The Carolina Hurricanes lost one of the top defencemen in the league this season. Dougie Hamilton was on pace for a career year when he broke his leg. This was a devastating blow to the team and Hamilton himself. If the season does not resume, or if there are no more regular-season games, Hamilton’s name should at least be considered in Norris voting.
Dougie Hamilton and His Case for the Norris
The Norris trophy is awarded to the NHL’s best defenceman each season. Almost always, it is someone who played the whole year and was dominant for the whole year too. However, in a case like this year, could an exception be made? Sportbook offers all kinds of bets. There is no doubt that for Norris voting, Hamilton would be a long shot. After all, he only played 47 games this season. If the pandemic of COVID-19 lasts so long that the NHL decides they either need to cancel the season or go straight to playoffs, it would mean that at best, the other contenders would have played 20 or so more games than Hamilton.
Now, this is a decent chunk, however, it’s not so massive that you can’t possibly see him winning. 20 games is a lot different than 30 or 35 which may have been the case if all 82 games are played. Even then, if the season doesn’t resume until close to summer, the possibility of Dougie Hamilton returning is much greater. Let’s take a quick look at what he has done so far and why his name should even be included here.
To start, we have to look at his on-ice counting stats. Hamilton had 14 goals and 26 points in 47 games while also playing big defensive minutes. No, these are not the totals of someone like John Carlson, however, given how good Hamilton is on defence, it is fair to say that these numbers are nothing to scoff at.
In fact, his 40 points would tie him for 18th in the entire league among defenceman today. Despite the fact that he missed more time than all of the players above him. His points per 60 minutes played (P/60) ranks sixth among all defensemen who have played over 35 games this season. That is sixth out of 190 possible people.
His actual time-on-ice stats are impressive too. Considering Carolina has an amazing defence, Hamilton still averages 23:17 for the Canes. He is an all situations type guy who can play basically anywhere and not look out of fit. This stuff is all usually considered when Norris voting takes place.
Now, let’s take a quick look at Dougie Hamilton’s advanced stats, these are where he really excels. Dougie Hamilton provided 13.2 goals above replacement to his team this season. That ranks 12th among all defensemen, once again despite the fact that he missed so much time. When you switch to GAR/60 Hamilton provided 0.723 Goals Above Replacement per 60 minutes. This ranked him sixth in the league among defensemen.
Looking at his zone stats, things get even more impressive. Carolina is known as one of the best possession teams in the league. So, let’s take a look at how they fare with Hamilton on vs off the ice.
As you can see, Hamilton is a huge driver of Carolina’s elite play. When he is on the ice both offensively and defensively one of the better teams in the league for play driving gets even better. This is one of the better splits in the league, especially for someone who played so many tough minutes.
Does Dougie Hamilton Have a Case
If voting were today, Hamilton obviously wouldn’t be the front-runner to win. That’s only fair due to the amount of great season’s that others have had this year. However, if everyone didn’t play a full season, his name should at least be included on the ballets. He could be a dark horse of sorts. Being one of the defencemen who are near the top in almost every category. If you did want to throw money down on a Sportsbook for something like this, be sure to always use a promo code when signing up.
It will be interesting to see what happens to the NHL this season. However, the name Dougie Hamilton should not be totally forgotten whenever award voting rolls around.