Mark Burke - Follow @m_burke42
With Friday’s trade of defenseman Dougie Hamilton to Calgary for three draft picks, the Bruins caught the fury of their fan base and were the center of scrutiny from the rest of the league over their poor handling of the situation.
Fans, the media and other teams couldn’t understand how the Bruins rushed to deal Hamilton in the blink of an eye, which resulted in them failing to maximizing the return for him in the trade market. In the two days since, more information has leaked out in regards to the contract talks between the two sides. It was reported by Sportnet’s Elliotte Friedman that Boston’s max offer was a six-year deal at $33 million ($5.5 million per year). Hamilton’s camp wanted $2 million more per year, and to the Bruins, there was no room for negotiating.
Today, a report from the Boston Herald details that there was more going on behind the scenes, as one assistant general manager told the Herald's Stephen Harris that Hamilton was a problem in the locker room, with the 21-year-old described as “a loner and sort of an uppity kid,” and it was “unanimous” that his teammates did not like him.
There have been other whispers from NHL reporters that Hamilton wasn’t big on the idea of staying in Boston. Friday in Florida, Sweeney told reporters that he didn’t feel Hamilton would be “comfortable” long-term in Boston.
Even if Hamilton didn’t want to re-sign with the Bruins, the fact remains that the team severely bungled the situation overall. They did not get max value for him whatsoever and the handling of the trade reeks of a team that lacked an understanding to the significance of their actions. Not only did the Bruins fail to get enough back for dumping Hamilton, their plan of vaulting up the draft board blew up in their face, forcing them to stay put and make three-consecutive first-round picks. Those assets won’t make an impact on the team in any way, shape or form for at least two, possibly three, seasons from now.
Sweeney’s first crack at tweaking the roster got off to a disastrous start, and his move of dealing Hamilton for future assets has set the Bruins back considerably. With free agency and trades still to come, Sweeney has a lot of work to do to convince Bruins fans this team is serious about contending for a postseason birth in 2015-16.