The Calgary Flames are off to a slow start this season, allowing 39 goals in 13 games. If that continues they’ll have some tough decisions to make with their current defense core, as both Travis Hamonic and T.J. Brodie are set to become unrestricted free agents after the season. According to Darren Dreger of TSN on the latest installment of Insider Trading, any discussions there have been with Hamonic are now over; the defenseman will not negotiate during the season.
Just like general managers that state they won’t trade a certain player, sometimes agents and players are bluffing when they shut down negotiations as well. If that’s not the case with Hamonic, he could very well become a top trade deadline target given his relatively low cap hit and expiring contract. The 29-year old carries just a $3.86MM cap hit, a reasonable amount for almost any team looking to add defensive help.
Obviously Calgary may decide to keep Hamonic and attempt to re-sign him in the offseason, but even that may prove difficult due to Brodie’s presence and the cap situation the team finds themselves in. The Flames will have some money coming off the books at the end of the year but also have to consider a new contract for young defenseman Rasmus Andersson and a potential extension for David Rittich down the line.
Hamonic isn’t a big offensive presence on the blueline, but has been considered one of the better shutdown options for years now. The right-handed defenseman now has 600 regular season games under his belt and is logging close to 22 minutes a night for the Flames. That includes more than four minutes of short-handed ice time, something teams are always looking to improve at the deadline.