The defenseman's departure from Carolina was anticipated after he and the Hurricanes were unable to reach agreement on a new contract during the season.
Hamilton was granted permission to seek a sign-and-trade elsewhere after the team was eliminated by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second round of the playoffs.
It didn't take long before interest in the 28-year-old around the league began to surge, as Chris Johnston of Sportsnet noted on June 19:
"It sounds like there's been a lot of conversations between Hamilton's agent, J.P. Barry, and teams around the league. You get the feeling here that this isn't necessarily gonna resolve itself quickly. He has the ability to agree to terms with a team that could work out a sign and trade with Carolina. The business of the league is slowly getting up and going again. I don't think we'll see something here for a few weeks, much closer to that free agency date on July 28."
Carolina acquired the Toronto native along with Michael Ferland and Adam Fox for Elias Lindholm and Noah Hanifin in June 2018. Over the following three seasons, Hamilton notched 121 points (42 goals, 79 assists) in 184 games while averaging 21:30 time on ice per night. His career-best 50 points in a season came with the Calgary Flames in 2016-17.
The Bruins' 2011 first-rounder scored a career-high 18 goals over a full 82 games in 2018-19, but the coronavirus pandemic shortened the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons, limiting his ability to match that number.
With a full 82-game season expected in 2021-22, Hamilton moves onto his fourth NHL team looking to set career marks once again.