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Devils Star Defenseman ‘Probably’ Won’t Return this Season

Dougie Hamilton socred five goals and 11 assists in 20 games before suffering a pectoral injury on Nov. 28th.

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New Jersey Devils

We already had a pretty good idea that New Jersey Devils star defenseman Dougie Hamilton was going to be out for the remainder of the 2023-24 regular season. Interim head coach Travis Green all but confirmed that suspicion on Saturday afternoon.

Following the Devils’ noon practice at RWJBarnabas Health Arena, Green explained, “We probably won’t see Dougie [this season.]”

Hamilton underwent successful surgery for a torn pectoral on Dec. 1st. The 30-year-old defenseman last played on Nov. 28th at home against the New York Islanders when he sustained the pectoral injury.

The Devils’ No.1 defenseman brings a lot to the table, most notably his ability to quarterback the power play which ranked first overall in the NHL, converting at 36.8% pre-injury. Since Hamilton’s absence, the Devils’ power play ranks fifth worst in the NHL converting on just 16.3% of advantages.

In 20 games this season, Hamilton scored five goals and 11 assists.

In the Devils’ 112-point 2022-23 season, Hamilton reached a new career-high of 74 points, netting 22 goals and 52 assists in the process. Hamilton’s 74 points registered the second most points as a defenseman in a single season behind only Scott Stevens (78 points in 1993-94).

New Jersey squandered a prime opportunity on Friday against the Buffalo Sabres to collect two points and inch closer to a playoff position. The Devils’ season was already hanging on by a thread, sitting five points out of playoff position with just eight games remaining this season. They remain chasing the New York Islanders and Washington Capitals who have two games in hand as of Saturday afternoon, and the Detroit Red Wings with a game in hand of their own. The Philadelphia Flyers are a bit further ahead, sitting six points ahead of the Devils, third place in the Metropolitan Division.

Despite the slim chances of reaching the postseason, the Devils play a crucial back-to-back on Tuesday and Wednesday. They’ll host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday and then visit the New York Rangers on Wednesday.

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