A Carolina Hurricanes blog with occasional news about the rest of the NHL.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

A little bit more about Jeff Hamilton

When the Hurricanes picked up Jeff Hamilton last week, the general feeling shared by most Caniacs was "Who?!?!". We were mostly hoping for a guy like Todd White, with a more recognizable name.
After looking at his numbers, you couldn't help but be impressed. 18 goals and 21 assists for a guy mostly playing on the third line. The Blackhawks had some injury issues which forced Hamilton onto the second line, but his TOI average was just under 13:00.

High output with limited opportunity. I like that. I've mentioned it before, but I also like his quickness, his nose for the net, and his puckhandling ability. And he's quite good on the shootout. Carolina went to shootout six times last year. Out of 17 attempts, they only succeeded once. Once. Obviously, they didn't win any of those shootouts. Jeff Hamilton had ten shootout opportunities, and he succeeded five times. This is one of the things Carolina missed from Matt Cullen. In 2006, Cully went to bat nine times in the shootout and "scored" six times, including two game deciding goals.

According to this nifty thing, there were 70 hat tricks in the NHL last season. Jeff Hamilton had two of them.

Jeff Hamilton isn't Matt Cullen, but he's damn close. Hamilton is a little younger, but Cullen has several years of NHL experience, while Hamilton has just the one. Cullen has routinely reached the 40 point plateau. In Hamilton's only full season, he sniffed 40. We don't know whether Hamilton played over his head last year, or whether he's just a late bloomer. We're certainly hoping that it's the latter.

For your viewing pleasure, please enjoy this YouTube clip of Jeff Hamilton's highlights from 2006-07. It was posted three months ago, and the author of the video made the eerily prophetic decision to use "Rock You Like a Hurricane" by Scorpions as the music.


TJ said...

Looks like those numbers were helped a bit by power play time, but impressive nonetheless. Cullen was relatively unheralded when the Canes signed him, so here's hoping for a similar kind of breakout from Hamilton. That backhand move is pretty sick. I think he went to it about 3 times in that highlight video. He looks like the kind of player that will do well in Laviolette's system.

DrFrankLives said...

I like two hat tricks, but that essentially means he scored 1/3 of his goals for the year in two games.


I hope he's great, and I will rely much more on JR's hockey knowledge than my own (heh), but I am a bit nervous with the fact that our great free agent pick up is a guy with one season in the NHL who didn't make it to the NHL until he was 28. Eric Staal he ain't.

Five Hole said...

drfranklives brings up some excellent points, but the one thing I noted watching the vid is that this guy can flat out motor! Never mind the wicked backhand and the fact that he saw some success on the PP with a dismal Chicago team.

I'll take a flyer on someone who had the smarts to recognize that college was important part of his future. In the end, he comes relatively cheap and, at the risk of drawing the wrath of fans who still thought "Big Joe" Vasicek was the answer, at least he hustles to the puck. Now, if he has the work ethic of Chad LaRose, then we'll all be smiling come May 2008 when the playoffs start.

After a shaky offseason in 06-07, JR appears to be back in form.

DrFrankLives said...

We need a big, tough, fighting blueliner.

We simply got pushed around last year.

Five Hole said...

Unless they loosen the purse strings from the self-imposed budget of $44m, I don't see us landing someone like Sutton. A trade, however, might be the way to go, although I'd hate to see one of our forwards go as part of any deal unless it brought long term stability to the blue line.

Not sure if Commodore was injured last year, but he clearly lacked the grit that added to the Cup run. It will be interesting to see what happens b/w now and late August.

John said...

"We need a big, tough, fighting blueliner."

Tim Gleason has set himself up to possibly be that guy.

I can't wait to see Jeff Hamilton and Scott Walker zipping around out there together.


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