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New York Islanders Travis Hamonic Can’t Be In Top Pair

By Jennifer Lapka
Dec 27, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic (3) shoots on goal during the second period against the Washington Capitals at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 27, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic (3) shoots on goal during the second period against the Washington Capitals at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports /
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With Travis Hamonic’s return looming closer, the New York Islanders will have to answer some questions regarding his spot in the lineup.

At the trade deadline last year, Travis Hamonic’s future with the New York Islanders was in question. His trade request sat on the table through the season, but had us all pretty much chomping at the bit to hear if our beloved Hammer would, indeed, leave us.

Garth Snow couldn’t – or didn’t – make that happen in a satisfactory (to him) manner so Hamonic played the season out. He played it out, rescinded his request, and for a while, everyone lived happily ever after.

New York Islanders

Number Don’t Lie

This year’s deadline had similar gossip but it was accompanied by an entirely different tone. 

Hamonic’s horrendous start and unsuccessful first pair partnership with Nick Leddy failed the Islanders and played a part in the team’s disastrous start.

The numbers don’t lie and the dream of an elite top six forward put Hamonic in a sort of doghouse.

The rumors have played out and died with the coming and going of the deadline.

If there was a realistic shot at moving him for a valuable piece, it was probably last season when Hamonic played through his difficulties and played relatively well. Not this season with his poor play and yet another injury.

Now with the report that he has a 50/50 shot at returning to the lineup Thursday against Dallas, questions still arise. Do the Islanders pull Scott Mayfield or Adam Pelech, who have generally acquitted themselves well in Hamonic’s absence? Does Doug Weight pull a Jack Capuano and insist on plugging him back into that first pair with Leddy? How sturdy is Hamonic, really?

Listen, when Hamonic is healthy, the Islanders are a better team with him in the lineup. The trick with this team is – and always has been – (mis)management. To say otherwise is a disservice to Johnny Boychuk, Ryan Strome, and pretty much every prospect mishandled by Capuano and staff.

Next: Garth Snow Wastes Another Opportunity

The Islanders need him back. They need him in a 3/4 position with minutes managed. He strengthens this corps and in a situation suited to his skill and durability, will turn it around for himself.

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