Detroit Red Wings: 3 defensemen to pursue in free agency

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(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Red Wings, Dougie Hamilton
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

Dougie Hamilton is a player the Detroit Red Wings need to prioritize in free agency.

Dougie Hamilton will be this summer’s, Alex Pietrangelo.  Let’s put it this way; it’s going to be a good summer to be Hamilton.  Pietrangelo had been the league’s most sought-after defender a year ago, and shortly after captaining the Blues to a Stanley Cup Championship, Pietrangelo finds himself back in the thick of things with the Vegas Golden Knights.

Pietrangelo, at 30-years old, cashed in on a long-term deal that averages $8.8 million per season.  In addition to the $61.6 million deal, Pietrangelo also has a no-movement clause built into his deal.

Hamilton is not quite as talented as Pietrangelo in my eyes, but he is a couple of years younger.  At 28-years old, I expect Hamilton to seek upwards of $9-million per season, but if the Detroit Red Wings have the opportunity to sign the veteran defender for $8-million (more of what I feel is market value), they shouldn’t balk.

When you look at the Detroit Red Wings as a whole, they haven’t replaced Niklas Kronwall since he retired.  The organization needs a top defender that can step right in and make an immediate impact.

If Hamilton joins the Red Wings, he’d automatically become the teams’ top defender.  Hamilton is right-handed, which oddly is at a premium these days.  When I was a kid, most of my friends shot right-handed; somewhere along the way, that seems to have changed.

Both Filip Hronek and Troy Stecher shoot right-handed, so adding Hamilton shores up all three pairings on the right side of the backend.  It’s also noteworthy that the organizations’ top prospect Moritz Seider is also right-handed.  Stecher is under contract for one more season. Hronek is currently a restricted free agent.

Hamilton has bounced around throughout his career.  He started in Boston, followed by Calgary and then Carolina.  Ironically, each of his stops to date has been just three years.

Recently the Hurricanes permitted Hamilton to seek a trade per Elliotte Friedman.

Hamilton is coming off of a stellar season where he amassed 10 goals and 42 points in 55 games.  The veteran defender has totaled 341 points, 106 goals in 607 career NHL games.

This past season, Hamilton averaged nearly 23 minutes per night with Carolina and provided the club with a Corsi For Percentage of 55.3%.

He’d be a cornerstone on the backend for the Detroit Red Wings for the years to come.