During the whole Matt Duchene trade drama, it emerged that the New York Islanders might have at least made a concrete offer for Colorado’s young center. But looking at the deal, it’s no wonder why they walked from it.
"Snow had an offer out to the Avalanche, with Hamonic and the Islanders’ 2018 first-round pick as part of a package for Matt Duchene"
The imperative word here is: “package”. It could mean a number of any other assets were included to temp Colorado to get rid of a player they absolutely want off their roster.
But I want to focus on Travis himself. Because I can understand why the Avalanche wanted no part of a deal involving the 26-year-old defender.
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Let’s Be Honest
We first have to be honest in looking at our assets. We have to take our blue and orange fan glasses off and look at this objectively. Travis Hamonic is, at best, a second pairing defender.
And that’s not what Colorado wanted. They wanted to find that next top pairing guy that could play 30 minutes a night and completely take over a game. They’re looking for the next Erik Karlsson.
Travis Hamonic isn’t that. He clearly doesn’t have the production, with a 33 point campaign in 2014-15 being a career-high for him.
His other analytics aren’t any better. He’s averaged a 48.6% Corsi-For since entering the league in 2010-11. He averages just under 23 minutes a game and was actually a negative in defensive point share last season. (All stats taken from Hamonic’s Hockey Reference page).
It’s not that Hamonic is a bad hockey player. He’s a good player, but with a specific set of skills. And not the type of player that will single-handedly develop a team’s blueline. Put him in the right setting and said team’s going to get a good defender.
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Look, I get it, as a human being Travis is the bees-knees. But unlike that co-ed dodgeball league, you’re part of, spirit points don’t count in determining standings in the NHL.
Two season’s ago when the New York Islanders made their march into the second round of the playoffs Sportsnet’s Dimitri Filipovic compiled some stats on defensemen. One was their ability to break up plays at the blueline.
Travis Hamonic ranked as the top Islanders defenseman and one of the better in the entirety of the playoffs at the time. Take a look at the graph. Travis was an 11.36% efficient at breaking up plays on the blueline. Travis has his values.
But with all that, it’s just not what Colorado was looking for. And that’s understandable. The Avalanche made their demands clear. It wouldn’t matter what was included after Hamonic. The Avalanche want that that Karlsson type player now.
And if Ryan Pulock is that guy, why would we give that up? For Matt Duchene? The Isles aren’t that desperate right now, are they?
A deal with Travis Hamonic as the cornerstone defensive piece wasn’t going to work with Colorado. I don’t blame Garth Snow for trying because if it worked it would have been a great deal. But knowing what Hamonic brings to the table it makes sense that a deal never worked out.