Travis Hamonic has already impressed his significance to New York Islanders fans many times, in many ways. From the proverbial blue and orange heart he wears on his sleeve, to the incredible time and care he donates to children who (like him) lost a parent at a young age, to the things he's said about the fanbase over the years that he backed up by signing a long-term and team-friendly deal with the club.
His emotional reaction to winning the Islanders' first playoff round since 1993 on home ice left a mark on many.
Sunday might have been his last in the uniform -- a trade request for personal reasons came about last summer, though he soldiered on and never looked like a guy who actually wanted to leave -- and he politely asked reporters not to probe it now, in the aftermath of the Islanders' Game 5 season-ending loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
But he did re-iterate some of the reasons he's so beloved by fans, with a passionate response to a question from Shannon Hogan of the MSG team broadcast about what memories he might take from the team's first round victory:
"Shannon, I love being an Islander, more than anything. It’s one of the best things I do in my life. So…it was a pretty cool feeling in Game 6 when we won that. I’m glad we had the chance to do that in front of our fans, they’ve supported us throughout the whole season and…yeah…[returns to the feeling of disappointment] sorry, it sucks, I didn’t think…I was really confident in our group, so this is pretty frustrating."
Full video at MSG here:
However things go from here, fans will always remember Hamonic as "one of us."