An eye to the West
As first reported by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, Islanders top-four defenseman Travis Hamonic asked to be traded to a Western Canadian team close to his Manitoba home for family reasons. He has since expanded his list to include Minnesota and Colorado, and Wild sources confirmed Thursday that the Islanders and Wild have spoken.
However, GM Chuck Fletcher had not yet talked to Hamonic’s agent, Kevin Epp, Fletcher is more inclined to address the forward position via trade, and the price for Hamonic is substantial, including a top-four defenseman.
The Wild is already at the cap ceiling, and Hamonic has five years left on his contract at $3.85 million annually.
Former Islanders draft pick Jared Spurgeon has a year left on his contract and is two years from unrestricted free agency, so acquiring him would be a risk for the Islanders. If the Wild chose to ultimately go the Hamonic route, Jonas Brodin, in the first of a six-year deal worth $4.16 million per year, might make the most sense, with similar-style Gustav Olofsson on the verge of being an NHL regular. Brodin has one assist in 17 games and continues to leave you wanting more.
Plea for one voice
Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk thinks the Toronto Situation Room should make all goalie interference coach’s challenge decisions, not the refs. “Does every referee understand it the same way?” he said. “You walk a fine line because you don’t want to take referees out of it, and that’s part of sport. But at the same time, if you had the same people making the decisions every night, I’d imagine you’d find a lot more consistency.”