As the July 28 free agent period approached, defenseman Dougie Hamilton was getting prepared. He put together a chart of which teams may be interested and vice versa, as well as other things he desired in the next stop in his hockey career.
"I didn't really know what to expect to be honest," Hamilton told the Speak of the Devils podcast. "For me, I was just trying to find somewhere I can be happy. There are a lot of factors that go into that."
On the day of free agency, Hamilton spent the morning with his family waiting for the noon clock to strike. When it did, he made early contact with Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald. And from there, a deal agreed upon for seven years and $63 million.
"It just kind of happened. It happened pretty quickly," Hamilton said. "I heard from Tom. I was very happy. It was a pretty easy decision in the end."
Hamilton is happy to have it all behind him, and with training camp a few days away he is looking forward to what lies ahead.
"It was a whirlwind. It's crazy it was (so long) ago now. It went by pretty quick, the whole process," he said. "It's starting to sink in a little bit more now. I'm sure when I go to New Jersey it's going to sink in for sure. It's exciting."
Here are some other topics discussed this week with Hamilton:
- The potential he sees on the Devils roster
- Growing up in Toronto and St. Catherines
- Coming from an athletic family that features Olympic parents
- Almost switching to forward in his youth
- Hobbies and activities away from the rink