Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic left Saturday’s shootout loss to Edmonton in the first period with an upper body injury and didn’t return to the game. Word has come down this afternoon that the injury will keep Hamonic on the shelf for the next month and a half or so.
A rising wrist shot from the Oilers’ Patrick Maroon hit Hamonic’s arm in the first and inadvertently led to Leon Draisaitl’s game-tying goal. You can see the play here. The puck hits Hamonic and he grabs his arm near the elbow. The shot bounces right to Draisaitl, who scores on the power play.
There are no details just yet, but Arthur Staple surmised last night that it might be a broken bone.
As soon as word came out that Hamonic wouldn’t be returning to game, Sound Tigers beatwriter Michael Fornabaio reported that Bridgeport defenseman Adam Pelech was on the bench rather than on the PK where he normally is. The Sound Tigers were getting pumped 6-0 by Wilkes-Barre Scranton at the time (en route to a 7-1 loss), so it sounds like the Islanders knew right away that Pelech would be needed. Sure enough, Staple reports that he will be recalled in time for Monday’s game against Vancouver.
Hamonic has two goals and three assists in eight games this season, and is averaging 19:46 of ice time, according to NHL.com (so, uh, take that as a ballpark number). The point is that the 26-year old remains one of the Islanders’ most trusted defenseman and losing him will be less than idea, especially considering that Ryan Pulock, the team’s most advanced defensive prospect, is also out a few more weeks with what is believed to be a broken foot.
Pelech played nine games for the Islanders last season and showed some promise before losing a ton of the season with vascular thoracic outlet syndrome, the same blood clot ailment Steven Stamkos had. This will be a big chance for him to make an impression on the big club (should he stay healthy).
tl;dr Hammer out, Pelech up, gross start gets worse.