Attention hockey fans: if you've been breathlessly waiting for or spending your time formulating trade scenarios featuring Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic, you can suspend operations for a little while.
According to a pair of tweets from Newsday's Arthur Staple, Hamonic will be out possibly for the next three weeks, escalating the grim progression from maintenance day to game time decision to day-to-day and finally on the shelf.
#Isles will be without Travis Hamonic (lower) for next 2-3 weeks, Newsday has learned.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) January 12, 2016
Very likely #Isles will not have Hamonic or Johnny Boychuk (upper) through All-Star break.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) January 12, 2016
Hamonic took a puck to the ankle during the Islanders' 4-1 loss to Washington last Thursday and was in conspicuous pain, but remained in the game. UPDATE: Whatever it is that's bothering Hamonic, it will not require surgery, per Newsday.
Scott Mayfield was recalled from Bridgeport and Eric Boulton placed on the injured reserve (must have been some rough morning skates for him) to make room. Mayfield played in Saturday's 20-shot 4-0 manure drop in Philadelphia, as did fellow rookie Adam Pelech.
Making matters worse, as Staple mentions, is that the Islanders are already without Johnny Boychuk, who was placed on IR last week with an upper body injury, believed to be his shoulder. That's two of the team's top right-handed defenseman (and, in the case of Hamonic, a guy having a career year) both out of the line-up for a rough stretch against Metro rivals Columbus and the Rangers this week.
Did I mention the Islanders are 4-6-0 in their last 10? Because they are.
The "good" news is that they only have six games before the All Star Break at the end of the month, so if they can hold it together and stay afloat, they can presumably get both Hamonic and Boychuk back by the time play resumes in February. Judging by how the inconsistent the Islanders have been all season, staying afloat might be a tall order.
The news isn't official yet, so there's still time to make a move before Tuesday's game against the Blue Jackets. That could finally mean a call-up for for Ryan Pulock, the 15th overall pick in the 2013 draft and AHL All Star whom the team has resisted bringing up so far this season (and whose big power play shot might also help, despite the Sound Tigers' special teams struggles). He's also a righty!
Or maybe Garth Snow messes with everyone and calls up forgotten man Kevin Czuczman, who hasn't seen the NHL in a season and a half, just to watch the world burn.
One thing we can say for sure: that brilliant trade proposal you've been cooking up to complete Hamonic's pre-season request to play closer to his family in Winnipeg is gonna hafta wait.