Thanks to the unlikeliest of sources, the exact nature of Boston Bruins defenseman Dougie Hamilton’s injury is known: he has broken ribs, according to none other than Boston Celtics power forward/center Kelly Olynyk.
Hamilton, who has been sidelined since March 21 with a previously undisclosed injury, has missed the Bruins past five games and, according to the Bruins, would have been out indefinitely. And now we know why. In speaking with WEEI reporter Mike Petraglia, Olynyk revealed that Hamilton’s injury is broken ribs.
There’s an obvious connection between Olynyk and Hamilton – they’re both playing in Boston and both hail from Toronto, so it’s no wonder that if anyone would have the real scoop on Hamilton, it would be Olynyk. One would have to believe Hamilton didn’t expect Olynyk to spill the beans, though, and especially not when the Bruins look post-season bound.
If Hamilton comes back at some point in the playoffs, there’s little doubt that the opposition will now target his midsection. It’s the playoffs, after all. Whatever can be done to gain an edge will be done – that’s why there’s a tendency for injuries to be kept hush-hush when teams are fighting for Stanley Cup glory.
Regardless of whether or not he returns in the post-season, it’s a shame for Hamilton, and for Bruins’ fans, that he went down when he did. In just his third full season in the NHL, Hamilton was making huge strides and playing like the heir to the Bruins’ blueline.
While Zdeno Chara was sidelined with a knee injury earlier this season, Hamilton stepped into a top-pairing role and excelled. Hamilton’s play showed that he can be an elite puck possession defenseman while still starting the bulk of his shifts in the defensive zone and that, at 6-foot-5, 212 pounds, he knows how to use his giant frame to his advantage. That he’s only 21 and still learning and maturing as a player is an outstanding sign for Boston.
In 72 games this season, Hamilton racked up 10 goals and 42 points, both career highs. He also averaged 21:20 of ice time per outing, his highest mark since coming into the league. Hamilton’s previous career highs were seven goals, 25 points and little more than 19 minutes per game.