ST. CATHARINES, Ontario — If business were as usual, the Winnipeg Jets would have been at the Garden Thursday night, the Bruins’ faithful allowed yet another chance to peek under the hood of the franchise’s future. That’s assuming, of course, that Dougie Hamilton were in a Black-and-Gold sweater, logged requisite minutes on the blue line, and continued his anticipated near-seamless transition to full-time NHL work as Boston’s 19-year-old cornerstone defenseman in waiting.
“He does a lot of things very well,’’ offered Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli, who, like the rest of us, must wait for lockout détente to be reached in order to see anyone, raw rookie or seasoned vet, play at the Garden in 2012-13. “I’ve said a lot about him over the course of a couple of years. I try not to say too many things because, again, I don’t want him coming in here as the next great thing — or coming in here with everyone’s perception being that he is the next great thing. I’d rather he grow into that.’’