The LA Kings should go all in on Dougie Hamilton

Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Kings Sean Walker
LA Kings (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Show me the offense.

Sean Walker is more offensive-minded than Matt Roy, but he does not have Dougie Hamilton’s offensive game. Successful offenses in the NHL get scoring from both their forwards and their defenseman. Outside of Drew Doughty, the LA Kings do not have a legitimate scoring threat from their blueline. Dougie Hamilton would change all of that.

Over his past seven seasons, Hamilton is averaging over 42 points per year, and in that span, has never scored less than ten goals in any of those seasons. Outside of Doughty, no other Kings defenseman even comes close to that. Remember how anemic the Kings’ second powerplay unit was last year? Having Dougie Hamilton as the quarterback of that unit would go a long way toward fixing it.

The LA Kings have the aforementioned right-shot defense prospects like Brock Faber, Jordan Spence, and Helge Grans in the pipeline, but they will need three to four more years before arriving in LA. Dougie Hamilton will want a seven-year contract, and so there is a concern giving him that long of a deal will eventually block those prospects from coming up.

A lot can change in three years, and the Kings should not pass on a chance to improve the team now and long term to avoid a problem that might occur in three years (remember, there is no guarantee any of the prospects succeed at the NHL level, regardless of how highly touted they are).

To make room for Dougie Hamilton, Sean Walker would most likely end up being moved. It’s a shame because I like Sean Walker as a player, but he is a proven NHL defenseman on a great contract that would make him a very enticing trade target for other teams. Could he be used to help address other areas of need on the Kings?

Bringing in Dougie Hamilton would eat up a lot of the LA Kings’ available salary-cap space this offseason. The good news is that over the next three seasons, Dustin Brown’s, Jonathan Quick’s, and Anze Kopitar’s contracts all come off the books along with Jeff Carter’s retained salary and Dion Phaneuf’s buyout (although Kopitar and perhaps Brown will be brought back on cheaper contracts).

Couple this with the fact that the salary cap will be going up in a couple of years, and the prospects will still be on their ELC’s, so the Kings will still have a lot of financial flexibility. Because of this, I say the LA Kings would be able to offer Dougie Hamilton a seven-year, 63 million dollar contract and still have room to make moves next season and beyond.