Every day is different but I think I’m definitely getting more comfortable every day. I’m just getting more chemistry with guys know certain plays and stuff like that so I’m just getting used to the whole system and everything like that. - Dougie Hamilton
CALGARY, AB -- You better bet he can teach you how to Dougie. But he probably won’t.
In blasting in his third goal of the season -- and first on home ice -- with 2:18 remaining in the third period to force overtime in a dramatic 4-3 shootout win against the Dallas Stars, Riotous Smoke by Monster Truck blasted throughout Scotiabank Saddledome before quickly cutting out in favour of the Cali Swag District ditty.
He’s not necessarily a fan.
“Oh I know it,” Flames defenceman Dougie Hamilton admitted.
“That’s kind of came out I think when I was in junior and it was kind of similar to last night they played it after a goal and got a dance going a little bit. I’m not sure I’m quite ready for that now.”
He used to hear it from time to time as a member of the Boston Bruins, too.
It’s back, much to his chagrin.
“It’s getting a little old,” said Hamilton, who had 10 goals, five at TD Center in Boston, in 72 games last season.
“It just keeps coming back every time something new happens. I think it kind of died down when I got traded and it comes back again so we’ll see where it goes.”
Just as Hamilton hoped he’d left the track, which went certified platinum in the United States and peaked at number 28 on the Billboard Hot 100, he might’ve hoped he had finally left any chatter about his departure from Boston in the rearview.
The 2010 track found Hamilton.
And so too will the Bruins.
Calgary hosts Hamilton’s former mates Friday at Scotiabank Saddledome.
“I think it will just be fun,” started Hamilton, acquired by the Flames in a draft day blockbuster with the Bruins on June 26th after three years and 197 regular season and playoff games in Boston. “I think there’s a lot of guys that I played with for a couple of years and looked up to and have friendships with and stuff like that. It’s going to be fun to kind of be on the other side of them and definitely will be a different experience. I’ve never had something like this before so I think it will be fun.”
Date circled on the ol’ calendar?
“I don’t really care,” Hamilton mused bluntly.
“I think it’s obviously going to be different and another new experience when I have to go to Boston and play in that rink and stuff. I’ll just try to treat it like another game and enjoy it.”
The Bruins’ arrival comes at a convenient time for Hamilton.
Struggling in his start with the Flames, the 6-foot-6 blueliner has seen his game turn the corner with his new club.
“Every day is different but I think I’m definitely getting more comfortable every day,” Hamilton said. “I’m just getting more chemistry with guys know certain plays and stuff like that so I’m just getting used to the whole system and everything like that.”
Minus-11 through his first nine games, Hamilton has rebounded to go plus-5 in the past 16 games. Only twice during that stretch has he finished as a minus player in a game, and two of his three goals and five of his six points have come in the same span.
The turnaround is evident to coach Bob Hartley.
“We forget that, we go back to the trade and it was the blockbuster trade of the draft,” said Hartley, who has deployed Hamilton for 20-plus minutes in five of the past six games. “Then he comes here and all of this, in the end, he’s only 22 years old. We forget this because of how big the trade was. Suddenly he’s supposed to carry the team and build a new arena.
“He’s only 22 years old. We have to be patient with him and let him grow in his new organization. We’re helping him and he’s been great. He’s a kid.”
Kid or veteran, though, the coach knows the importance of a game against a former club.
And while Hamilton downplayed the significance, the reigning Jack Adams Award winner did not.
It’s a big one for the former Bruin, Hartley declared.
“It’s always big,” he started. “I remember Ray Bourque going to Boston. He was shaking as a leaf and he was 39 years old. Playing against your first team…it’s like us, when we move on to another team. I remember my first visit (back) to Colorado. It’s always special. You have friends and great memories. You’ve been part of a trade or you’ve been fired and then the other team wants to prove that you were not needed so they put in a bit extra.
“It’s just human nature.”
It’s understandable too, suggested forward Brandon Bollig.
“I think it’s an interesting time for anyone, whether they wanted the trade or not, to be traded to another team,” said Bollig, acquired by the Flames from the Chicago Blackhawks in another draft day deal in 2014.
“Knowing what it feels like to play your former team, you definitely do take it as just another game but obviously you’re excited for it. I’m sure he’s excited for it. He still knows plenty of guys on that team just like I still know plenty of guys on my former team. It’s a lot of fun to play against your former team.”
One would never know it in Hamilton’s tenor, though.
No sweeping smile across his face.
No excitement in his tone.
“I just treat it like another game,” he said. “I try to approach every game the same way and I’ll try to do the same on Friday.”