Report: Flames interested in trading for Hamonic, but Islanders ask of T.J. Brodie a ‘nonstarter’

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Photo Credit: Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports

New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic is a big name top-of-the-roster defenseman on the trade market. The 25-year-old logs major minutes in all situations and has a consistent (and positive) two-way impact at even strength. He’s hoping for a trade that would send him from Brooklyn, NY to Western Canada (or somewhere with direct flights to and from Winnipeg).

When a player like Hamonic is on the trade block, you’d be more surprised to find out that a team run by Brian Burke and Brad Treliving weren’t involved in trying to make a deal, than you would be to find out that they’re pursuing the possibility aggressively.

According to a report on Saturday from Sportsnet’s Damien Cox, it would seem that the Flames are indeed very interested in adding Hamonic to their roster. There’s a massive fly in the ointment though, and that’s the Islanders’ asking price. Islanders general manager Garth Snow reportedly would want T.J. Brodie back in return for Hamonic, which is a nonstarter for the Flames. As well it should be.

Here’s what Cox reported on Saturday night on Hockey Night in Canada during the weekly Headlines segment:

Certainly the Calgary Flames are a team, I think, that are very, very interested (in Hamonic). I’m led to believe the ask from the Island was T.J. Brodie – a nonstarter for Calgary… I think they might, might look if the Islanders were interested in Dougie Hamilton, but that seems like a complicated one.

That’s a bold ask from Snow, and not one that the Flames should be willing to consider. 

Brodie, 25, is already a better player in all three zones than Hamonic is, though Hamonic is more physical. Brodie is faster, he’s better offensively, and he’s been more consistent and impactful at even strength. Even if it was a trade involving Brodie for Hamonic straight up, the Flames lose that deal.

Luckily the Flames know exactly what Brodie is. He’s untouchable, and he should be.

The very qualified note from Cox that the Flames might be more willing to deal Hamilton isn’t substantial enough for us to dwell on at length, but I’d suggest that it is a real indication that the club is higher on Brodie than they are on the more highly paid and recently acquired Hamilton. They should be, in my view. Brodie is, at this point, the better player, though we should note that Hamilton is three years Brodie’s junior. 

The Flames have been reportedly active on the trade market for months, with Treliving generally described as eager to shake things up. The club is loaded on the right side of their defense corps though, and it doesn’t make a ton of sense for Calgary to further shore up what is already an area of surplus. 

In terms of the assets the Flames have to play with, the club seems better positioned to deal futures or rental-type players, rather than a top-of-the-roster piece in their mid-20s signed to a reasonable ticket for an extended term. So perhaps they could get involved in a three-way type trade, which Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported on Saturday is an increasingly realistic solution to the Islanders’ Hamonic problem. 

“There’s a lot of people who are beginning to think they would not be surprised if this turned into a three-way trade,” Friedman reported during Hockey Night in Canada’s Headlines segment, “because of the limited number of places that Hamonic would prefer to go.”

The three-way deal might be a more realistic way for the Flames to go about acquiring Hamonic, but it’s extremely difficult to see the fit between these two potential trade partners. If anything the Islanders asking for Brodie just further illustrates this. 

  • Colin.S

    Anyone remember what the Flames looked like while Brodie was injured? I don’t think anyone wants to remember. I’m not saying they’d become that bad again simply by swapping in Hamonic for Brodie. But that should speak volumes just how good Brodie is and how much he impacts the defence. Hamonic is good, but Brodie is better. Unless Snow wants to add in Hamonics buddy Tavares in the mix, every time Snow calls and asks about Brodie, Treliving should just hang up.

  • piscera.infada

    I asked this earlier but who would we trade Brodie for straight up? Salaries and cap matter in the answer. For example would you do Crosby? And what’s the difference. Would you do Keith with the age and salary difference? Ideas??

  • piscera.infada

    It’ll have to be a three sided trade if the islanders expect to get a top young defenseman in return. Think about it: if a team wants Hamonic it’s because they need a top young(ish) defenseman. Why would they give up exactly what they’re trying to acquire in the first place?

    I wouldn’t trade Hamilton any sooner than Brodie either. The big man was a big part of Boston’s blue line the last two years and he’s been quite good the last several games after a rough start.

    • Colin.S

      Same here, Hamilton has had a rough start but is starting to round into the Defensemen that everyone thought the Flames were getting and could still be a great 1/2 guy.

      Only way the Flames are getting Hamonic is in a three way trade. Find another guy that might be a little older or younger that the Flames could give up some younger assets for, or maybe some expiring assets or retained salary and than take that player and trade for Hamonic. We are going to get to see how creative Treliving can be.

      • piscera.infada

        Right now Hamonic is a much better defenceman [than Hamilton]

        In no way is that true. Over the course of their respective careers Hamilton has had better underlying numbers, a better points-per-game rate at the NHL level (Hamilton was also a much higher scorer at the junior level, indicating that is not merely circumstantial). He’s a much better skater than Hamonic, and is 3 years younger.

        “He plays a much more physical game than Hamilton”. So does Bieksa…

        But you’re right, Hamonic is on the better contract.

        • TRAIN#97

          When I say better dman right now I mean that so far this year and maybe throughout Hamonic’s career he has been a more consistent player on his team . He is playing the most minutes and in the toughest situations on a team with top notch dmen.
          Hamilton has not been “the” number one guy in Boston and not number 1 in Calgary either . I don’t think Calgary, at this moment, is confident that he can be put in those situations and succeed,right now.

          Maybe he will be that guy in the future though.

          • piscera.infada

            Calgary doesn’t need his to “be put in those situations and succeed, right now”.

            In no way did Treliving make the Hamilton trade thinking “he’s going to help me for 2 years”. That was strictly a long-game trade. In all likelihood by year 3 of the contract, Hamilton will be a legitimate top-pairing option in the NHL–and will hopefully (for Treliving) form the core of an elite first-pairing.

            When I watch Hamonic’s game, he just looks like a player that will be the ideal 3/4 defenseman on an elite team. He just doesn’t have the tools to consistently drive play against elite players. Again, that’s not to say he’s bad by any means, but I’m not sure why Treliving would make a trade for long-term upside, and then trade that upside away because “toughness”.

          • MontanaMan

            Small sample size (Hamilton 3 years NHL and Hamonic 5 years) and admittedly Hamilton is trending up, but Hamilton has averaged 27 points per season and 32 PIMS while Hamonic has averaged 24 points per season and 78 PIMS, so they’re fairly comparable. All this to say that Hamonic has some skill and brings much more than “toughness.” And one may argue that Hamilton had Chara and an excellent Bruin team to carry him his first three years while Hamonic had the Islanders.

    • MattyFranchise

      What kind of message would trading Hamilton send to the rest of the league? The only time you trade a guy that’s in the first year of his deal is when that deal is only one year long.

  • DestroDertell

    Asking for the moon to start with is what any (good) GM should do I guess.

    Here is hoping that as this drags on the asking price starts dropping to a point where Hamonic could be obtained without significant pain.

    Still, I’m not sure that Calgary has desirable NHL assets that they would consider moving to get the deal done, and I really don’t want to see them move first-round pick(s) to make it happen (either to the Isles or elsewhere).

  • DestroDertell

    As a neutral fan if I had the choice of Brodie or Hamonic I would take Hamonic every time. Hamonic has more pts than Brodie but he’s played 50+ more games than Brodie. Hamonic is bigger & way more physical. He plays all zones, but right now has less offensive responsibilities because of Boychuk & Leddy!

    I would love to see Hamonic in Edmonton but I truly think Calgary has the best chance to upgrade their D with this acquisition. Just my opinion but I’d make that deal. Hamonic would take a lot of heat off Giordano as well because he’s looking every bit of 32 & you’ve got six more years of him. Hamonic would help. Just my opinion.

  • The GREAT Walter White

    We have lots of nice pieces to trade.

    Jones.

    Hurdler.

    Wideman.

    Russell.

    Ramo.

    BACKLUND…!!!

    And lots of prospects.

    Unfortunately nothing the Islanders need.

    Earn your keep BT!

    WW

  • Note that Damien Cox says:
    Certainly the Calgary Flames are a team, I think, that are very, very interested (in Hamonic).

    Cox says “I think”…in other words he is just giving an opinion that the Flames are interested – no knowledge of any actual talks with the Islanders…

  • loudogYYC

    Snow is on crack if he actually thinks the best player in the trade will be anyone but Hamonic. He has to position himself as well as he can given the crappy circumstance he’s in so it would make sense to just say Brodie or Hamilton or Nurse or whatever.

    When you look at the 3 main teams involved, WPG, CGY & EDM, Calgary really has the best trade chip in Kris Russell. He’s still in his 20s and can play 20 mins/game when paired properly. NYI has been adamant about getting a dman that can help now in return, so Russell, Wotherspoon and a 3rd should do the trick. Hamonic is good, but he’s no Brodie or Hamilton. Get it done Tree!

    • loudogYYC

      So a UFA with some of the worst underlying numbers in the league, an unwanted prospect and a 3rd round pick? I think NYI has to add Okposo for that package…

    • supra steve

      I agree that Snow will eventually have to settle for a package of lesser players, but the package you propose is…a crap return for an asset like Hamonic. Russell is a pending UFA who, like it or not, is likely due a substantial raise for next season, so good luck to the Isles in getting him signed. He is also a westerner, and likes playing in western Canada (much like Hamonic’s preference) so again good luck signing Russell.

      Wotherpoon is nearing non asset territory, I think, and I would not be shocked if the Flames need to think long and hard before offering him a contract extension for next season. Flame blue line options are far better now than they were 2 seasons ago.

      I do see Russell as a probable piece in a bigger package in offer for Hamonic, but any deal that Snow is going to agree to is going to need to be considerably sweeter than the one you proposed, and may even hinge on Russell signing a reasonable extension with the Isles.

      NHL trades are tough to put together.

      • loudogYYC

        No one said Russell is comparable to Hamonic. I’m just saying there’s no way NYI gets the same kind of player back when it’s the player who requested the trade.

        Russell IMO is a tire fire but he seems to have a good reputation out there, regardless of what the Edmontonian from the article says. If the offer starts with Russell, or maybe even Wideman, it’s great news for us because we have the other assets to give up too.

        • piscera.infada

          No one said Russell is comparable to Hamonic. I’m just saying there’s no way NYI gets the same kind of player back when it’s the player who requested the trade.

          I’m not entirely sure about that. The “request” appears to be entirely amicable–to the point where Hamonic is 1) willing to wait out a substantial amount of time, and 2) he’s likely willing to broaden the number of teams he’ll go to.

          Make no mistake, this is a difficult trade for Snow to make, but they are doing what’s right for the player, and thus there seems to be an appetite from the player to do right by the organization. This will in all likelihood not get ugly, and for that reason will likely not end in the Islanders being bent over a barrel. They’ll get value somewhere–and who knows, if they wait till the offseason, it probably works in the Oilers’ favour, as they’ll have a chance to trade for a forward and address their defense outside the season.

          However, the idea of Brodie and Hamonic having comparable values should be scoffed at, and shows how truly undervalued Brodie is.

  • loudogYYC

    Russell for Hamonic is delusional. It’s no accident that Russell’s best season was the Flames’ best in recent memory. We’d be lucky if he fetched a 2nd round pick in any circumstance.

    The Flames best shot at Hamonic is probably dealing Giordano+ a salary dump for Hamonic and a prospect. Gio+Hudler could fetch Hamonic and a tweener prospect like Strome, maybe MDC if we’re lucky or throw in a 2nd/3rd round pick. The Isles aren’t going to give up an excellent, cost-controlled defenseman for our unwanted garbage. If you want to dump Russell and Wideman, you’re looking at retaining salary and adding a prospect like Klimchuk/Poirier/andersson/kylington.

    Isles don’t want to let Hamonic go, and they’d don’t want any assets we’ve been trying to move for the better part of a year. Simple as that.

  • MonsterPod

    I love the ‘trade Gio’ talk above. Last year the guy’s a god, now he’s on the block. Hilarious.

    The Flames need some punch in their top four. It’s a must going forward. A guy like Hamonic would have been a godsend last year when Getzlaf, Perry, Maroon, and Kesler were doing whatever they wanted in our zone in the playoffs. Chicago at least has Seabrook.

    Isles still have Boychuk crushing fools and Hamonic would be a good fit here, but obviously it’s not gonna be for Brodie or Gio. That’s our 1-2, the best in the league last season.

    Hamilton has had his struggles, but I would also be loathe to give him up. He put up more points in Boston last year than Hamonic ever has, and he’s just 22.

    Also, Hamonic has been somewhat injury prone, no doubt due to his style.

    I think the most we can really offer is Wideman or Russell plus a prospect and/or a pick — just not our first. Wideman is a righty going back and he has one more year on his deal. He’s also not as tiny as Russell. Might not be too hard to get Wides to waive his NTC if he’s going to NYC.

    The Oil could also really use this guy. Toronto and Ottawa have direct flights to Winnipeg too. Interesting to see how this shakes down.

  • supra steve

    A trade for Hamonic which includes either Russel or Wideman will likely also need to include another NHLer of significance; likely a Backlund or Bouma level player. As for the talk of a three way deal if Hamonic is as good as people suggest then why would the team who gets him move him. The cost would be high.

    • MontanaMan

      What’s so hard to understand about it? The Islanders want a comparable defenseman in return. Any team that trades for Hamonic is looking to upgrade their blueline. These two conditions are incompatible.

      There are only two ways in which this deal can go forward:

      1. the Islanders cave and trade Hamonic for a comparable forward (say Eberle).
      2. The Islanders include a team that has defensemen and needs forwards in the deal, so team 3 gets the forward (say Eberle), team 2 gets Hamonic, and New York gets team 3’s dman (say Larsson).
  • MontanaMan

    If I read one more comment calling the player Harmonic, I’m going to snap. If you want to pretend you know something about the game or the player, at least learn what his name is. As far as Brodie goes, it truly is a non starter but I give Snow full credit for maximizing his asset. That’s his job. As far as Hamilton goes, I don’t disagree that he has “potential” but if I were BT I would consider it. I would sell Hamilton’s play in the Eastern Conference (Snow would have seen a lot of him) and try to make a deal of Hamilton for Hamonic and one other (Okposo, Strome) to complete the deal. Yes there is risk but the only risk applies to Hamilton and it’s all on Snow. If he turns out to be a stud defenceman, it’s an even trade. If he continues to play like he has in Calgary, the Flames take the Isles to the cleaners. Bottom line, you are not getting Hamonic for spare parts and nor should you. He’s a top level player and it will take a Hamilton, Eberle, Trouba type player to make the deal.

    • piscera.infada

      In that kind of a trade you go upside all day long. As I wrote above, there is no way in which Hamonic is a more effective NHL level hockey player than Hamilton, outside physicality (which in the way the game is progressing, is becoming less and less of a requisite skill for defensemen).

      Also, we can quit with this “Hamilton plays better in the East” nonsense. While I do agree that there are differences between the conferences, it has absolutely no baring in a trade of this nature. In case people haven’t noticed, Hamonic has also played his entire NHL career in the East. We often think of the West as a land simply of big men. The West is incredibly fast. I would venture to say that if you put both Hamonic and Hamilton in the West for a substantial amount of time, I imagine Hamonic’s relative lack of foot speed will hinder his effectiveness, before Hamilton’s relative lack of toughness.

      In no way would I be trading Hamilton for Hamonic–only one of those players even has the potential to be a “stud defenseman”, and his name is Dougie.

      • MontanaMan

        Potentially you are right but I have watched him closely since he arrived and he’s soft (won’t go in the corners with any wingers), panics with the puck, turns pucks over and has been less than impressive in most aspects of the game. Having said that, I think he still has a big upside but his small sample size in Calgary to date has not been impressive. There is no downside to being patient with Hamilton but if the Flames can acquire a top end defenceman and a high end prospect or winger, I stand by moving Hamilton.

  • TRAIN#97

    Things get even more complicated now that Russell is hurt..

    I’m going to say this might turn out to be a bigger deal like:

    Wideman, Hudler, a prospect, and a pick

    For:

    Hamonic, and a prospect.

    • MontanaMan

      Way too much salary going the other way. In today’s deals, it needs to be the right player(s) and the right salary cap hit. Wideman’s contract is brutal so in your deal, the Flames would need to retain considerable salary. The more I look at this, the more I believe it’s the Oilers deal to lose. Nobody needs solid defensive help and leadership like the Oilers and if they need to give up Eberle to seal the deal, they need to do it. If the Oil don’t get Hamonic, I think it’s a Fail for Chia.

      • TRAIN#97

        You may be right this might be Edmonton’s to lose but Edmonton can’t give away Nurse or Klefbomb. They need to add to the D not take away from it. If New York will take a forward then I could see this deal happening.

        • MontanaMan

          Guys the real issue is that Snow wants to trade Hamonic for a Hamonic or better with a good contract – to only 4 or 5 teams! He also believes in Santa and the Easter bunny. We’ve already been told the Real Answer which Hamonic is quoted on – this ain’t happening till the season is over! Btw Snow has proven to be more recently an adept GM check out the Boychuk Leddy fleecings.

          • MontanaMan

            Snow is also extremely hit-and-miss. Just look at the Boychuk and Leddy contracts.

            Considering Leddy’s comparables (Brodie, Josi, Tanev, even Klefbom) he’s overpaid by about 1 million/year.

            As for Boychuk, he never has been and never will be a 6 million/year player.

            Want more proof? Look at the entire Thomas Vanek situation.

            It just floors me how people are so willing to praise Garth Snow for the great moves he makes and yet completely ignore the fact that literally every single one is balanced by a terrible move. Snow gets far too much credit as a GM; just like Lou Lamoriello.

      • piscera.infada

        Yes, the Flames would have to retain salary.

        Garth Snow will not get a Brodie, Hamilton, Gio, Myers quality D man in a trade, so he can forget about it.

        He can only get a capable top 4 D to fill the need right now. So he will be looking at Wideman, Russell, Tanev, Hamhuis, maybe Byfuglien.

        As a general rule, if a GM can’t upgrade(Brodie), or make a lateral move(Myers), He will have to make it work with spare parts and prospects and picks to ensure he gets some value.

        A top 4 D, top six winger, an NHL ready prospect and a pick checks off all four areas.

  • TRAIN#97

    As far as New York asking for a comparable dman in return ,that doesn’t make sense. Why would a team make a straight up swap just to make Garth Snow’s job easier?

  • Kevin R

    If I were BT, here is my best deal, we’ll give you Wideman & carry 1.5 mill of his salary/cap this year & next. Say what you want but is a known 2nd pairing commodity. I would add an A level prospect in Granlund or Klimchuk & add a 2nd round pick. Take it or leave it.

    If Oil are offering Eberle or Yakapov & Schultze, for him, they should take that deal but I don’t think they can because they don’t have the cap space to do that. & I don’t see Oilers taking a bad contract back.

    Now I do see how a team like Anaheim could get in this. Lots of talk of Fowler being available & Anaheim needing something to get their offence started. Just spitballing realistically, how about Hudler, Islander’s 2nd rounder & Granlund to Anaheim, Islanders get Fowler & Calgary’s 2nd rounder & Calgary get Hamonic.
    Islanders get their young D & probably a superior 2nd round pick & Calgary add a major piece on the backend on a Brodie style kickass contract. Play Raymond with Gaudreau & Monahan until we move Russell or Wideman for a forward.

  • MontanaMan

    What about a package of:

    Hudler+Russell+Colborne

    for Hamonic + a forward

    perhaps a prospect such as Kylington gets thrown in depending on who the forward is.

    A Move like that would shore up our defense to where we could promote a Kulak and move Wideman for some scoring help up front.

  • TRAIN#97

    I know Yak hasn’t performed to #1overall status but he has played well this year especially defensively.
    I would offer up Yak and Schultz in a deal.
    Would New York take that deal?

  • RKD

    Anyone who says Hamonic is better than Brodie is on drugs. Hamonic maybe a very good d-man but I’ve never ever heard the word Norris and Hamonic ever mentioned in the same breath. I’m not against the Flames trying to acquire Hamonic but not at that asking price.