Boston Bruins Teach Us How to Dougie
First things first, boy do I hate the song “Teach me how to Dougie” but it may turn out to be one of the most highly played songs during Bruins games for years to come so I may have to start liking it. With just under four minutes left in Friday’s game against the Islanders, the dancing “Dougie” song came on the loud speakers and had the crowd dancing and singing along. The crowd also chanted “Dougie, Dougie” late in the third period as he is beginning to become one the of fan favorites. Number 27 jerseys will be seen as the 19-year old, ninth overall pick in 2011, has captured our attention in a city that has seen Hall of Fame defenseman like Ray Bourque and Bobby Orr. We can only hope that he comes anywhere close to playing at their level by the time it’s all said and done.
Being compared to Rob Blake by Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli, Dougie Hamilton has had a lot of hype and pressure surrounding him. Last year in the OHL, Hamilton tallied 17 goals and 55 assists in only 50 games. Through four games with the Bruins, Dougie has notched three assists and has had eleven shots on net, tied for second behind Patrice Bergeron. He has shown to be a great puck moving defenseman who has a quick release shot in which the Bruins hope can enhance their under performing power play.
Naysayers questioned whether the 6 ft 5, 200 lb Toronto-born defenseman would be ready to play in the NHL this year and Bruins management has two more games to make a decision whether or not they will keep him in the NHL or send him back to the juniors. After only four games, it would come as a huge surprise if they were to send him back down as Dougie has played with confidence, maturity, and poise and his natural talent has been impressive. Perhaps it is due to his gifted talent and natural abilities as to why he seems so comfortable playing in the NHL at such a young age. To think he is only nineteen years old is scary. No matter the situation or who he is paired up with defensively, Dougie has shown he belongs in the NHL. Not only does he belong in the NHL, but it appears that an All-Star is blossoming right before our eyes. Hopefully we will be watching Dougie play for the Bruins for the next 20 years, making plenty of All-Star games and winning a handful of Stanley Cups, perhaps throw a few Norris Trophies in there as well. I usually try not to look that far ahead, especially for a rookie who has only played four NHL games, but with the hype surrounding him and the talent this kid possesses, why shouldn’t we look to what the future may hold?
One thing I do know is that Dougie Hamilton’s teammates will make sure he succeeds in the NHL. Milan Lucic and Patrice Bergeron both came into the league at a young age and they know exactly what Dougie is going through. They, along with veteran leaders like Shawn Thornton and Zdeno Chara, will make sure Dougie stays grounded and he continues to work hard and develop on and off the ice. There is no question he has the talent to play in the NHL, but he will need to get used to the speed and style of the NHL. This will come with time, experience, and learning as much as possible from his teammates along the way.
The scariest part of Dougie Hamilton is that he will get bigger, faster, and stronger. He is very talented but very young and it’s scary to think how good this kid could really be once he fills out his frame and polishes his game. We are only four games into the season yet fans and NHL insiders know, not think, that Dougie Hamilton is going to be a star in this league. Only time will tell how many trophies and accolades this young stud will obtain and we have Phil Kessel to thank, again. Dougie Hamilton was the second of two first round picks we acquired in the 2009 Phil Kessel trade with Toronto, the first pick being Tyler Seguin. Looking back, most people would agree that we got the better of that deal as we have the privilege of watching Seguin and Hamilton for years to come. Looking forward to March 7th, the Maple Leafs come to town and fans will rain “Thank you Kessel” chants down on Phil. Perhaps I should join in and thank Phil Kessel for “teaching me how to Dougie.” Either way, I still hate that damn song but I’ll put up with it as long as Dougie Hamilton patrols our blue line.
Follow Kevin Dennis on Twitter @TheRealDennyD