By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Hurricanes defenseman Dougie Hamilton was a Boston villain long before he committed a pair of penalties and tried getting in Zdeno Chara’s face in Game 1 of the 2019 Eastern Conference finals.
It was in 2015 that Hamilton, drafted by the Bruins with the ninth overall pick in 2011, essentially refused to negotiate a new contract with the Bruins. That forced B’s general manager Don Sweeney to find a suitor for the 6-foot-6 defender. He ultimately landed in Calgary, where he set career-bests in a three-year run with the Flames before he was traded yet again, this time to the Hurricanes as part of a five-asset swap between the teams. All before Hamilton turned 26 years old.
Strange rumors circled Hamilton in both Boston and Calgary, too.
He was reportedly considered a ‘loner’ in both stops, or as somebody who kept to himself instead of going out with teammates and enjoying team functions. And according to some, it was with the Bruins that Hamilton essentially demanded that the B’s trade for his older brother, Freddie Hamilton. (Freddie, spent some time with the Flames following Calgary’s acquisition of Dougie, but has done almost nothing in his NHL career, with four goals and two assists in 75 games between four different organizations. Freddie did not play hockey anywhere in 2018-19.)
In other words, Hamilton could certainly seem like an odd bird.
But ‘Canes coach Rod Brind’Amour had a different way of describing Hamilton.
“He’s an interesting guy,” Brind’Amour, whose Hurricanes trail their third-round series against the Bruins 1-0 after a 5-2 loss on TD Garden ice on Thursday, began. “I think he’s misunderstood, totally.
“We got him and you hear things, and then you sit down with him and he’s very engaging. He wants to win really badly, as does everybody else. I think his personality is a little more laidback.”
"He's an interesting guy and I think he's misunderstood, totally."— FOX Sports Carolinas (@CanesOnFSCR) May 11, 2019
-- Rod Brind'Amour on his impressions of Dougie Hamilton since joining @NHLCanes. #TakeWarning | #StanleyCup Playoffs pic.twitter.com/V1nB7j4l5M
Brind’Amour also seemed to appreciate the way Hamilton handled what Hamilton clearly felt were bad penalties in Game 1.
“I think he handled everything really well the other night,” said Brind’Amour. “I think he felt he got the wrong end of the deal and I think he handled it right. I think he’s gonna bounce back and have a really good game.”
But if not, the Dougie jeers from a bloodthirsty Garden crowd will be out in full force yet again.
Game 2 will be on Sunday afternoon, with puck-drop set for a little after 3 p.m., and can be heard on 98.5 The Sports Hub.