More speculation on Dougie Hamilton’s upcoming contract talks and what the Flyers might do in the offseason. 

Hamilton’s contract situation.

Could the Oilers or Blue Jackets sign Dougie Hamilton to an offer sheet this summer?

Could the Edmonton Oilers or Columbus Blue Jackets sign Dougie Hamilton to an offer sheet this summer?

CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty considers re-signing defensemen Dougie Hamilton to be the Boston Bruins top priority this spring. Hamilton will get a healthy raise over his entry-level contract, though the timing isn’t the best for the cap-strapped Bruins, who have over $57.5 million invested in 15 players. If the cap reaches $70.5 million, the Bruins will only have $13 million in space to re-sign Hamilton, Ryan Spooner, Brett Connolly and Niklas Svedberg. They’ll also have to re-sign or replace pending UFAs Carl Soderberg, Adam McQuaid, Matt Bartkowski, Gregory Campbell and Daniel Paille. Haggerty doubts any of the latter will be back next season and feels the obvious hope is the Bruins can re-sign Hamilton to a two-three year bridge deal worth $3-$4 million per season.

“Something close to the five year, $20 million deal signed by Victor Hedman would be a fair deal for both sides, and the six year, $25 million deals signed by Jonas Brodin and Slava Voynov could be comparable contracts”, writes Haggerty. He also acknowledges the possibility Hamilton could become a target for an offer sheet, suggesting the Edmonton Oilers and Columbus Blue Jackets could come calling.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Haggerty points out, it’s in the Bruins’ best interest to get Hamilton re-signed before July 1, when the blueliner could receive offer sheets. While the Bruins will undoubtedly match, it would bite deeply into their remaining cap space. The Bruins can’t afford to play hardball, but they also just can’t roll over and pay Hamilton whatever he wants. I’m guessing $4 million per season for anywhere between two-to-four seasons is the likely scenario, provided this doesn’t drag on into July. If it does, Bruins management better hope Hamilton doesn’t feel like entertaining offers from rival clubs or this gets messy in a hurry.

Latest Flyers speculation.

SI.COM: Allan Muir recently examined where things went wrong this season for the Philadelphia Flyers. “Barring an unexpected jump in the salary cap—or GM Ron Hextall finding someone to take the bloated salaries of Luke Schenn or Nik Grossmann off his books—they don’t have the room to make any significant additions. And with few impact players expected to be available in free agency or via trade, they’re probably coming back with basically the same group next season,” writes Muir. He speculates the only real move Flyers GM Ron Hextall can make is firing head coach Craig Berube and hiring a replacement who puts value in scoring.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hextall’s repeatedly said he doesn’t foresee making any major moves. That doesn’t mean he won’t try to shed some salary, if his trading Braydon Coburn to Tampa Bay at the trade deadline is any indication. I expect he’ll try to find takers for Schenn, Grossmann and Vincent Lecavalier. Don’t expect big returns if he can move any of those guys, as the goal here is to rebuild with youth. No more quick fixes for the Flyers.