Insider Drops Ominous Return Timeline On Dougie Hamilton

The New Jersey Devils are without their top defenseman, Dougie Hamilton, for quite a while. That we knew. But just exactly how long has been anyone's guess. Now, TSN Insider Pierre LeBrun has dropped the unfortunate news that he doesn't expect Hamilton back until well into the playoffs.

They officially announced after he had surgery for a torn pectoral muscle earlier this month that he'd be out indefinitely. They don't have a firm timeline, but my understanding is that he's probably out until the playoffs, until perhaps late April or early May.

LeBrun made the announcement on TSN's Insider Trading. Of course, that does mean that "they have a $9M cap hit to play with." Hamilton signed a 7-year, $63M contract with the Devils back in the summer of 2021. 

The 12-year veteran tore his left pectoral muscle in late November and underwent surgery. 

It's a brutal loss for the Devils, as the elite D-man has regularly garnered top 10 votes for the Norris Trophy, and finished 6th in the balloting last season, when he had career highs of 22 goals and 74 points with a plus-23. This season, he had 16 points in 21 contests, while logging 21 minutes a night. 

In his 12-year career, the former first-round pick (No. 9 overall, 2011) notched 142 goals and 319 assists for 461 points along with being a plus-68.

Photo; John Jones-USA TODAY Sports