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Don "Harry Sinden" Sweeney refuses to negotiate with Dougie Hamilton, Bruins doomed to mediocrity

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Some compelling stuff, as always, in Elliotte Friedman's 30 Thoughts article this week. Apparently, Dougie Hamilton was offered "six years and $33M to Hamilton, while the response was about $2M per year higher." Let's do the math real quick.

  • 33 million / 6 years = 5.5 million per year (a bit low, but cap-wise very friendly, in my mind)
  • 5.5 + 2 = 7.5 million per year (a bit high, in my mind)
  • There's also the Bob Stauffer report of 6.5 x 7 years (probably reasonable)

Now, it's pretty common for two sides to differ in price on their initial offers during a negotiation. We just have to remember what the NHL and NHLPA started at during the lockout. The first lockout offer was an "offer" of reducing the player's share by 19 percent, while also limiting player contracts to a maximum of 4 years, pushing free agency back by 3 years, extending rookie contracts 2 years, and eliminating signing bonuses entirely. This was the plan put forth by the Jeremy-Jacobs-led owners, so it's not like there aren't people in the organization that don't know what leading with a ridiculous deal and working your way to a resolution takes. As Friedman himself explains, "Any good negotiator will tell you to exaggerate your opening position."

And that's exactly what happened. Except, instead of Don Sweeney deciding that he would play ball with Dougie's representation and work towards a deal - which, as an RFA, he could do for as long as he wanted - they decided to do what the Bruins have always done with a player who gets a little big for his Bruins-assigned britches: They toss him like yesterday's garbage. Which is not really how you build a team in a cap league.

The Chicago Blackhawks have been the best team in the league for the last 6 or 7 years. You can see what they have done to maintain that. The Bruins took one look at Chicago and said "well, we better do the opposite." Chicago locks up its core of talent, and lets the easily replaceable bottom of its lineup pursue big money elsewhere. The Bruins did the exact opposite of that on Friday - they traded Dougie Hamilton for a couple of lottery tickets, and signed Adam McQuaid, who will likely slam his head into a wall again this season and miss a month or two, to a huge raise. This is the sort of thing that bad teams do to stay bad. This is not what good teams do to stay good, or bad teams do to get good.

Don should know about the Blackhawks. The Bruins, despite trying to keep Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton from playing, pushed the Blackhawks all the way to game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals in 2013. Then, much like the team that pooped itself at the end of that game, the Bruins front office completely lost it. They traded Seguin even though he had an untradeably good deal. After the deal, Seguin suddenly was too much of an extrovert. He had an instagram account, for gods sake! And now, after dealing Hamilton with the same white-knuckle panic, Dougie is suddenly too much of an introvert. He's never posted on twitter, for god's sake! Oh hey, is that Phil Kessel all over again?

Somebody remember to keep Don's contact info so we can get him to sign the picture of Dougie with the Norris and Seguin with a scoring title in the same year.