There were a number of insiders thinking that the likelihood of defenseman Dougie Hamilton returning to the Carolina Hurricanes next season was 50/50, at best. With reports today that the Canes have given permission to the pending UFA to talk with other teams about a deal, the odds of him leaving seem to be going up.  

The Hurricanes are allowing Hamilton to speak to other teams reports Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman. Doing so opens the door for a potential sign-and-trade scenario. It’s certainly possible the defenseman re-signs in Carolina but as he gauges the market, he learns what he’s worth on the open market and he’s more likely to take get used to the idea of playing elsewhere. If that happens, the Hurricanes can at least get a decent return from a team who knows they’ll be able to the stud d-man to a long-term deal.

Hamilton recorded 42 points in 55 games during the 2020-21 campaign and will be a hot commodity on the open market. The problem a number of teams will have is affording his cap hit. That said, a handful of clubs will make room, or there’s always the Seattle Kraken who are starting from scratch with their cap and would be happy to add a Norris Trophy-caliber player. At just 28 years old, he’s still got a number of good years left to contribute big minutes.

What he’ll be worth on an extension isn’t clear, but some have suggested he could be in the Alex Pietrangelo range. Pietrangelo went to the Vegas Golden Knights last summer and signed a long-term deal for $8.8 million per season.

The Hurricanes Have Done This Before

If Hamilton is moved in a deal like this, it won’t be the first time the Carolina Hurricanes have gone this route. This past offseason, they sent pending UFA defenseman Joel Edmundson to the Montreal Canadiens for a fifth-round pick. Edmundson then signed a four-year, $14-million deal with the Canadiens.

This article first appeared on NHL Trade Talk and was syndicated with permission.

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