The New York Islanders announced via their official Twitter account that defenseman Travis Hamonic would miss the next 4 – 6 weeks due to an upper body injury. Arthur Staple of Newsday originally reported that Hamonic had exited the Islanders shootout loss to Edmonton after blocking a shot with his right arm.
With Ryan Pulock already sidelined with a broken foot, Staple believes it’s likely the team will recall Adam Pelech from Bridgeport of the AHL to cover for the absence of Hamonic. Pelech has a goal and four points in 10 games so far this season for the Sound Tigers.
Hamonic has tallied two goals and five points in 12 games this season despite averaging a career-low 19:47 of ice time per game. He leads the team in penalty minutes with 23 and has the worst plus-minis rating on the club at a -7.
The injury to Hamonic is yet another setback for a team that not only had playoff aspirations but expected to make a deep postseason run. Offseason free agent signings Andrew Ladd and Jason Chimera have combined for just four points – all assists – in 12 games this season while the players they were signed to replace, Kyle Okposo and Frans Nielsen, have totaled seven goals and 14 points for their new clubs.
The Islanders are also dealing with controversy surrounding their three goalie system which makes it difficult to find adequate practice time for their netminders. Allan Walsh, who represents Jaroslav Halak and Jean-Francois Berube, criticized the arrangement and the Islanders subsequently announced Halak was available via trade. Berube, ostensibly the team’s third goalie in each of the last two seasons, has seen action in just seven NHL games and five AHL contests – all coming last season – during that time.
New York is currently in seventh place in the Metro Division, just one point ahead of Carolina, who has two games-in-hand on the Islanders. Obviously it’s way too early in the season to completely write the Isles off just yet but this is clearly not the start the team was hoping for or expecting.