New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic has revoked his trade request. The 25-year-old requested a trade before the season began, but reportedly told GM Garth Snow Tuesday that he wishes to remain an Islander.
Travis Hamonic’s early season trade request was one of the most surprising stories of the season. The Islanders defenseman was emerging as a solid top-three rearguard, was becoming a cornerstone of the blueline in New York and was only months into the third season of a seven-year, $27-million contract when he asked the Islanders for a move to the Western Conference to be closer to family.
However, according to Newsday’s Arthur Staple, Hamonic’s trade request is a story no longer.
Staple reported Tuesday that Hamonic has told Islanders GM Garth Snow he no longer wishes to be traded and has taken back his request to be shipped to the Western Conference close to his family in Winnipeg. Following Staple’s report, NHL.com’s Brian Compton added that Islanders coach Jack Capuano confirmed Hamonic has backed off his trade request. And for an Islanders team that could potentially lose Kyle Okposo and Frans Nielsen this off-season, Hamonic’s decision is a fantastic one.
According to Compton, Hamonic’s decision came down to a matter of a close family member’s health. The health of the family member has stabilized, Hamonic said, and that’s what impacted his decision to stay.
“I love it here and want to be here and want to win a Cup here,” Hamonic said, via the New York Daily News’ Peter Botte. “I never wanted to leave here and couldn’t be happier to stay here.”
Hamonic, 25, averaged the highest ice time of any Islanders blueliner during the regular season and he further showcased his ability to contribute offensively with five goals and 21 points in 72 games. In the post-season, Hamonic added another goal and three points in 11 games while averaging 26:08 of ice time, second only to Nick Leddy. But this hasn’t been a one-season thing for Hamonic.
Over his past four seasons with the Islanders, Hamonic is the blueline’s top scorer, has 14 power play points, is a regular on the penalty kill and leads the team in average ice time at nearly 23:30 per game. And Hamonic is heavily relied upon defensively. Of the regular defensemen Islanders defensemen over the past four seasons, Hamonic has taken the lowest percentage offensive zone starts and boasts the third-highest defensive zone start percentage. Yet even with a heavy slant of defensive zone starts, Hamonic has maintained a nearly 50 percent shot attempts for percentage.
And as much as this was Hamonic’s choice to rescind the trade request, some credit can be given to Snow. When Hamonic asked to be moved, Snow could have pulled the trigger without holding out for what he felt to be a fair return, but instead waited because he wanted an equal talent to come back the Islanders’ way. By the trade deadline, no deal was made, but it was expected Hamonic would finally be moved out during the off-season. Thanks to Tuesday’s news, though, it seems Hamonic may be in New York for the duration of his deal.
The Islanders are facing a tough off-season and one that will require Snow making a lot of tough decisions that could shape the future of the franchise. But Hamonic deciding to stick around will take one major decision off of Snow’s plate, and that the 25-year-old blueliner choosing to remain in New York is a big victory for the Islanders.