Travis Hamonic’s reasons for requesting a trade from the New York Islanders are personal.
The defenseman cited a family matter when he addressed the media Thursday, after news broke Wednesday that he had requested a trade prior to the start of the season.
“The root of all this is a personal family matter of mine that I hold dear to my heart,” Hamonic said. “It has nothing to do with the organization or how I’ve been treated here for six years of playing and another two or three since I was drafted. I’ve honestly been treated like gold from the start.”
Hamonic didn’t offer details on his personal situation, though he addressed his teammates before speaking publicly.
“Just explaining what was going on was one of the more difficult conversations I think I’ve had in my life,” Hamonic said of addressing his teammates. “It certainly wasn’t easy, but they’ve been there for me for many years now, different situations in my life and my career. They’ve certainly been there this far.”
Hamonic thanked general manager Garth Snow, head coach Jack Capuano and principal owner Charles Wang for all they had done for him both as an Islander and in this difficult situation.
“When [Garth and I] talked about this, it was more on a personal level than just a player-GM thing,” Hamonic said. “He understands what this means for me and how difficult it is. He’s really been there for me and I couldn’t thank him enough.”
Capuano lauded Hamonic’s professionalism, as the Islanders defenseman has played all 19 games this season, helping the team to a 10-6-3 record.
“You can see the professionalism in him and what a teammate that he’s been and what a first-class individual he’s been,” Capuano said. “I’ve known for a while and it hasn’t affected his game. If anything, he’s played better.”
Hamonic said his focus has been on playing hard for the Islanders throughout the duration of the process and helping the team continue to win.
“I’ve been playing for the past couple of months and there hasn’t been an issue for me,” he said. “I’m still a teammate and someone who wants to play hard and wants to win. That’s not going to get lost in this process whatsoever. I’m going to go out there and play as hard as I can till I’m told otherwise. That’s my job and that’s what I want to do.”
Islanders players showed their support when speaking with the media Thursday, acknowledging the personal difficulty of the situation for their teammate.
“He's like a brother to many of us...I've been with him here a long time and he's a great guy,” John Tavares said. “We're there to support him, we're there for him and we made sure we let him know that.”
“We all go through adversity in life,” Capuano said. “Life is more important than the game.”