The news first emerged on Wednesday that New York Islanders defenceman Travis Hamonic had asked for a trade. And by now, countless thinkpieces have speculated as to where he could land and what the trade request could mean.
On Thursday, the Islanders and Hamonic confirmed the trade request and explained the reasons behind it. In this particular case, family is everything.
“I know people are going to say and write what they want and all that stuff,” Hamonic said. “But it has nothing to do with the organization or how I’ve been treated here six years as a player and another two or three since I’ve been drafted.”
Hamonic wants to be traded closer to his Winnipeg home. “The root of all this is a personal family matter of mine that I hold dear to my heart,” he confirmed.
Hamonic confirmed that he discussed the matter with teammates at practice on Thursday, asserting that having the news leak online wasn’t his first choice in terms of breaking the ice.
“I would have liked to have the chance to talk to them and not have them seen it online first, but it is what it is and those things can’t be changed, unfortunately,” Hamonic said. “It was difficult. I guess you can ask them, but they were certainly very understanding of a personal situation, as I hope anyone would be in this situation.”
As for what specifically the “personal family matter is,” we don’t know and frankly we don’t care. His personal life is his business.
Islanders general manager Garth Snow did not speak to the media on Thursday, but one has to imagine he has some work to do here. While Hamonic says he does not want to handcuff his hockey club, the trade will likely happen sooner rather than later.
Hamonic is an attractive option for many teams in the NHL and he should prove valuable enough to give Long Island some significant returns. He should still fit on the top pair on most teams and is a right-handed shot with a desire to play in the Western Conference, specifically Western Canada.
Winnipeg is obviously at the top of the list, which means the Jets could put together a trade of some kind. Dustin Byfuglien is set to be a free agent come July, but word around the campfire is that Winnipeg is game to get a deal done before that happens. Tyler Myers is another possibility to swap for Hamonic, especially as one expects Snow to try to acquire a defenceman for his defenceman.
The Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers also have some possibilities. The Flames have Dennis Wideman to offer, while some sources have been talking about Kris Russell. The latter will receive a raise this summer, by most accounts, and that could make him part of a package deal for Hamonic. The Oilers, for their part, are defensively thin and could dream up a pretty sweet deal for Snow and the Islanders.
The Vancouver Canucks also have to be in the conversation, especially given their desires to get younger. This puts Dan Hamhuis and Alex Edler in interesting positions, although Edler has a no-trade clause to deal with. Hamhuis, who will be an unrestricted free agent next summer, is the more likely choice.