Might as well start with the team that won the deal. Dumping the last year of Travis Hamonic’s deal, in any form, would’ve been a nice bit of business for the Jim Rutherford regime. Hamonic, at this point in his career, isnt much more than a replacement-level defenseman, and he makes $3 million a season. That’s unnecessary for most teams, let alone one staring down cap issues and a decision on Brock Boeser’s $7.5 million qualifying offer.
This is a great way to start clearing the decks. If there’s a downside, it’s impossible to see. There’s no salary retained, no undesirable asset on the way back from Ottawa, and Hamonic, though he was a difference maker at times earlier in his career, isnt an on-ice loss, especially for a team that won’t make the playoffs.
Ah, yes, “a team that won’t make the playoffs.” Time to talk about the Ottawa Senators. Adding Hamonic at all, let alone for a third-round pick, is nonsensical. They’re not good. They’re not going to be good. Giving up a half-decent asset for the right to overpay a player in decline? That’s not unprecedented, but it’s close enough.
What makes it funnier — unless you’re a Sens fan — is that it comes in concert with their failing negotiations with forward Nick Paul. Paul is a win-now role player with value somewhere — just not $3 million worth in Ottawa. With a good team, perhaps. In a vacuum, it makes sense that the Sens would play hardball with Paul. Why overextend ourselves on guys who aren’t difference-makers? Excuse us, it’s time to go close on a deal for Travis Hamonic. If they wanted to add a body, Phillippe Myers was just on waivers. No trade compensation necessary. It’d be incomprehensible if it were a different team.
Actually, wait a second; Hamonic was pretty good for Jack Capuano on Long Island, and Capuano is an assistant with the Sens. Maybe that’s why this happened.