Newark — New Jersey Devils defenseman, Dougie Hamilton, did not come out for the third period of Tuesday night’s 5-4 victory over the New York Islanders.
It’s unclear what injured Hamilton as he finished the second period as one of the last skaters on the ice. According to head coach Lindy Ruff, the Devils defenseman was unable to finish the contest due to an upper-body injury.
“(Hamilton’s) dealing with an upper-body injury,” Ruff explained after Tuesday night’s game. “He couldn’t play (in the third period).”
The Devils’ No.1 defenseman finished the contest with 13:25 time on ice, registering two shots and two penalty minutes.
Hamilton has been under the microscope lately due to his poor defensive play. As a matter of fact, that same poor defensive play presented itself on Cal Clutterbuck’s goal in the second period when Hamilton didn’t utilize his 6-foot-6 frame to move Clutterbuck out of the slot near the top of Vitek Vanecek’s crease. If the defenseman isn’t going to miss much time, they’re hoping their highest-paid player can become more reliable on the blue line.
Hamilton joins a consistently long list of injured Devils players. At the moment, that list includes Timo Meier (lower-body), Erik Haula (lower-body), Tomas Nosek (upper-body), and technically Nolan Foote (upper-body), Nico Daws (offseason surgery), and Brian Halonen (undisclosed). Fortunately, Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier each recently were lifted from that list, as was Curtis Lazar.
Hamilton leads all Devils defensemen in points (16), scoring five goals and 11 assists in 20 games, and ranks fourth among all Devils skaters in scoring.
If Hamilton misses any time, the Devils will be down to just six defensemen. That includes Brendan Smith who has bounced between forward and blue line duties. As a result, we could potentially see a call-up from the Utica Comets. Perhaps someone with a similar skillset to Hamilton. Simon Nemec, anyone?