It’s well known that New York Islanders defenceman Travis Hamonic has asked to be traded from the club and that his desire is to end up with a team that’s closer to his family in Manitoba. But with Johnny Boychuk out of the lineup with an injury, Arthur Staple of New York Newsday reports that the time frame for a Hamonic trade likely begins no sooner than June.
Whether it’s a week or a month that the Islanders are without Boychuk, two things are clear: Travis Hamonic will be leaned on even heavier to carry the right side of the defense. And Hamonic’s preseason trade request is even further away from being honored.
While we won’t find out how long Boychuk will be out for until Sunday or Monday, the team will need to lean more on Hamonic as they make a push towards the playoffs down the stretch. At 21-13-5, the Islanders sit second in the Metropolitan Division, but are only two points clear of fourth-place New Jersey. The Islanders have won just three of their past eight games and aren’t in any position to trade a defenceman who averages 23:43 of ice time per game, the most on the team.
Hamonic, who has said he’s happy to be an Islander even though he’s requested a trade, reinforced that to Staple.
“I haven’t really thought about it, to be honest with you. I know that’s going to be hard for people to believe, but it’s the truth. I’m an Islander and I’m proud to be an Islander. It’s a big loss to not have Johnny out there but it doesn’t change anything for me personally.”
Boychuk was injured on New Year’s Eve against the Buffalo Sabres after he got tangled up with Jack Eichel and crashed hard into the boards. He was put on the injured reserve shortly after and the initial prognosis wasn’t good.