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.

  • ronipedia

    If we did trade Brodie, I wonder how many fans would be excited over a return that consisted of a small, 31 year old slumping winger looking for a raise and a 3rd pairing D man? Seriously, I feel like I’m reading trade proposals from TO fans.

    I agree with BS. The Oilers have more chips to play in this game than Calgary does and are stupid if they don’t go after him hard.

    • Willi P

      Totally agree.

      PC has already proven he will over pay to NY. Look at the panic deal he made for Griffin Reinhart.

      The Oil will give up way more than the Flames will spend to get this guy. It will make their team worse in the long run. I see them giving up Yak or Eberle AND one of their good young D, Klef or Nurse.

      Way too steep.

      • SSB1963

        Why would you give up Nurse or Klefbom? Nurse will be more dynamic in the long run and Klefbom is signed for a reasonable amount for the long term and is a good comparable. I just don’t think the Oilers will give up the D-Man that the Isle want back in return.

        • Willi P

          Not saying I would do it. As per my comment about PC, I think he is desperate to land at least a #3 Dman considering the Oil are loaded with 4-7 guys. I think he will pay more than anybody else. I see a deal like Klefbom and Yak going one way and Hamonic and Okposo coming back. Just my opinion though.

          • Kevin R

            Agreed. I see them offer Yakapoo for him & based on 1st overall pedigree, Islanders may be tempted. Flames have to offer them something that would help them immediate. Problem is UFA’s may not get it done. Russell may be trashed regularly since the season started, but his block shot ability is coveted. Would people freak out if we offer Russell & Backlund, who is on a pretty decent contract himself, work?

            People can’t just compare returns expected if we decided to put Brodie on the market. Islanders have limited teams to trade with & it is public that the player requested a trade. The return is not going to be the same as if we were offering Brodie to 29 other teams. I think Russell & Backlund could certainly help the Islanders. I don’t think I would want to add much more to that package either.

          • Bean-counting cowboy

            Still, he doesn’t have to trade him. And he has all season. The pressure is really not all that great.

            Also, depending on who you ask, Hamonic is either a top pairing D or a 2nd pairing D or a top pairing D playing on the 2nd pairing. It’d be nice to know the real scoop.

            What we do know: he’s their best shutdown, provides reasonable offence on top of that, is only 25, and signed cheap and long term.

            Russell and spare parts is wishful thinking IMO. Then again, I’m still amazed we got Hamilton for what we did.

  • 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.

  • Byron Bader

    Jeez lots of support for trading Gio. He hasn’t looked himself but it’s 20 games in. If Gio is doing the early season Norris thing how good does that deal look?

    Wouldn’t mind getting this guy to round out the top four but ultimately Ras,OK, Morrison and/or Hickey should fill that need.

    • EhPierre

      I think the reason why majority of ppl are on board for trading Gio is cuz he IS having a bad early season. Yes its early but inevitably, Gio is gonna get worse as time progresses. Might as well get a younger, CHEAPER defenseman who won’t decline as quickly as Gio (hopefully not for Hamonic’s sake anyways)

      But if Tre is okay with trading Gio, I think we can get a better return from another team

  • 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.

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    It would hurt, but I would do Gio for Hamonic at this point. Too much uncertainty with Gio’s contract. Maybe even retain up to a mil of salary. That would essentially take Hamonic from 3.8 to 4.8 for us… closer to fair value if they throw in a top forward prospect (Dal Colle, Barzal) for another player of ours or picks going back. Gio contract becomes more palatable for NYI.

    They are in win now mode so they might take that contract if it means no step back in the standings by losing Hamonic. No other rumoured team can offer a player of Gio’s caliber that can play at Gio’s level for THIS year. Klefbom could be good, Byfuglien is not at Gio’s level… I can’t see them interested in forwards. Gio’s scoring ability is something that isn’t quite there with Hamonic that could further entice the Islanders, especially given the offensive talent on that team and their desire to win.

    We would have our top 3 set for the next decade.

  • 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

    When you’re losing everyone wants to make a trade to just shake things up and that’s probably the worst reason to do it.

    Edmonton giving up Nurse? Ahhh, I hope so. That guy is a frickN monster. Good and mean and huge. Fingers crossed they trade him. If only MacT was still there.

  • 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?

  • Flames Fan in Edmonchuck

    Sorry to to the negative Nancy b I don’t see us being in on this….. The Ilse would want Brodie or Hamilton and I don’t do either…

  • ChinookArchYYC

    Reading through all the comments it appears that 2 prevailing thoughts are at the heart of the trade talk. First, that the trade will be a fair swap and two, the Isles will win the trade. I expect neither will be true.

    The Isles have very few trade partners. They need an top 4 defender back (because I don’t see a replacement in-house that can step in and take those minutes). The trade has to work within the Isles cap and salary framework. Lastly, as tantalizing Homanic is to every GM IN western Canada, everyone will seek to add to their depth, not move laterally especially in light of the Snow’s position of weakness. How many teams can come up with an answer to satisfy Snow’s situation?

    We finally might understand Russell’s TOI and consistent play in Calgary’s top 4. I bet he’s being showcased. He might not be the only peice, but he does check a lot of Snow’s presumed boxes. Yes, this would be a big win for the Flames, but what other team can provide a top 4 defender in a trade, who is cheap and young? I’d say Winnipeg, but they can’t take the Homanic contract (as a budget team). Oh boy, do I hope I’m right.

    • cberg

      Agree pretty much with your thinking here, with the possible exception that I actually think Russell is a good 2nd pair D. Russell is the closest we have to Hamonic, similar salaries, is a top level player i.e. shot blocks, speedy, scoring potential. He’s just not as young so need to add something to sweet the deal i.e. Wotherspoon.

      As for other comments on here, lots of crazy talk. Way overvaluing Hamonic, and way undervaluing Flames’ players. Here’s how I see the value overall:

      Hamonic ~ Russell (older, but high shot blocking, speedier, same $)

      Hamonic ~ Wideman (older, worse D, much better scorer, slower, more $)

      Hamonic less than Hamilton (speedier, younger, better scoring, more $)

      Hamonic much less than Giordano (older, better D, speedier, much better scorer, more $)

      Hamonic much less than Brodie (younger, better D, much faster, better scorer, same $)

      • everton fc

        Again, no one wants Wotherspoon. This includes the Flames. But a name only mentioned once in all these posts – Kulak. He might be the ticket, along w/another prospect or high pick. The Isles are deeper on “d” than we think. Their scoring up front is stable, though Hudler would be a nice addition for them. They won’t take too much salary, as I assume they’ll try to re-sign Okposo. Strome will not be moved.

        If we could pull a fast one and move Russell or Wideman, Kulak is ready for call up. But would Kulak/Granlund or Poirier or Agostino get this deal done, with a pick/prospect coming the other way? Is it fair? Would the Flames be fleeced in such a deal?

        The Isles don’t really need much (too bad they don’t need goaltending!)

  • Parallex

    Hard to come up with a fair trade that makes sense in this situation…

    Here’s probably the best Calgary could do: Russell (50% Retained) + Wideman (50% Retained) + Top Prospect for Hamonic + X (Where X is some non-NHL level talent… AHL/ECHL Lifer/Upcoming RFA that wouldn’t be getting a qualifying offer in order to make the contract limit balance).

    Isles want to win now so a futures only deal doesn’t work. The deal above gives them better NHL depth on the Blueline now, is practically cap and $$ neutral, and out of respect for Hamonic’s relative youth provides something for later in the form of the prospect. Every other hypothetical deal I can think of either makes the Flames worse, doesn’t fit cap/budget wise, or is way too lopsided one way or the other.

    • Bean-counting cowboy

      I was thinking of this exact scenario last night.

      Look at time on ice; we’ll trade you our TWO 23 minute per night defensemen for your one 23 minute per night defensemen. If NYI is looking to win now, this plus a top prospect could get it done.

      Say “hey… in addition to the TOI factor, one guy was the 4th highest scoring D man last year, shoots right and still has 1 year on his contract, the other was the league shot-block leader, both wear the A”, and it was our top D pairing in the playoffs last year (in which we won a round). What more could NYI get in this scenario?

      Brodie/Hamilton (24 mins per night)

      Gio/Hamonic (24 mins per night)

      Engelland/Nakladal (12 mins per night)

      Wideman replaces Hamonic in the NYI line up (shoots right). Russell replaces Strait and you could argue their defense isn’t that much worse off.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    Anyone who stated that Gio should be traded last year due to his age was soundly and almost universally trashed. Now, after a slow start, everyone wants to get rid of him and the deal he was signed to is terrible.

  • piscera.infada

    I just fail to see how this deal works for anyone in Western Canada frankly.

    New York apparently wants a defenseman back of both comparable age, comparable ability, and on a comparable contract (as their cap-situation would evidence). Now, sure, they might take a similarly high-end forward, but that’s likely not Snow’s first choice. So knowing that, what can a Western Canadian team really afford?

    I doubt a deal works for the Flames. As some have pointed out, a comparable piece (from Snow’s perspective) is likely Brodie or Hamilton. Brodie is much better, and looks to have the makings of a legitimate franchise defenseman in the very near future–no go. Hamilton is a lateral move, but I still much prefer his ceiling to that of Hamonic (Hamonic really doesn’t project much offense long-term). In addition, New York would have to give up additional pieces in order to make Hamilton’s cap-hit and term work.

    The Flames could likely get it done with a piece like Russell, Kylington/Andersson, and a first, but I’m 1) not touching that first this year, and 2) not giving up Kylington or Andersson–this franchise has finally accumulated some defensive depth to push the big club in the coming years, I think you have to keep those. I also think you’ve taken the chance on Kylington, and that’s one you’re going to have to ride out boom or bust–his boom potential is too great to ignore.

    The Canucks quite simply don’t have the pieces to make it work at this point. Tanev would likely get a conversation started, but Vancouver wouldn’t, and rightly shouldn’t be thinking about trading Tanev.

    Winnipeg has a great number of young defensemen that would see Hamonic as likely a lateral move. They could look at Byufuglien, but I doubt New York wants an expiring contract, that they won’t be able to fit into their cap going forward.

    Edmonton, again, doesn’t really have the defensive pieces to make it work. This is an interesting one, as they could offer Eberle or Draisaitl, but it really depends on how starved New York is for offensive production. Eberle would sure look great with Tavares (and I’d finally get to cheer for Eberle–whom I really like, but Edmonton). The question is, can New York fit Eberle in under their cap without giving something more up? I’m not so sure. I’m also skeptical if the “needs” are really compatible with these two teams.


      You believe Calgary gets it done with Russel and dreams but Edmonton has to include Draisaitl?
      Would you include Bennett in any trade talk to get Harmonic?
      The debate between Bennett/Draisatl is going to go on for a long time but at this time Leon is playing at a higher level than Sam.

      • piscera.infada

        You believe Calgary gets it done with Russel and dreams but Edmonton has to include Draisaitl? Would you include Bennett in any trade talk to get Harmonic? The debate between Bennett/Draisatl is going to go on for a long time but at this time Leon is playing at a higher level than Sam.

        You should really work on your reading skills. Let me post an abridged version of exactly what I said vis-a-vis Russell (just to help you out, it sounds like you need it).

        I doubt a deal works for the Flames. As some have pointed out, a comparable piece (from Snow’s perspective) is likely Brodie or Hamilton.

        The Flames could likely get it done with a piece like Russell, Kylington/Andersson, and a first…

        In case you still don’t understand, a comma [,] in this case denotes a list. You might prefer to read that sentence as: “…with a piece like Russell and Kylington/Andersson and a first.“.

        The “first” above, is intended to mean a first round pick–based upon current standings, that first (provided it is this year’s first) will likely be very high.

        “A piece like Russell” means: not necessarily Russell, but a comparable player, when placed in the aforementioned package (again, including Kylington/Andersson and a first round pick), would “likely” (because it’s speculation) get a deal done. Why would it get the deal done? Not because of Russell, but because the first round pick is extremely valuable, and a defensive prospect of Andersson or Kylington’s ilk is valuable as well.

        I then stated that the Flames would be foolish to offer such a package (for obvious reasons).

        Please let me know if you have any further comprehension-related issues you need help with.

        • STIXLER

          Yeah BLAH BLAH BLAH
          a’piece’ like Russell and DREAMS!!
          Dreams being unproven prospects and a lottery pick no doubt.
          My comprehension related issue was why you think Calgary ‘gets it done with scraps but Edmonton has to include a valuable player like Draisaitl.
          Sorry that went over your head.

      • Tomas Oppolzer

        Draisaitl also has 30 extra NHL games and a full year of development on Bennett. Unlike Draisaitl, however, Bennett has been a key contributor to his NHL team during his rookie campaign. As a rookie,Leon had 9 points in 37 games, or .23 PPG. Bennett has 12 points in 20 games as a rookie, or .6 PPG.

        One more thing, Draisaitl is almost a year older. Born in Oct. 1995 compared to mid 1996 for Bennett

        • Tomas Oppolzer

          I think what he means is that Draisaitl and Bennett, have similar values to their Organizations.

          Both young 3rd/4rd OVA Picks (same year) and important part of their future.

          You wouldnt trade that at this point, regardless of their small sample size success.

          • piscera.infada

            You wouldnt trade that at this point, regardless of their small sample size success.

            Of course you wouldn’t. Just as the Flames wouldn’t trade Brodie or Hamilton either. The point was that Snow is going to ask about that. I even mentioned that the likely deal for Edmonton is Eberle.

            I threw Draisaitl in my initial post because forward is a perceived strength of the Oilers’ organization–whether you agree with that or not, isn’t the issue.

      • piscera.infada

        Sure. And that leaves us where, exactly?

        I’m pretty much resigned to the fact that if you’re correct, the Oilers will get him at this point.

        That said, I could see a couple of interesting options in Eastern Canada that would be far more palatable for the Islanders. Both of Toronto and Ottawa might be able to put a package together. It really depends on what exactly Hamonic’s needs are, but I really don’t see this as a situation where there is ill will between the player and the team. It’s more of a team trying to do right for a human they employ. If there’s any give in Hamonic’s proximity demands, it’s possible. We all know that when family and personal issues crop up, you’ll take the best option you can–because family is the most important thing. I also don’t see Hamonic as the type of player that will bend the Islanders of a barrel with unreasonable requests.

        Frankly, Snow knows exactly what he has in Hamonic as an asset: a young, 2/3/4 defenseman on an extremely good contract. He can very much afford to take his time for the right deal.

    • everton fc

      Don’t forget Hamilton is only 21.

      This is what I see as players available:

      From the Flames:

      Hudler + (Russell or Wideman) + (Pick or Prospect)

      *Flames could retain some Salary.

      From the Oil:

      Yakupov + Fayne

      From the Jets:

      Byfuglien + (Pick or Prospect)

      From Canucks:

      (Tanev or Hamuis) + (Pick or Prospect).

      • piscera.infada

        When did I say the Flames should trade Hamilton? I said I wouldn’t trade Hamilton as his ceiling is much higher than Hamonic. I just said that if the Islanders are looking for comparables, it’s a subject that would likely be broached by Snow.

        I don’t think the Isles could fit a Yakupov-Fayne trade under their cap.

  • 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.

  • Don’t really know too much about the guy besides what I am reading here. Seems a little knee-jerk to give up on Gio for this guy. Sounds like not much else may work though if they are looking at replacing with a top 4 D. Unless Wideman and/or Russell are overvalued by other teams and possibly the Flames retaining salary, not sure there is a fit.

  • The Oilers Shot Clock

    Calgary: Brodie
    Edmonton: Nurse
    Winnipeg: Trouba

    His request was made at the beginning of the season and possibly even earlier. The fact the trade hasnt happened yet is because Snow is most likely asking for one of these 3 guys.

    • McRib

      TJ Brodie & Darnell Nurse are untouchable not going to happen if that’s the case then Snow will keep waiting. I could see Jacob Trouba maybe working (unlikely), but Calgary/Edmonton would have to go another route. Edmonton could make it work easier than Calgary. TJ Brodie has 72 Points in the last two years!!! Harmonic has 51 Points and he is absolutely no where near as good of skater as TJ Brodie. People need to stop talking about TJ Brodie being a piece, crazy!!! Harmonic might become a number 2 defender… TJ Brodie is on his way to being a Top. 5 defender in the league!!!

      • The Oilers Shot Clock

        I believe I said the trade wont happen if either of the three were involved.

        Heres what we can assume

        Snow is going to want a young defenseman on a reasonable contract under control for atleast a few years that can contribute now because thats what he is losing.

        The trade was requested a while ago and since there hasnt been a trade yet, and we know the teams involved, it would be pretty safe to assume who Snow is asking for on each team.

        If Calgary,Edmonton and Winnipeg are indeed the only three teams really in this, 2 are going to miss out on a very good D, and the one that gets him is going to pay something significant.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.