The next thirty days or so is a crucial time for the New York Islanders. Many important decisions and moves need to be made. One of them is it’s time for either Travis Hamonic or Calvin de Haan to go.
What do the next thirty days hold for the New York Islanders? The possibility of a trade, the expansion draft, 2017 amateur draft, and unrestricted free agency. Oh yeah, and hopefully a big press conference announcing the contract extension of John Tavares.
There are multiple reasons why the game is afoot, in terms of the Isles moving either Hamonic or de Haan. The blue and orange need to land a dynamic scorer to this team to play either alongside Tavares or help anchor the second line.
In addition, the Islanders are in a squeeze when it comes to the expansion draft if they have to protect both Hamonic and de Haan.
Finally, the Isles need to open up a spot for talented youngster Ryan Pulock. The former first round pick (2013) can help this team reach the next level.
New York Islanders
Hamonic or de Haan
Both Hamonic and de Haan are solid second pairing defenseman. Hamonic is coming off his worst season (14 points, -21), while de Haan had his best campaign (25 points, +15).
Hamonic will be 27 this summer and is signed for the next three years with a cap friendly number of $3.86 million.
de Haan turned 26 last month and is a restricted free agent this summer. The Ontario native will be either looking for a short-term bridge deal that would lead him to unrestricted free agency or a long-term contract that gives him plenty of security.
Hamonic has been injury-prone the last couple of years. While de Haan who battled injury demons during his junior and minor league development seems to have put that behind him.
Hamonic has been one of the leaders on this team on and off the ice. Despite his trade request at the beginning of the 2015-16 season, that he later rescinded, he is very committed to the Islander organization. Hamonic has stated this past season he is very grateful he is with the Islanders.
de Haan has improved each and every season. While no one expects him to turn into a first pairing defenseman, maybe his game can get even better and he can solidify himself as a reliable second pairing defenseman.
One could make an argument keeping either Hamonic or de Haan. The bottom line is the teams the Isles will engage in serious trade talks will dictate who stays and who goes. Something has to give and someone has to go.