Going back to his time with the Islanders, Canucks defenseman Travis Hamonic has wanted to play in Western Canada. At the trade deadline this year, it’s believed that he vetoed a trade as he wanted to stay close to home. However, as Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports (Twitter link), the 30-year-old is willing to consider all options around the league this time around as he heads for unrestricted free agency again next month. Hamonic isn’t going to put up many points (he last surpassed the 20-point plateau in 2015-16) but he has a reputation as a sound stay-at-home defender that can play top-four minutes. His location limitations hurt his market last fall which resulted in a one-year, $1.25MM pact but with him being open to more teams now, he may be able to beat that this time around.
More from the North Division:
- With Toronto facing significant cap challenges with their four high-paid forwards, it would stand to reason that they shouldn’t be going after a high-priced free agent. However, Sportsnet’s Luke Fox posits that the Maple Leafs should at least consider taking a run at Carolina blueliner Dougie Hamilton, who has permission to speak to other teams about a contract. Such a move would require at least one significant contract coming off the books – perhaps Morgan Rielly – but Fox notes that they kicked the tires on Alex Pietrangelo last fall which suggests that GM Kyle Dubas may be willing to ponder a big swing again.
- The Senators appear to be leaning towards protecting Filip Gustavsson over Joey Daccord for their protected goaltender from Seattle in expansion, reports Postmedia’s Bruce Garrioch. While the 23-year-old doesn’t have great AHL numbers (a 3.20 GAA with a .894 SV% in 75 games), the pending restricted free agent certainly impressed in a late-season run with Ottawa with a 2.16 GAA and a .933 SV% in nine appearances. Daccord, meanwhile, has better career numbers in the minors but hasn’t had much NHL success and posted a 3.27 GAA and a .897 SV% in eight games this season. He has one year left on his deal at the league-minimum $750K.