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THE NEW FANTASTIC FOUR

Adding Hamonic to Giordano, Hamilton and Brodie is epic move by Flames

by GEORGE JOHNSON @GJohnsonFlames / calgaryflames.com

CHICAGO - Stan Lee, eat your heart out.

Adding a do-gooder/defender of the faith like Travis Hamonic to a group that already includes Mark Giordano, T.J. Brodie and Dougie Hamilton?

Haul those elasticized tights and capes out of mothballs.

Marvel Comics would have trouble putting together this fantastic a Fantastic Four.

Saturday, the Flames acquired the rock-solid D-man from the NY Islanders along with a fourth-round selection. The price tag was steep: The Flames' first and second rounders from next summer along with a second-round pick in either 2019 or 2020.

Hamonic is eager to prove the return on investment was more than worth the outlay.

"I can't,'' he concedes Hamonic, "wipe the smile off my face.

"I couldn't be more excited when I got the news. Obviously you need that moment it let it set in. But then you ask where and you hear 'Calgary.'

"You jump out of bed and you're excited, your wife is excited, your family's excited.

"When that happens, just a great feeling."

In adding another quality component to the blueline, Treliving has pieced together what will be widely considered one of the first Top-Four groups in the game.

"You like it on paper,'' mused the Flames' deal-broker, during a short break in proceedings on the United Center draft floor. "Paper and reality are often two different things. But we like how it looks. I think the skill set, if you're looking at the three guys - Brodie, Gio and Hamilton - they move pucks. Travis does, too, but I think he brings a little edge.

"I think there's some versatility in the group now. He checks a lot of boxes for us.

"He's certainly a guy we've had our eye on for a while. You've gotta give to get. For a guy who says he hates giving up picks, I've given up a lot of picks. But these guys don't come along that often.

"He's a right shot. He moves pucks. He's a character kid, got some heart to him. We think he'll fit in with our team - the coaches will find out exactly where."

Only 26 but well established in the league and, importantly, carrying three more years on a seven-annum contract totalling $27 million dollars, the Islanders had no shortage of suitors for Hamonic's services.

"I like that there's term on the contract,'' critiqued Treliving. "It gives you financial stability. He fits in the age group with us.

"I think our scouts have done a real good job replenishing the (defence) cupboard on our reserve list. We've got some good young kids and this allows them or progress on their own timelines.

If Harmonic was flat-out ecstatic about the move, Flames' skipper Mark Giordano sounded almost as over-the-moon.

"I just think really highly of him,'' enthused the captain. "Big, tough, strong guy. What I really like is he gives us a bit of an edge. A hard guy to play against. Just a well-rounded player.

"Happy to have him.

"We lost Engo (Deryk Engelland) to expansion and he played that tough style. So you bring in a guy like Hamonic to add that element but he can move the puck and create offence, as well.

"There were a lot of rumours out there about a lot of teams being interested in him and there's a reason for that.

"He's been around a while but still, in my mind, a young guy. Like when we acquired Dougie, a talented, established player with real upside potential.

 "He's going to help us out big time. Especially with the leftie-righty thing now. You look at the way our pairs set up, that goes a long way.

"He's going to make us a lot better."

The idea of rounding out a Fab Four at the Scotibank Saddleome appeals to the new guy, too.

"You always want to be around great players and on the defensive side of things, you're talking about great partners,'' said Hamonic. "Look at that core. I just want to get there and prove myself to the team. To be a part of that, I think, is something pretty special.

"You watch a ton of Flames games on TV. They're always being broadcast.

"I am so pumped."

As with the Hamilton deal a couple years ago, and in the person of Mike Smith acquiring g proven go-to guy in goal just the other day, Calgary's ambition is laid bare.

"As players,'' agreed Giordano, "when you see the moves we've been making over the last couple weeks, with Haronic and Smitty, makes you want to hurry up and get back to camp.

"It sends a message.

"The fans in Calgary … if they haven't seen him enough, they're going to be in for a real pleasant surprise. This kid is a great hockey player."

As for Hamonic, he can't wait to get to town.

"I think,'' says Hamonic, "it's going to be awesome. I'm a western Canadian boy. A farm kid, grew up an hour outside Winnipeg (St. Malo) in the middle of nowhere. My wife (Stephanie) is from a small town outside Winnipeg, as well.

"I can't wait to get there. Playing in a market where people expect a lot out of you. For me and my family this is the best fit, ever.

"I know I keep saying this, but I am so thrilled.

"I think this is going to be one of the coolest experiences of my life."

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