he had to move on, he had to move on." While there was something (however small) to the chatter that Hamilton wasn'€™t the most popular guy in the Bruins'€™ dressing room, it would have been hard for Hamilton'€™s teammates to take issue with the way he played. Hamilton was clearly Boston'€™s second-best defenseman behind future Hall of Famer Zdeno Chara and he was in line to eventually take the torch from Chara as the next in a long line of great Bruins blueliners. Hamilton'€™s fit with his teammates was not a big deal in the Bruins'€™ eyes, which is evidenced by the fact that they tried to re-sign him. Whether it was his teammates, the city or coach Claude Julien, it has not been made clear why Hamilton wanted to leave. "I thought he felt comfortable with everybody," Rask said, "but what you feel deep inside is a different thing and he felt like he needed to move on." Thornton laughed off a question about the Hamilton situation by saying he didn'€™t care, but he admitted he found the departure to be a bit odd. "Listen, I'€™m a little surprised," Thornton said. "I loved Boston, obviously, and for someone to want to get out of it, I don'€™t get it '€” especially in the first few years. But it'€™s his world. He had decisions to make and that'€™s the one he made. Hey, hopefully he'€™s happy in Calgary." The Bruins received a very underwhelming package of three draft picks in exchange for Hamilton, who will co-star on a terrific blue line in Calgary. The deal did not help the Bruins for 2015-16 at all, as the team used the three picks on prospects Zachary Senyshyn (15th overall), Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson (45th overall) and Jeremy Lauzon (52nd overall).