Editorials

New York Islanders Could Still Trade Travis Hamonic

Apr 27, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic (3) is congratulated by teammates after scoring against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period in game one of the second round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 27, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic (3) is congratulated by teammates after scoring against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period in game one of the second round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic rescinded his trade request a few months ago. Putting an end to the “Where will he go” saga. But even with Hamonic staying, he still remains a valuable trade target.

When New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic rescinded his trade request it seemed like the chapter was closed on him leaving the Isles for the foreseeable future.

The team to their credit wished to fulfill Hamonic’s request, but they wouldn’t be swindled into a deal they didn’t want to make. Just because Hamonic wanted to leave did not, in the eyes of the Islanders, mean he was worth less in the trade market.

It’s bold talk but certainly understandable for the team to take that approach. They felt like the value of the asset they had, Hamonic, was not diminished because of his request to be traded out West. But with all due respect, that’s exactly what happens when a player wants to leave. Their worth goes down, at least marginally in the trade market.

By rescinding his trade request Harmonic does two things. He reaffirms his faith and love for the New York Islanders for all to see, but he also allows the team to recoup maximum value for their asset in the trade market, should they wish to do so.

Which helps the Islanders no matter the outcome.

The Value of Travis Hamonic

Hamonic is a top pairing defensemen on just about any NHL team. You can look at his points total and think otherwise. But Hamonic’s contributions are not only on the score sheet.

Sportsnet’s Dimitri Filipovic wrote an article during the playoffs that analyzed each blue liner’s ability to break up plays. Filipovic reviewed the success rate of a defender when faced with a team carrying the puck into the zone or dumping it in.

During the playoffs, Hamonic faced 39.77% carry-ins and 50% dump-ins and was able to break up 11.36% of them. Which ranked him near the top of Filipovic’s list. Hamonic’s 11.36% was comparable to Jay Bouwmeester (11.24%), Brian Campbell (11.43%), and Jared Spurgeon (11.63%).

If he’s so good then why are we talking about trading him?

Because you got to give to get. Hamonic is a great talent, but if we as a franchise want to move forward we have to look at what we have and see what can help us to move that figurative needle forward. Hamonic might just be that chip.

He’s young, he’s skilled, and more importantly based on the current economic climate of the NHL he has an oh-so-friendly cap hit of $3.8m. He’s also a right handed defenseman, another premium in a league full of lefties.

The Return for Hamonic

The return for such a player is high. He won’t get you a top line winger like Taylor Hall by himself, but he certainly gets the discussion rolling. Add a prospect and/or a pick and you’re getting tantalizingly close to a deal.

Do you think Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli doesn’t listen to a trade involving Hamonic, no matter who New York is asking for, unless his name starts with Connor and ends with McDavid?

Last season the Oilers ranked fourth in terms of goals against with 2.94. The two season before that the Edmonton Oilers finished the season ranked first in both 2014-15 and 2013-14 with 3.37 and 3.26 respectively.

If Hamonic goes, the Islanders should get a full return on his value, unlike what we would have received with a trade request hanging over his head.

Next: Should the Isles Trade Boychuk?

And if he stays we have a top pairing, young defensemen with a right-handed shot, who’ great at breaking up plays, and carries an amazing $3.8 million can hit for the next four years.

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