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.

  • nikkomsgb

    Hudler and Wideman will not be included in any deal under any circumstances. Snow would be lynched in the media for making a deal including either of them.

    Also Snow really isn’t in a position of weakness. This didn’t just happen yesterday, apparently Dreger and Friedman said it was brought up in September, so NY is taking their time. They know they have an asset everyone wants and they’ll get their price from someone eventually.

    In the end I bet it is Edmonton that gets him. They have so many quality young players that they’ll never be able to afford in 2-3 years. Though it seems NY wants a like for like D-man, I bet they say yes to Eberle. Just think about their salary situation when McDavid, Yak, Draisaitl, etc are all up for new contracts. Even with bridge deals they’ll be screwed given what they are already paying Hall, Eberle, RNH, Klefbom, etc.

    One can only hope that their porous defense forces Chiarelli to overpay.

    • Parallex

      “Hudler and Wideman will not be included in any deal under any circumstances. Snow would be lynched in the media for making a deal including either of them.”


      I mean sure he’d be lynched if it was a straight up 141 trade… but under any circumstances? No, there are lot’s of circumstances where he wouldn’t be given any hard time about it.

      • nikkomsgb

        As a fun exercise, sure I guess you can throw them in and speculate. But someone else posted a great example of turning the tables and imagining we were in the same spot with Bordie.

        We wouldn’t want either, or both of them in return for a young stud defender.

        i suppose I am being a little cynical, but i just think fans tend to overvalue the players whose names they hear everyday.

        That said I’ll grant you that Snow is unpredictable.

    • Parallex

      Snow would be lynched in the media for making a deal including either of them.

      When has that ever stopped Snow from doing anything? At the 2012 draft he offered all of his picks to Columbus in order to move up from 4th to 2nd. TWO spots.

      Howson saying no might have been the best thing that ever happened to Snow.

    • Max_Power

      Who are these quality player in EDM? McDavid, Draisaitl, and Nurse. Yak is a passenger. No way EDM gives up Drai or Nurse to get a top 4 defender. Schultz doesn’t even get the conversation started.

      EDM is a one line team with a good 2nd line when everyone is healthy. Klefbom and Nurse are about their best options for the future. Sekera is not working out. Reinhart is not going back in a trade to NYI.

      • nikkomsgb

        Take a look at their cap situation. Like them or not the Oilers have 4 players already signed long term over 5.5 Million and one over 4 million long term.

        So if you have to pay McDavid, Draisaitl, and Nurse soon… I would say the Oilers are going to have to make a move.

        Like Yak or not they are going to pay him something too.

        So again, it would stand to reason that they will have to move something decent soon. Lets be honest, we would take Eberle here in Calgary under the right circumstances and I’m sure it’s no different in NY.

        All that said I hope can sneak in and steal Hamonic like we did Hamilton.

  • Max_Power

    First of all, I doubt Wideman would waive his NMC to go to the Islanders, so we can forget about him in the deal.
    I don’t think Hudler and Russell’s UFA status is too big of a deal. The islanders could evaluate all season and see if they want to resign them. In the case of Russell, they could probably sign him for similar money to Hamonic so their salary structure wouldn’t change. Or if they dropped in the standings they could then trade them both for 2nd rd picks.
    My offer would be Hudler/Russell/Kulak. Yes all three. That’s the equivalent of 3 2nd round picks roughly. We gave up 2 2nd’s and a 1st for Hamilton. The Islanders get 2 NHL ready D men, one still on his ELC. and a legit first line winger for Tavares. Islander fans constantly talk about how they need a winger for Tavares. Maybe we’d have to give up another pick too?

    If Snow bites on that, then I’d call up Colorado, who have the worst GM in hockey it seems, and offer up Gio+ for Duschene.

    • RickT

      Why wouldn’t he waive his NMC to go to a young team, with fantastic talent and a chance at the cup? They’re much more likely to make it all the way to the big dance than Calgary is, this year.

      I would be more than fine giving up Gio for Hamonic. Brodie has been our true number one this season, and part of last. Maybe throw in a slightly-used Colborne, just for good measure.

      • Max_Power

        I suppose I don’t know for sure. But Players don’t want to uproot their family. Wideman has also stated that he loves playing in Calgary. He negotiated a NMC into his contract for a reason. Yes you could go to him and say hey we want you out of here, but players talk, and treating them like that will make it harder to sign others. Look at the oilers, part of the reason they have a hard time attracting free agents, is because they constantly put veterans in the minors. All the way back to Sheldon Surrey.
        You may be able to convince him to waive at the draft. This may be a draft day deal anyway.
        Brian Burke is also on record of saying he doesn’t believe in asking players to waive their NTC.

  • Max_Power

    Not sure if this would work, but perhaps? –>

    Flames get:

    – Travis Hamonic

    Islanders get:

    – Dennis Wideman

    – Emile Poirier

    – 2016 2nd rounder

    – 2017 2nd rounder

    The Flames’ 2016 1st rounder would almost certainly be off the table, along with JG, Monahan, Bennett, Brodie and likely Hamilton. Too risky dealing a potential top 3 pick for a decent 2-3 defenceman.

    • cberg

      My goodness! I don’t get it why so many people think someone else’s player (who they really don’t know) is SO, SO GREAT and massively overvalues them while so undervaluing our own players or prospects (who they do know intimately).

      Hamonic MAY be a great shut-down D man, but c’mon. He’s a 3D on the NYI. He is not overly physical. He is not overly fast. Would I like him on the Flames? Sure, if the price is right. Is he the final piece that is somehow going to change the fortunes of the Flames and instantly make them so much better? Likely NOT.

      I get it that people are frustrated, and we have memories that we tend to dwell on (of certain bad plays…), but giving away the farm for a very good, but not great player is beyond ridiculous. Let’s not go overboard and whip things into a hysteria-driven bidding war far beyond the player’s worth. Hamonic is not at the level/potential of any of Giordano, Brodie or Hamilton so enough of the “Well, what would we want for Brodie?” You might as well be asking, “What would you want for Doughty?”

      If we can get him for a reasonable price, that’s great. If not, continue the re-build. Our re-build success or failure does NOT rest on obtaining Travis Hamonic, much as he would be a great fit here.

      End rant…

      • Max_Power

        Hate to break it to you dude, but I don’t think anyone’s overvaluing Hamonic. I very much doubt that there are 60 defence man better than him in the NHL, so looks like he’s a low end 1st pairing guy. If you want him, prepare to pay a hefty price. If not, that’s fine.

        Heck, the Islanders would probably reject the offer that I came up with.

        • cberg

          Well everyone’s entitled to their opinion. I’ve seen no evidence anywhere that Hamonic is a true 1st pair D. I haven’t seen any evidence about his speed. I haven’t seen any evidence about his scoring prowess. He plays large minutes, well, so does Russell. I see no evidence of his physicality (a la Regher). What I see is a slightly faster, more experienced Griffin Reinhart. Could he develop and become “first pair”? Anything is possible.

          Its fine to say this player is this, or that player is that, but it doesn’t make it so. If you can provide some back-up as to why Hamonic is so great then I’d like to hear it. So far, unsubstantiated claims, no trade in over 2 months of behind the scenes maneuvering, and …..Crickets.

  • cberg

    Hamonic + MDC


    Giordano, unprotected 2016 1st

    sweetener add: Hudler @50%

    If the Islanders are interested in Gio, it’s because nobody is willing to swap them a good, young defenceman in return. Flames tell them that in order for Gio to be on the table, our top 6 need also has to be addressed. We ask for Strome, they decline, we accept MDC. They take on the risk of Gio, we take on the risk of the unprotected first. Hudler can be to provide insurance so that Okposo can be traded if need be.