DALLAS (AP) — The Carolina Hurricanes acquired defenseman Dougie Hamilton on Saturday as part of a five-player trade with the Calgary Flames at the NHL draft, the latest move in a time of change for the playoff-starved team.
Carolina got Hamilton, winger Micheal Ferland and prospect Adam Fox from Calgary for center Elias Lindholm and defenseman Noah Hanifin in the biggest trade so far this offseason.
“When you’ve gone as long as we have without making the playoffs the message is we want to be better, we want to compete and we want to win,” Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell said.
The 25-year-old Hamilton now has been traded at the draft twice after going from the Boston Bruins to the Flames three years ago. The 6-foot-6 right-shot defender has 220 points in 423 regular-season games.
Dealing pending restricted free agents Lindholm and Hanifin is the latest shake-up for Carolina since Tom Dundon bought the team from Peter Karmanos Jr. earlier this year. The Hurricanes already removed Ron Francis as general manager, replaced him with Waddell and promoted assistant Rod Brind’Amour to head coach.
This trade changes Brind’Amour’s mix as Carolina looks to end the league’s longest playoff drought, which stands at nine seasons. Ferland gives the Hurricanes a big winger who can produce after putting up a career-high 41 points last season with Calgary.
“You’re talking about Dougie Hamilton, 17 goals as a defenseman,” Waddell said. “I think he’s got 90-some points the last two years, one of the premier offensive players as a defenseman in the league. We all know goal scoring is at a premium in the league, so we felt that was a huge addition for us on our blue line.
“We talked all along that we feel like we’ve got a lot of skill pieces up front and we need a little size and muscle up front, so Ferland, who scored 20 or 21 goals last year, fit that bill pretty well for us.”
Giving up the 21-year-old Hanifin and 23-year-old Lindholm was a heavy price to pay for the Hurricanes. Hanifin was the fifth overall pick in 2015 and joins an already deep blue line that includes Mark Giordano and T.J. Brodie.
Hanifin and Lindholm are reunited in Calgary with coach Bill Peters, who stepped down from the Hurricanes at the end of the season amid uncertainty within the front office.
“Obviously Bill spoke very highly of both players and really likes both players,” Flames GM Brad Treliving said. “Both guys are great character. He liked both players. It was a great resource to have.”
Waddell said Friday night that he’d heard a lot of trade chatter at the draft with almost nothing to show for it. Even after making this move, he’d still like to shore up Carolina’s goaltending situation either via trade or free agency. He also could trade defenseman Justin Faulk, whose no-trade clause kicks in July 1.
“We’ll stay busy,” Waddell said. “I can’t say for sure anything will get done. I’m pretty confident something will get done, whether it’s in the next few days or next 10 days.”