TAMPA, Fla. -- Before the start of the 2015-16 season, New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic wanted to be closer to his Winnipeg home for family reasons, so he asked general manager Garth Snow to be traded.
The trade never happened, and it’s possible Hamonic has played his last game as an Islander after the team was eliminated from the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs by the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday at Amalie Arena. After the game, Hamonic addressed the situation.
"I love being an Islander, more than anything. It’s one of the best things I do in my life," he said. “It was a pretty cool feeling in Game 6 (winning the series against the Florida Panthers) and I’m glad we had a chance to do that in front of our fans. They’ve supported us throughout the whole season. Sorry, it just sucks. ... I’m really confident in our group. This is pretty frustrating.
“It’s a bad feeling. You battle all year; you want a chance to win the Cup. You get to this moment and you don’t want to go out in the second round, so [that's] about as good of an answer I can give you.”
Islanders coach Jack Capuano was careful with his answer, too.
"He’s a guy I’ve been around for a long time. I don’t know what the situation is with Travis," Capuano said. "That’ll be a situation for Garth, who has a great relationship with our players and Travis. They’ll talk about that moving forward, but I don’t necessarily think that right now we’re thinking that Travis is not going to be with us next year. I mean, I don’t know that so I can’t really comment on it. [He's] another guy that’s been a warrior for us back there. You see the way that he plays hard, and that’s the tough thing about losing, not going to the rink tomorrow as a group, getting ready to go on the ice and practice.”
The Islanders selected Hamonic, 25, in the second round (No. 53 overall) in the 2008 draft. He is in his third season of a contract that paid him an average annual value of $3.857 million.