Travis Hamonic requests trade, preferably to western Canada

Travis Hamonic is a 25-year-old right-shooting defenceman who already has 342 NHL games under his belt. Selected 53rd overall by the New York Islanders, he’s found a home there – a home he apparently wants out of, for undisclosed personal reasons.

And he wants to go to western Canada.

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Hey, Calgary is in western Canada!

Here’s the deal: Hamonic is a very good player. He plays in the Islanders’ toughest situations, and he’s a positive possession player. Take a gander at how the Islanders used him through 2014-15, via War on Ice:

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He faced the second toughest zone starts next to Brian Strait, and he played top competition – all at the age of 24. He’s being used in a similar position this season, as well. Though he isn’t getting the toughest competition or zone starts through the first quarter of 2015-16, he’s still up there when it comes to difficult circumstances played, and his possession numbers are currently the best on the Islanders’ defence.

And again: he’s only 25 years old. Hamonic has just three assists through 19 games this season, but he is coming off of a career high 33 point season, and he’s not going to keep shooting at 0% forever. He also takes on an average of 23 minutes a night, which are top pairing minutes.

He’s locked up pretty cheap, too. Hamonic’s cap hit is a mere $3.857 million for the next five seasons. You know how T.J. Brodie is already on a steal of a deal? Hamonic’s is even better.

In short: he’s a player you want on your team. And with Calgary being on his list, he’s a guy the Flames should absolutely be going after; if not for themselves, then to stop one of their rivals from getting him.

What would he cost?

Here’s the problem: Hamonic is not going to come cheap. We’re talking about a very young, talented defender. Just because he’s on the market doesn’t mean the Islanders can be fleeced over.

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What would you want in return for T.J. Brodie? Because those are essentially the levels we’re talking about here. And according to Elliotte Friedman, the Islanders aren’t interested in picks or prospects. They want good, NHL-level players.

Brodie himself is almost certainly not on the table, and I’d venture to say the Flames aren’t interested in giving up on Dougie Hamilton considering their investment in him (he’s also younger, and is just starting to turn the corner in Calgary). If the Islanders are willing to take a quality forward, Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau, and Sam Bennett are probably off the table as well.

Everyone else, though? Why not?

Here’s a thought: how about Jiri Hudler? He’s coming off the best season of his career, and even though he hasn’t had the best start to this season, he’s still on-pace for 50+ points. He’s a quality, if depreciating, asset.

The depreciating part is a problem, though. Hudler is 31 years old, and an upcoming unrestricted free agent who’s going to be looking to cash in. He’s still a good player, but he’s pretty much the opposite of what Hamonic is: declining, and expensive.

Here’s another, potentially more blasphemous thought: how about Mark Giordano?

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Giordano has been struggling to start this season, but he’s not far removed from back-to-back Norris-worthy campaigns. He’s been signed long-term, so there’s no risk of him bolting, even though he’ll be a bit more expensive (nearly double Hamonic’s cap hit). The same reasons the Flames may be interested in dealing him, though – the fact that he may not be worth his cap hit as he ages and inevitably declines – may be the reason the Islanders would be wary of trading for him.

But they’re conversation starters. If the Flames are going to acquire Hamonic, it’s going to cost them. But to have a 25-year-old T.J. Brodie, a 22-year-old Dougie Hamilton, and a 25-year-old Travis Hamonic on the same blueline? It would be worth it.

  • BurningSensation

    Hamonic is a 25 year old #2 Dman, if he were a UFA you’d be looking at a 1st,2nd and 3rd as compensation, and add in the fact his contract is ridculously good, so he’s worth even more than that.

    Factor in as well that we will be bidding against both Edmonton (who have Klefbom and Justin Schultz) and Winnipeg (Trouba) as young Dman assets they can include in their offers, and our offer will need to be a lot more than a poo-poo platter of Russell and 2nd rnd picks.

    Assuming that our core are off limits, we are likely looking at; our 1st, a high end prospect and probably one that isnt a forward (say Andersson, Gillies, or Kyllington), and Russell or Wideman (with salary retained if it is Wideman).

    Be prepared for this trade to hurt enough that you will wonder if it was wise to do it.

    • cberg

      You’re fired too! What is so great about Hamonic? Not overly physical, fast or offensive. Likely a solid 2-3-4D for the Islanders entering the apex of his career. A reasonable trade would be Russel/Wideman and someone like Granlund. And that’s not considering he wants out and has tied the NYI hands by it going public and with only 4 teams….

      If you want to expand the deal add Hudler on our side and Okposo on theirs. Both unsigned UFAs likely to get traded….

  • wot96

    What part of the Isles don’t want picks or prospects are people missing?

    Okay, if we are prepared to trade what may be a very high first round pick then I bet they consider it but the Isles will need a good player or two going back and if we are sending some of the high priced help we almost certainly eat salary.

    The reason to be in on this deal is to pump up the price on Edmonton and the others in case they want in.

    • BurningSensation

      The reason to be in on this deal is because Hamonic is a young multi-tool defender who pushes the needle and eats big minutes on a contract roughly half what we pay Wideman.

      He’s a young stud you can build around (and a terrific potential compliment to Hamilton).

      Also, Edmonton getting him is bad.

    • KACaribou

      That would be highway robbery. Yak isn’t worth a 3rd pairing defenseman, let alone a potential top pair guy. Other than a good start with McDavid, he is Mr. Slump.

      Eberle might get them thinking, though the salary is bad. Hall would do it. Other than those two player, EDM has nothing worth trading that they would ever give up.

      • BurningSensation

        Won’t be near enough.

        Winnipeg can put Byfuglien or Trouba (a mistake if they trade Trouba IMO) on the table, and Edm can dangle one of Schultz, Klefbom, Reinhart (which would be hysterical), or even Nurse (which would be a big, big, big mistake).

        A deal based on Hudler gets laughed at by comparison.

        • BurningSensation

          They would laugh a lot harder at a Klefbom, Schultz or Reinhart offer than a Hudler offer. Winnipeg won’t move Trouba for him. Nurse would get a conversation started as would Buff.

          • FlamesRule

            No chance the Oilers trade Klefbom for Hamonic. If you think that is a ‘laugh a lot harder’ than Hudler offer, you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. Zero. Fact. Not even an argument.

            The others I agree. Winnipeg won’t do Trouba, Oil won’t do Nurse. Both deals the Isles would take in a heartbeat.

            When you are forced to trade a player the return is never great. Isles lose this trade for sure.

            Lastly Isles only have $5 mil cap space. So anyone more than Hamonic’s 3.7 is going to be tough to balance. I think it knocks the legs out from the Eberle talk.

            But the Hudler idea is a complete laugh… Anyone who thinks Hudler is worth a 25 year old top pair d man on a 7 year contract is smoking the good stuff. Hard.

          • DestroDertell

            I don’t think Klefbom would be the offer. He is the Oilers best D-man now, and that is not saying much. But Klefbom alone doesn’t get you a top 4 D either.
            He is less established than Hamonic and not in the same level.

            An equivalent player to Hamonic would be Brodie. What Oiler would you trade Brodie for? Certainly not Klefbom.

          • T&A4Flames

            Now let me ask you. What trade would you except if it got out that Brodie requested a trade but to only 4 teams in the east? We’d all panic and hope for something of quality. The isle are up against it. They are in win now mode and need players to help win. Not picks and prospects. If you knew Brodie wanted out, you’d be happy with a decent return because a great return isn’t likely.

          • McRib

            Who outside of you is saying the “Isles are in win now mode”… Barzal, Beauviller, Dal Colle, Ho Sang, Pulock, Sorokin, Vande Sompel… Not to mention an incredibly young roster that Ryan Strome has a hard time even cracking…

            This is the most blown out of proportion positing I have read in Flames Nation history!!!! Travis Harmonic is a great second pairing defender, or decent first pairing one… If he was a Flame Brodie/Hamilton would still be on the depth chart ahead of him for a half decade or so. Let’s not loose our minds and even consider trading away far superior players. I would love to have him but STOP even bringing up Brodie’s name. Hahah

          • KACaribou

            If you think the Isles would do a Nurse for Hamonic deal in a heartbeat, you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. Zero. Fact. Not even an argument. The Islanders are in a situation where they want to win now and won’t trade a legitimate top def with experience for someone trying to crack the worst team in the NHL.