Off The Post Blog
I blog about the NHL, including players. I also write articles relating to collecting hockey cards.
dougie hamilton

Dougie Hamilton was born in Toronto in 1993. He stands 6’6″tall and weighs in at 210. Seems light for such a big frame. His best attribute isn’t his height as you would think, no Sir, it is the fact that he is a right shot defenseman. Right handed defensemen are like Gold in the NHL. Just ask the General Managers around the league how tough it is to land a right shot defenseman.

So why is it that Dougie Hamilton has been traded twice in the last 4 years? Dougie posted 17 goals last season, good for first among defensemen. Once again why has this player been traded twice? I have a theory that I would like to explain to my readers.

Let’s back up a bit at start and the beginning. Dougie Hamilton was drafted by the Bruins in 2011. Dougie spent three seasons in Boston. His most productive season turned out to be his last season in Boston, when he recorded 42 points in 2014-15. There were rumblings coming out of Boston that Dougie was a problem with other players.

In my investigation process for this article I found the following quote posted from an NHL Assistant GM.

“It was surprising,” said one NHL assistant GM. “It’s obvious there’s something going on that we don’t know about. From what I’ve heard behind the scenes, his teammates don’t like him. I heard he’s a loner and sort of an uppity kid, and that his teammates don’t like him and it was unanimous.”

There were also rumblings that Dougie Hamilton blocked a trade to the Arizona Coyotes. The Coyotes were allegedly giving up their 1st round draft pick number 3 overall in the June Draft. If Dougie had a choice in the matter, then I could see that happening. Maybe Dougie will call me and let me know! Yeah right!

The Boston Bruins traded Dougie Hamilton to the Calgary Flames in June of 2015. The Bruins sent Hamilton to the Flames for the 15th pick, 45th pick and the 52nd pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. The Bruins had an offer from the Edmonton Oilers that consisted of the 16th, 33rd and 57th picks of the draft. Problem is the Bruins also wanted Darnell Nurse so Peter Chiarelli, the Oiler GM, said no thanks and moved on from the conversation. (as an Oiler fan I am glad that trade didn’t materialize).

Dougie Hamilton played 3 seasons in Calgary. Three seems to be the magic number. Dougie averaged 14 goals and 32 assists for 46 points a year. Decent enough numbers. When Dougie first arrived in Calgary, he was arriving without a new contract, GM Brad Treliving promptly signed Dougie to a new 6 year deal that would pay him $34.5M. In October of 2015 the Calgary Flames sent a 7th round conditional pick to the Colorado Avalanche for Freddie Hamilton. It was clear that Dougie Hamilton wanted his brother in Calgary and clearly pressured GM Brad Treliving to get a deal done. Freddie played in only 8 games his final season in Calgary and was a healthy scratch 30 times. He was taking up a roster spot and that didn’t sit well with the other players on the team.

In January of 2018 the Calgary Flames waived Freddie Hamilton. Few days later he was traded to the Arizona Coyotes. Dougie’s older brother wasn’t his roommate anymore or his car pool buddy, this clearly upset Dougie. I can see why he would be mad, but to stay mad the rest of the season is just crazy. His play clearly declined as he looked disinterested most nights, especially near the end of the year. That didn’t sit well with Flame management. That leads us to the final trade to date.

Once again at the NHL Entry Draft in June of 2018 the Calgary Flames traded Dougie Hamilton, Michael Ferland and defenseman prospect Adam Fox to the Carolina Hurricanes for center Elias Lindholm and left shot defenseman Noah Hanifin. According to Carolina Hurricane media, Hanifin was having a bad year and Lindholm just wasn’t working out in Carolina. Sounds like a trade that should help both teams. Problems for a problem deal. Nothing wrong with that, sometimes a change of scenery can do wonders for a player.

There a quite a few people saying that Calgary made a horrible trade and that Carolina wins the trade hands down. Here is my take on that. I know Dougie has been a problem both in Boston and Calgary, a player of his caliber just doesn’t get traded if everything in the locker room is peachy. I haven’t been able to dig up any dirt on Lindholm or Hanifin. Hanifin can put up the same points in Calgary that Hamilton was producing. Lindholm should blossom in a hockey mad City. I think Calgary wins the trade. They got rid of a problem player and replaced his point production. They replaced the rugged Ferland with Lindholm. Calgary gains a lot of speed and loses some muscle, in today’s game I would rather have the speed.

That is it, that is all I got!

You can purchase hockey cards of all the players I have discussed in this article at my store Off The Post

Elias Lindholm Hockey Cards

elias lindholm elias lindholm elias lindholm 

Noah Hanifin Hockey Cards

noah hanifin 

matt murray

Matt Murray was drafted in the 3rd round, 83rd overall in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins. Matt is still just 24 years of age and already has a Stanley Cup to his name. What else does he have to do to prove himself? Not much in my opinion, maybe stay away from injuries. Last season he had his fair share of nagging injuries and a death in the family which took away from his playing time.

Matt did manage to play in 47 games last season. Murray posted career lows in wins 26, losses 17 and a save percentage of .910 I fully expect Matt will rebound this coming season and post a .920 save percentage. If he stays healthy he could play 55-60 games depending what the Penguins plans are for Tristan Jarry who is also ready for more playing time.

Matt Murray’s biggest asset is his size, if he could put on more muscle he may manage to avoid the injury bug, but, right now that has to be a concern for Pittsburgh management. They may be using Jarry more by the end of the year. Another asset Matt has when compared to goaltenders around the league is his coolness factor. On a scale of one to ten he is a cool cucumber sitting right at ten. He reminds me a lot of Hall of Fame goaltender Grant Fuhr in that regard. That brings me to a personal story I have about Matt.

In 2012 the CHL Top Prospects game was being held in Kelowna, BC, Canada. I happen to live 40 minutes from the Kelowna arena and often go to Kelowna Rocket games to scout future NHL players. The wife and I were sitting in the stands among a bunch of NHL scouts and Agents. My wife likes to go to live games but she isn’t much for watching on TV. At one point during the 1st intermission of the game she all of a sudden looks behind her and says to two gentleman “who are you”. I looked back to see who she was talking to and it was Allan Walsh and Rick Valette. I said to myself O No this outta be good.

Both gentleman looked at her, said who they were and the conversation continued. Elaine was asking them all kinds of questions and then when Rick Valette said that he was Ryan Nugent-Hopkins agent, the Oiler questions started to pour out of her mouth. In the meantime I struck up a conversation with probably the most influential hockey agent in the World, Allan Walsh. I asked all kinds of questions. Then, my wife out of the blue starts promoting Matt Murray. I gotta admit I liked what I saw out of him. She turned to Allan Walsh and said you gotta get this guy and I want half the commission if you do get him. She went on and on about how excellent Matt Murray was, I thought she was his agent. Anyway, hats off to Allan Walsh and Rick Valette for standing the barrage of questions. After the game my wife was delighted as she met Matt Murray and his Mother. She hasn’t stopped talking about it to this day. She is an Eberle fan for the forwards and a Murray fan for the goaltenders, who needs defense?

You can purchase Matt Murray Hockey Cards from my store Off The Post Can’t find what you are looking for? Please contact me. I will track it down for you guaranteed.

Matt Murray Hockey Cards

matt murray 

evgeni malkin

Evgeni Malkin was drafted 2nd overall in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins. Two very good players were drafted 1st and 2nd, the other is Alexander Ovechkin. The only other notable players from the first round of 2004 are Andrew Ladd, Blake Wheeler and Cory Schneider. Its a safe bet to say Pittsburgh Penguin fans are very happy with the Malkin pick. Malkin has only put up 370 goals and 560 assists for 930 points in 12 years.

This will be his 13th NHL season. His first year in the league was 2006-07 when he posted 85 points as a rookie. Malkin hasn’t spent many seasons free of the injury bug, seems like something always bites him and he ends up playing 65 games or so. When healthy he can bring you out of your seat with excitement. Last season Malkin managed to play 78 games, he was extremley productive posting 42 goals and 56 assists for 98 points.

Last season at roughly the half way mark, Evgeni Malkin found himself in 26th place in league scoring on the strength of 36 points, 20 points behind the league leader Nikita Kucherov who had 56 points. Malkin had played 36 games up to that point and Kucherov had played 38, cut off date is Jan 1, 2018. Malkin and McDavid were both first half under performers, that is if you call a point per game under performing. After January 1st Malkin lit it up posting 62 points in 42 games, only McDavid had more with 63. Malkin finished 4th in NHL scoring, just 2 points behind Kucherov. Kucherov finished 3rd.

Malkin is an extremely skilled forward with soft hands for a big man standing at 6’3″tall and tipping the scales at 200 pounds. He can dangle around any NHL defender. Plays the center position more than the wing but can play either wing. He prefers center because it opens up more ice for him to create. He plays behind the net in the offensive zone very well and can score quickly on a wraparound if you are not paying attention. Reminds me of Mats Sundin at times.

Malkin has a contract that pays him $9.5M per year. His contract expires in 2022-23 season when he will be 36.

You can purchase Evgeni Malkin Hockey Cards from my store Off The Post If you don’t find what you are looking for please give me a call by visiting my contact page.

Evgeni Malkin Hockey Cards

evgeni malkin evgeni malkin 

tomas hertl

Tomas Hertl was selected 17th overall in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft by the San Jose Sharks. The 24 year old was born in Praha, CZE. Still just 24, Wow! Hasn’t even reached his prime yet. Seems like he’s been around longer. Already a seasoned vet as this will be his 6th season in the league. He had 2 years where he missed almost half a season but other than that he has been healthy for the most part.

I still won’t forget his first few NHL game. In his third game, and I repeat, in his third game he scored 4 goals. He did that amazing feat while just receiving 11 minutes of ice time. If you would like to watch it you can find it here He scored the last 4 goals of the game. You should watch the highlights just for the fourth goal he scored. To do what he did in only his 3rd game is astonishing. What else is astonishing about the feat? He did it against one of the leagues top goaltenders, Henrik Lundqvist. Henrik didn’t have much of a chance on any of the goals.

Tomas is looking to improve on the 22 goals and 24 assists he had last season. The potential is there for 30 goals and 30 assists but he just hasn’t managed to get there. Most of his even strength ice time was spent with Logan Couture and Kevin LaBanc. Melker Karlsson replaces LaBanc sometimes to change things up. The Sharks had Boedker playing with Hertl and Couture at the end of the year, which should help Couture and Hertl produce more. Most of Hertl’s powerplay time was spent with Couture, Big Joe and Little Joe.

Look for Hertl’s production to spike this season. I am locking him in for 25 goals and 30 assists for 55 points.

You can purchase Tomas Hertl hockey cards from my store Off The Post

Tomas Hertl Hockey Cards

tomas hertl tomas hertl tomas hertl 

charlie coyle

Charlie Coyle was drafted 28th overall in 2010 and is just now starting to live up to his potential. He is 6’3″ and 220 pounds. Still just 26 years of age and if you ask some the next couple years will be his prime years.

Charlie posted 11 goals and 26 assists last year but played in only 66 games. I find it odd that Charlies shooting percentage has declined the last three seasons. It was rather high at 15% three years ago and 11% two years ago. Last year it dropped to 9% which is a more realistic number, but when you factor in that he is also shooting less, it is obviously a recipe for a decline in goal production. If he can find a way to increase his shots he should be fine and approach 20 goals. he does receive a 1.23 minutes per game on the powerplay.

If the end of last season is any indication, Charlie should be playing on a line with Eric Staal and Jason Zucker. He should also see powerplay time with those same players.

Charlie has outstanding offensive tools such as soft hands and a quick release. Has play-making abilities. Has the size required to guard the puck and knock guys off the puck but just doesn’t use his body enough. Can be frustrating to watch at times because you know the talent is there. He has a strong work ethic and he has an attitude for not backing down, he just doesn’t use his body enough to protect the puck once he has it.

Charlie Coyle’s strength is his two-way play. Usually the first player in the offensive zone and is the player tracking the puck to the boards. Once puck possession changes, Coyle reverses and starts making opponents life miserable in the defensive zone.

You can purchase Charlie Coyle hockey cards from my store Off The Post

Charlie Coyle Hockey Cards

charlie coyle charlie coyle charlie coyle charlie coyle charlie coyle 

matt dumba

Matthew Dumba was drafted 7th overall in the 2012 NHL entry draft by the Minnesota Wild. Spent his junior career with the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League in the CHL. Matt is just 24 years old and already has 4 years of NHL experience. Matthew was rewarded for his stellar play last season when the Minnesota Wild signed him to an extension that will see him earn $6M annually.

Matt is coming off of his best statistical year in the NHL. Matt seen his ice time increase to 23.50 minutes last season up from the previous seasons 20.00 minutes per game. Matthew responded in a big way, posting 14 goals and 36 assists for 50 points. Matt posted just 2 powerplay goals with just over 2.00 minutes per game of ice time. Matthew continued to throw his weight around posting 136 hits.

If Matt Dumba can increase his shot total (176 last season) to 200 this season he should see a rise in goals. He had an eight percent shooting percentage throughout last season. For the last two season’s Dumba has been paired up with Jonas Brodin, and I see no reason as to why that would change next season. Ryan Suter and Jared Spurgeon seem to be glued at the hip. You will probably see Matt paired up with Suter when the Wild go on the powerplay.

Matt has a cannon for a shot, and if he buckles down this year he has the offensive talent to post 20 goals, if not this year then soon. He is paired with Brodin who is very defensive minded so Matt could gamble a little more offensively, knowing Brodin is there to back him up.

You can purchase Matt Dumba hockey cards at my store Off The Post

Matt Dumba Hockey Cards

matt dumba