Hamonic: Family matter behind trade request with Islanders

Travis Hamonic confirmed he requested a trade on Thursday.

A day after Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported that the New York Islanders were trying to trade Travis Hamonic, the defenceman wanted to give his side of the story.

Hamonic confirmed to local reporters that he, in fact, requested a trade prior to the start of the 2015-16 season and explained that his decision was related to a personal family issue.

“The root of all this is a personal family matter of mine that I hold dear to my heart,” Hamonic said via the Islanders’ official team website. “It has nothing to do with the organization or how I’ve been treated here for six years of playing and another two or three since I was drafted. I’ve honestly been treated like gold from the start.”

Hamonic, who Friedman said prefers to be dealt to a team in Western Canada, wouldn’t divulge into details about his personal situation, but admitted that he addressed his teammates Thursday morning to clear up any possible questions.

“Just explaining what was going on was one of the more difficult conversations I think I’ve had in my life,” Hamonic said Thursday. “It certainly wasn’t easy, but they’ve been there for me for many years now, different situations in my life and my career. They’ve certainly been there this far.”

The 25-year-old praised Islanders general manager Garth Snow, head coach Jack Capuano and owner Charles Wang for how accommodating they’ve been through a tough time in his life.

“When [Garth and I] talked about this, it was more on a personal level than just a player-GM thing,” he said. “He understands what this means for me and how difficult it is. He’s really been there for me and I couldn’t thank him enough.”

Hamonic has played an important role in the Islanders’ 10-6-3 start of the season, averaging over 23 minutes per game while racking up three assists in 19 games.

“You can see the professionalism in him and what a teammate that he’s been and what a first-class individual he’s been,” Capuano told reporters. “I’ve known for a while and it hasn’t affected his game. If anything, he’s played better.

“We all go through adversity in life,” Capuano said. “Life is more important than the game.”

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