In the first trade of Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin’s career, Vancouver defenceman Travis Hamonic was sent to the Ottawa Senators today.
It made sense why the Canucks wanted to move on from Hamonic.
In summary, he’s on the wrong side of 30, played just 24 games this season, and occupies a roster spot that could be better served by other players on the team.
His $3 million cap hit for this season and next isn’t taking up a massive chunk of the salary cap, but every dollar counts in the modern NHL and it’s not hard to argue that Hamonic was no longer worth that value to Vancouver.
It made a lot less sense why the Senators in particular felt the need to make the trade for Hamonic. Ottawa sits 28th right now in the NHL, and is well in the midst of a rebuild that began shortly after the team’s surprise appearance in the 2017 Eastern Conference Finals.
A player like Hamonic ending up on a rebuilding team is no surprise, but sending back a third-round pick in return for a player who doesn’t project to provide much current or future value is just tough roster management.
Over the remainder of his contract, it’s highly unlikely Hamonic sniffs the playoffs barring a major turnaround from Ottawa next year. Hamonic simply doesn’t fit the timeline of his new team.
But Senators general manager Pierre Dorion ignored the usual NHL adage of trading picks for players when you’re good, trade players for picks when you’re struggling, opting to add Hamonic for a third-round draft pick for reasons unknown. There’s a chance they were looking to add a veteran presence in their locker room or simply add another contract while looking to reach the salary cap floor, but there’s other ways to do so without trading away valuable draft picks.
When Ottawa officially announced the trade, Senators fans weren’t having any of it.
This is worse than the Burrows trade
— Andrew 🦋 (@Raptor1165) March 20, 2022
This has nothing to do with Hamonic (which as a new Senator welcome!) but with his value why did we give up a 3rd for him? Vancouver should be sending us a 3rd to take that contract…
— Ottawa Senators Network (@OttSensNetwork) March 20, 2022
Since becoming GM, PD@has now brought in gudbrandson, cobourn, del zotto, brown, hamonic, & zaitsev……and has paid good money and assets to do it……..HOW TF is he still employed?
— Sensärmy_11 (@mlimlo_11) March 20, 2022
— Beata (@CBeataE) March 20, 2022
What about the young guys (JBD, Lassi, Sanderson) who are suppose to get a shot next year?
Why do we need another bottom tier D-man to fill a spot next year?
— Redbird (@Redbird1978_) March 20, 2022
Pierre Dorion said pic.twitter.com/66SlDhpIOV
— ᛒᚱᚨᚾᛞᛟᚾ (@Kiirksy) March 20, 2022
On the other side of the coin, Canucks fans were rejoicing at the move.
Refreshing to be on the right side of a draft pick trade for once. Very solid first deal for Allvin!
— Chris 🇺🇦 (@ChrisKFilms) March 20, 2022
— Vanessa (@bigsportsvan) March 20, 2022
Is this a trade that all Canucks fans like? Are we having a moment? Are we gonna hug?!?
— Pete Edwards (@pete_gas) March 20, 2022
Ottawa is scheduled to visit Rogers Arena on April 19, the first chance Hamonic will have to play his now-former team. For now, Senators fans will be searching for answers as to what exactly the purpose of bringing him into the mix was.