Neely: Hamilton scratches 'not performance related'

Neely: Hamilton scratches 'not performance related'
March 13, 2014, 8:30 pm
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 Bruins team president Cam Neely, in his weekly spot Thursday afternoon on the 98.5 The Sports Hub's "Felger & Mazz" show, said Dougie Hamilton being a healthy scratch two games in a row, against Florida and Montreal, wasn't "performance related" for the young defenseman.

Neely said it's basically as numbers game as the Bruins try to get newly acquired defenseman Andrej Meszaros into the lineup and acclimated to his new team.

Hamilton played Thursday night against the Phoenix Coyotes, and another young defenseman, Torey Krug, was a healthy scratch.

"We wanted to give us an opportunity to see what kind of pairings we possibly could use going into the playoffs," Neely said. "Dougie's been a good player for us and there's nothing really to read into it at all. The last thing we want to do is have Dougie have any doubts in his game."

Michael Felger wasn't buying that.

"How can that possibly be?" Felger asked. "How can you say it's not performance related? It's Montreal. It's a game you wanted. You're not gong to field your best team against Montreal in a big game?

Said Neely: "I'm telling you it's not performance related."

Remember, Hamilton is still only 20 years old.

"I hate to say this because I was a forward, but being a 'D' in the National Hockey League, especially being a young 'D', there's a bigger learning curve," Neely said. "We're happy with the way he's played. He's made some mistakes but everyone gong to make mistakes."