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FTB: can assistant coach Dean Chynoweth help the Leafs sign Dougie Hamilton?

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Come home, Dougie! Come home!

NHL: FEB 05 Hurricanes at Penguins
PITTSBURGH, PA - FEBRUARY 05: Carolina Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour talks to Carolina Hurricanes Defenseman Dougie Hamilton (19) on the bench during the third period in the NHL game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Carolina Hurricanes on February 5, 2019, at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA.
Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s no secret that Leafs fans are out buying museum tickets for Dougie Hamilton, the best free agent on the market this summer — or at the very least best defenseman. A local boy, the dominant right-shot defenseman has been a white whale for fans ever since they traded his draft pick for Phil Kessel. Now, after nine long years, they might finally have the chance to bring him home.

As free agency approaches, the Leafs have added their new defensive coach for this season, an experienced man by the name of Dean Chynoweth (pronounced “SHIN-owth”). He comes from Carolina, where he has coached Hamilton for the past three seasons. This connection is reminding Leafs fans of 2019 when the personal trainer for John Tavares, Wes Clark, was hired as the assistant director of player personnel days before Tavares signed his blockbuster contract with the Leafs. Could this be history repeating itself?

Under Chynoweth, Hamilton has had some of his best offensive and defensive seasons. He’s consistently been in the 57-58% shot share range, with scoring chances and expected goals both in the same range. He’s gone from being the fourth guy in Carolina to the top minute-eater for the team in the three years since the trade with Calgary. The big reason for this is the power play, but also a growth in defensive trust that has lead to regular minutes on the penalty kill. Clearly Rod Brind'amour believes in Hamilton, and Chynoweth by extension too.

Come home, Dougie, you’ll love it here.


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Hockey Men don’t watch the games, they just feel them with their guts.

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