After reportedly considering options that varied from playing with the Vancouver Canucks in 2021-22, opting out of the season, or retiring from the NHL altogether, defenceman Travis Hamonic informed his team today that he will not be opting out.
Hamonic isn’t the only one who had to wrestle with this decision. He’s gotten the most attention because he might be the highest caliber player who has yet to report to his team’s training camp, but there have been a few cases where these decision has been a difficult one. As per Chris Johnston of TSN and the Toronto Star, no players are opting out.
Related: Canucks Exploring Options Around Travis Hamonic Trade
As for Hamonic, general manager Jim Benning relayed information about his defenseman Friday afternoon. He noted: “We’ve received confirmation that Travis Hamonic will not be opting out this season.” He adds, “He remains at home, dealing with some personal matters. We continue to support him, and out of respect for the situation, we will have no further comment at this time.”
It is unclear what the issue is that is keeping Hamonic from reporting to the team right now, but it should be noted that he has been notorious for putting his family first throughout his playing career, which has to be admired. When he was a member of the New York Islanders, he requested a trade to a Western Canadian team in order to be closer to his family, and got his wish when he was dealt to the Calgary Flames. Then, during the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, he chose to opt out of the bubble and stay with his immune-compromised daughter.
This situation is quite confusing, though you can’t blame the organization for keeping this sort of thing in-house. At the end of the day, Hamonic is entitled to any and all privacy he wishes, and all that can be said right now is that we hope everything is okay with him and his family. As for a hockey standpoint, it is hard to say what will happen with this situation given that he just recently signed a two-year, $6 million extension with the Canucks. It will be interesting to see what happens with the team in terms of their cap situation if he continues to remain away from the team.
Hamonic, 31, appeared in 38 games with the Canucks last season, his first with them. In those 38 games, he recorded three goals and 10 points along with a plus/minus of minus3. When on top of his game, he is a dependable shutdown top four defenceman who can play on the penalty kill and blocks plenty of shots. Hopefully, we are able to see him on the ice at some point during the 2021-22 season.
Next: Duncan Keith Joins Oilers at Camp, Upset by NHLPA Lack of Support
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