I want to get this out quickly because A. the comments on our morning Bits post are approaching Ludicrous Speed and B. The hockey world is shifting right beneath our feet as the GMs use their pre-draft time to wheel and deal in Chicago. The Coyotes have already acquired three fifths of a starting lineup, the Blackhawks traded a new favorite for an old one and the Rangers need a new center and back-up goalie but have a ton of cap space, which is scary.
After acquiring Jordan Eberle yesterday (who will wear Trent Hunter’s old number, by the way), Garth Snow is out working the room and trying to swing another deal and the spotlight seems to be on Travis Hamonic. But while Snow can move his longtime defenseman for a good return, he’s got his price set very high.
According to reports and league sources, the Islanders have asked for two first-round draft picks in exchange for Hamonic from teams that are looking to acquire the 26-year-old defenseman. The Flames have shown the most interest but have balked at the high asking price; the Stars have also shown significant interest.
There’s a reason Calgary might be balking: They have a first but no second or third round picks in this weekend’s draft. Dallas does have two picks in this year’s first round, but one of them is third overall, one they’d probably like to hang on to.
Getting two first rounders in a trade is pretty rare in the NHL, but if a realistic contender feels Hamonic can bolster their blueline right away at a reasonable (under $4 million) clip for the next couple of years, it might be worth it for the now.
For the Islanders, trading Hamonic for picks works out to cap space. It’s not the sexiest reason, but it could also make sense in the short term, provided they spend it in the right places soon.
Hard to say definitively without a deal, but very possible #Isles trade Hamonic just for picks. Need to sign CdH w/ only $5.5m in cap space.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) June 23, 2017
So how does Hamonic feel about all this? Exactly as you assume the career Islander who publicly venerated the organization when he was going through a trade request and great personal struggle and who just won the league’s award for exemplary community service would feel:
Hamonic, who just received the NHL Foundation Player Award for his charitable contributions during his seven seasons with the Islanders, has resigned himself to a coming deal, according to a source. He had a roller-coaster 2015-16, having requested a trade closer to his Winnipeg home during that season’s training camp due to a private family matter.
As for further acquisitions, Snow still has his eye on Matt Duchene. But it turns out Joe Sakic is shooting for the moon, too.
Isles general manager Garth Snow still covets Avalanche center Matt Duchene, however, and is believed to have an offer on the table that includes Hamonic, a prospect and possibly the Islanders’ 2018 first-round pick. Snow dealt away Friday night’s first-rounder, the 15th overall pick, to Vegas as part of an expansion-draft trade.
Snow has already made the biggest splash post-expansion draft, acquiring Jordan Eberle from the Oilers for Ryan Strome on Thursday. He wants to land Duchene as well, but sources say he will not part with center Mathew Barzal, the 20-year-old prospect who has an excellent chance of upgrading the team’s offense this coming season.
Put me down as a member of the “DO NOT TRADE BARZAL” camp. Sorry, Joe.
Seriously, it’s crazy out there. Every stay cool.