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.

  • Tomas Oppolzer

    The package I’d be comfortable with being dealt would be something along the lines of this:

    1st round pick (slides to next year if CGY misses playoffs), 2nd round pick, Kris Russell, Marcus Granlund, and Tyler Wotherspoon.

    Edit: This is probably too much. Take out the first and I think it’s about right though. Giving up a pick, 2 prospects without much of a future in out organization, and Russell.

    • BurningSensation

      I think that offer fails the smell test. Hamonic is a young stud who pushes all thd buttons except 1st unit PP. Also his contract is excellent bordering on absurdly good.

      If the Oilers outbid us (landing one of their biggest missing pieces – a first pairing defenseman), I think we regret not making a more serious offer.

      • wot96

        I think that offer is exactly the opposite of what they are asking for. Picks and prospects and Russell?

        Maybe Russell + Hudler. Or Wideman + Colborne.
        Or Russell + Backlund.

        Although Backlund would be a loss, gaining Hamonic and losing Russell would still put us ahead of the game.
        Hudler could regain some of his magic playing in the East.

        • BurningSensation

          Nobody trades a 24-25 year old first pairing defender for a bad 3rd pairing shot blocker and a 32+ smurf on the downside. Not even Garth Snow.

          I also dont see the Islanders needing/wanting forwards, so Backlund, Jooris, and Ferland are likely not appealing to them, and Mono-Bennett-Johnny aren’t going anywhere.

          Given that Calgary isn’t/shouldn’t going to put Brodie or Hamilton on the table the remaining options include a mix of picks/prospects, or selling off Giordano.

          A Giordano for Hamonic deal might be the ticket though, especially if we can get one of their prized young forwards in a larger deal (either Barzal or Strome).

        • supra steve

          If Russell + Backlund gets their interest, I would make that move for a #2 defender. But, I’m sure the Oil will be in on the bidding, price could inflate rapidly.

  • Tomas Oppolzer

    Wideman (retained salary) + Klimchuck + a pick (2nd/3rd?).

    Not sure that’s enough but defensively that’s where I’d go, the prospect would be open to discussion and nothing over a second for the pick.

  • DestroDertell

    Pass. I don’t even want to know how much he’ll cost, I just know it’ll be too much.

    The table is somewhat misleading. If you look at scale, you’ll notice there’s barely a difference in the toughness of the minutes played by Hamonic and the group on the right.

    Positive raw Corsi =/= positive possession player. Let’s remember coaching has a strong impact on those numbers (see Bylsma, Babcock for positive example or Hartley if you want a negative one). His relCorsi has not been very good throughout his career.

    To be fair, without Strait, his Corsi does look a bit better. But even then, he’s still a question mark.

    25 is not that young. It’s p. close to prime years and he has already played quite a bit so we do know what his potential is by now.

  • 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….

  • SydScout

    This would require more than the Hamilton trade. Our first would have to be part of it, which is a danger if we luck out in one of the first three lottery spots (assumption – we don’t make playoffs).

    So, a first, second and a top prospect. Problem is, the Isles most likely want close to NHL D replacements. This may end up scuppering a move to the Flames. TSpoon – unlikely. Fat Ras – unlikely. Kylington – possible.

    First, Wideman retained salary or Russell and Kylington. On balance, I’d do this.

  • DestroDertell

    Also, it’s worth remembering we already have a good chunk of dmen prospects with top 4 upside; one of them is likely to pan out. Far cheaper than Hamonic.

  • 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.

  • BurningSensation

    I think you start with Wideman and Granlund or t spoon. Ny isn’t in a position of power if he has requested a trade to the west that puts the ball in our court. Winnipeg probably wouldn’t be to interested with there glut of rh dman so between us the canucks and the oilers aslong as it doesn’t turn into a bidding war the islanders don’t have much choice.

    • 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.

  • ville de champignons

    This is an opportunity the Flames need to take advantage of. We all know who we’d like to be rid of but you have to give value in order to get value. Quality D-men are a rare commodity and it will probably cost us somebody we love but I say make it happen. We got Hamilton for a song, maybe we overpay on this one?

  • BurningSensation

    I’ve never been a fan of Hamonic’s. But I’ve always known exactly how good he is.

    Ultimately, I don’t think the Flames have the pieces to be a player in this one. Edmonton and Winnipeg could both easily outbid them, and Benning has shown a willingness to make trades that ultimately hurt him.

    • ronipedia

      Canucks would maybe consider it, but it creates a hole on the left side for them, especially if Hamhuis is gone next season.

      Also, more importantly, Edler has been adamant he won’t waive his NTC when he was in trade rumours last season.

  • wot96

    Wideman + Hudler

    I think it’s true that NYI isn’t in a position of power and 4th overall defense scoring leader and the top even strength scorer in the league last year could be the best offer they get.

  • Kevin R

    I think Hudler would be a good start. You also have to add a Klimchuk & if they are needing D, Russell would probably fit. But if you give up 2 UFA’s you have to had at least a 2nd.

    Would be awesome to score this kid.

  • ronipedia

    #TradeWideman, keep some salary, Hudler, a prospect.

    yeah, I don’t think that’s enough either. worth a shot though.

    Not to be too reactionary but a 1 for 1 trade of Gio and Hamonic isn’t a good deal. If we are entertaining such a thing (monsters) I think you need something more back from NYI. He is good, but arguably still their #3 D-man. y’all crazy.

  • ronipedia

    Gio and Hudler for Hamonic and Strome. We lose now to a team that is ready to win now. But, the future could be nice in this deal. We may need to take a salary in this deal as it would put the Isles up against the cap.

  • KACaribou

    Good report Ari. Love all the trade talk.

    Unfortunately they don’t want a goalie, or they would have taken one of ours for free.

    My brain says leave Russell. My SN sensitivity says get rid of Russell so he isn’t trashed 50 x a day.

    We’d have to get rid of a D. Wideman and Raymond, or toss in Byron?… oh wait. PS: why is everyone worried about the Oilers getting him? They’d have to rid themselves of a good forward, which is okay too. Some people are willing to give up an awful lot for the kid in my opinion.