Recently, word came out that New York Islanders' defenceman Travis Hamonic requested a trade during the offseason. The reason had nothing to do with the team, other than its location; Hamonic called it "a personal family matter of mine that I hold dear to my heart". This brings up an obvious question: do the Jets make a trade to bring the boy from St. Malo, Manitoba home, or does someone else in Western Canada (or the Western Conference) swoop in?
According to sources close to the situation, Islanders' GM Garth Snow has supposedly stated that he wants a comparable player in exchange for the d-corps stalwart. "An established top-four defenseman. No prospects or picks." The good news for Winnipeg is that they happen to have three very good right handed defencemen who compare very well to Hamonic, those being Jacob Trouba, Dustin Byfuglien and Tyler Myers. Let's take a look at who the Jets may consider dealing to bring Hamonic home.
Trade Jacob Trouba?
No. Despite his shaky start to the season, it's not fair to totally give up on him. He's 21, and prevailing wisdom says that defencemen typically hit their peak around 26 or 27. No GM wants to give up on a young player too soon, only to look a fool later. In my opinion, the flashes of brilliance we've already seen from Trouba warrant keeping him, and many fans would likely agree.
Trade Dustin Byfuglien?
Yes, if New York agrees to it. We all love Byfuglien but let's face reality: his age, play style and contract don't look to be in the Jets' favour moving forward. If New York wants to offer Hamonic for Byfuglien, I say Chevy needs to take that deal and run with it. Fast.
Trade Tobias Enstrom?
Since Dreger has said that Enstrom may be available, he might be thrown into the mix as well. This however makes no sense. Trading a player from an organizational position of weakness for a position of strength is not the thing to do, and Enstrom is the only top-four quality LHD on the roster signed through next season. Thankfully, Dreger has stated that the Jets are looking him as bait for a top-six forward (also a bad idea), so Enstrom likely shouldn't be included in Hamonic trade speculation.
Trade Tyler Myers?
Reluctant yes. While Myers was a great addition in the Evander Kane trade and most would prefer not to trade him (especially some of us here at AIH), he is the most realistic option for a Travis Hamonic trade. The two are very similar in ability, with Myers being slightly better offensively and Hamonic better defensively, a trait the Jets definitely need more of. Another thing they have in common is both having very good team-friendly contracts. Hamonic's $3.85 million AAV contract would provide cap relief from Myers' $5.5 million AAV (and salary savings until 2017).
Hamonic in Winnipeg looks to be a good fit for both sides, but it's up to Cheveldayoff to make a deal which balances fit with cost. Let's see in the coming days if he gets something done. Hamonic has said he's in no rush and will play in New York as long as he has to, but still desires a trade as soon as possible. One thing's for sure: the Winnipeg Jets will not be alone in the hunt.
Added Fun Fact: Hamonic scored his first NHL goal in February 2011, against none other than Ondrej Pavelec.
Should the Jets trade for Hamonic? Would you rather keep our current defensive stable? Let us know in the comments below!