June 30, 2015

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) Bruins general manager Don Sweeney didn't think Dougie Hamilton would have been ''comfortable'' signing long term in Boston.

The defenseman was more than comfortable to make that commitment in Calgary.

Hamilton signed a $34.5 million, six-year deal Tuesday with the Flames that adds him to one of the NHL's best defense groups. He'll carry a cap hit of $5.75 million per season.

''I think there's still tremendous upside. He's just scratching the surface of where he can go,'' Flames GM Brad Treliving said on a conference call. ''I'm real happy that we've got him under contract for six years and part of our core moving forward.''

The Flames sent the 15th, 42nd and 57th picks in the draft this past weekend to the Bruins on Friday for Hamilton's restricted free agent rights.

The trade could be seen as a major acquisition in getting a 22-year-old defenseman Calgary knew it wouldn't have been able to get with its first-round pick. Hamilton is coming off career highs in goals (10), assists (32) and points (42).

Sweeney seemed to indicate at the draft that Hamilton didn't want to sign with the Bruins. Hamilton brushed that off and any criticism of his character that came out of Boston since the trade.

''I'm just going to keep on saying how excited I am to be a Flame and looking forward to the future and everything,'' Hamilton said. ''What's in the past is in the past, and I think I'm just looking forward to being a Flame to moving to Calgary and seeing the city and the fans.''

Treliving blasted the criticism written about Hamilton as a person and added that his character is not a concern.

''There has not been an ounce of or a calorie wasted in terms of worrying about the player,'' Treliving said. ''Everybody we've talked to, he's an excellent teammate, he's a bright young man and he is going to be a model citizen for our organization.''

Hamilton joins a defense group that includes captain Mark Giordano, T.J. Brodie, Kris Russell, Dennis Wideman, Deryk Engelland and Ladislav Smid. Treliving said he'll defer to Jack Adams Award-winning coach Bob Hartley to figure out where he fits.

''I haven't been able to wipe a smile off Bob's face since Friday,'' Treliving said.

Hamilton's $5.75 million cap hit is now highest on the Flames, but shouldn't be for long. Treliving said the club is working on an extension with Giordano that should keep the 31-year-old captain around for a while.

Hamilton already looks up to Giordano.

''Getting older I want to be more of a leader, but that's something that will come in time, and I'm learning from certain players,'' Hamilton said. ''Looking at Calgary there's someone like Giordano will be a great role model for me. I'll be able to watch him play and watch him off the ice and learn from him.''

Hamilton, a Toronto native, was the ninth pick in 2011, which the Bruins got from the Maple Leafs in the Phil Kessel trade. That deal was made by Brian Burke, who's now president of the Flames.

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