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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.