It’s been speculated that New York Islanders defender Travis Hamonic, who requested a trade this season for family reasons, would prefer a move to a central or western Canadian club. Arthur Staple of Newsday wrote Saturday that while a Jacob Trouba trade may have been more appealing to the Jets after the Byfuglien signing, the Islanders likely won’t feel the same way.
Two sources indicated that the Isles’ appetite for trading Hamonic, who has been the team’s most consistent defenseman this season, is still exceedingly low for an in-season move, with the trade deadline now just 15 days away.
Even in the summer, a Trouba-for-Hamonic deal would be problematic for many of the same reasons Isles GM Garth Snow couldn’t find a trade fit in September and October, when he had numerous discussions with his fellow general managers in hopes of accommodating Hamonic’s desire to move.
Hamonic has four years left on a contract that carries a cap hit of $3.857 million per year, with an actual salary of $4.875 million starting next season. Trouba is just finishing his entry-level deal and is reportedly searching for a long-term, big-money contract, possibly in the $6-7 million per year range.
If Trouba is looking for a big-ticket contract after his entry level deal expires at the end of this season, that may not be a situation Islanders GM Garth Snow wants to wade into. On top of that Trouba’s agent, Kurt Overhardt, has had three other clients who held out after their entry-level deals expired, wrote Staple. Meanwhile, Hamonic’s cap hit is a very manageable $3.857 million and lasts another four years.
Hamonic has been one of the Islanders’ most reliable defencemen, leading the club in average ice time (23:43) and Corsi for (SAT) at 971.
The NHL trade deadline is Feb. 29.