NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — With what figures to be an offseason filled with tension and changes staring them in the face following their second-round playoff ouster, the Islanders got some welcome news Tuesday.
The team confirmed that stud defenseman Travis Hamonic has decided he no longer wants to be traded, a decision that will undoubtedly take a gigantic burden off the shoulders of general manager Garth Snow.READ MORE: Viral Video Shows Unmasked NYPD Officer Pushing Masked Commuter Out Of Subway Station
The news was first reported by Arthur Staple of Newsday.
“I love it here and want to be here and want to win a Cup here,” Hamonic told reporters. “I never wanted to leave here and couldn’t be happier to stay here.”
In September, Hamonic asked to be traded closer to his Winnipeg home, a request that sent the Islanders’ fan base into a rage. Though the exact reason for the request was never revealed by Hamonic or the team, various reports suggested it had something to do with him wanting to move closer to his family. Hamonic confirmed as much on Tuesday.
Snow reportedly explored options to grant Hamonic’s wishes, but didn’t get the return he was looking for. Hence, the 25-year-old defenseman remained with the Islanders all season and ended up helping them to their first playoff series victory since 1993.READ MORE: Hip-Hop Improv Show 'Freestyle Love Supreme' Returns To Broadway
“Obviously it’s huge. He’s an exceptional player and an even better guy,” teammate Nick Leddy said, upon hearing the news of Hamonic’s about-face.
New York defeated Florida in six games, but ran into all kinds of problems in the Eastern Conference semifinals, losing to Tampa Bay in five games.
Hamonic, who is signed for the next four years at a very team-friendly $3.857 million average annual value, had another exemplary season with the Islanders, the only NHL team he has ever played for. Drafted in the second round in 2008, the 6-foot-2, 217-pounder had 21 points and logged nearly 24 minutes of ice time per night during the regular season, while often drawing the assignment of shutting down the opposition’s top offensive players.
Hamonic contributed three points and played a little more than 26 minutes per night in the Isles’ 11 postseason games.MORE NEWS: Eligible New Jersey Residents Urged To Get COVID Booster Shot
The Islanders should bring back a very good defense corps next fall. Hamonic, who figures to play first-pairing minutes once again, will likely join veterans Leddy, Johnny Boychuk, Calvin de Haan and Thomas Hickey, with youngsters Ryan Pulock, Adam Pelech and Scott Mayfield ready to contribute on a more regular basis.