Let’s have a Q&A!
I asked a few questions to Michel about Hamonic and he was kind enough to take time out of his day and answer them! Let’s check out how it turned out:
Question 1: For people who don’t know him very well, what kind of player is Travis Hamonic? (Is he fast, is he effective on the PP, etc.)
Michel: Travis isn’t fast and he isn’t offensively gifted. But what he’ll do for you is win puck battles. That sounds like a lame skill to have, but that’s exactly what you want from a 3-4 defenseman. During the Islanders playoff run in 2015-16, Sportsnet’s Dimitri Filipovic put out a stat about defenseman and their ability to break up play on at the blue line on dump ins and carry ins. Travis ranked amongst the best in the playoffs, with an 11.36% break-up percentage versus 50% dump ins and 39.77% carry ins.
Hamonic won’t score a ton of points, but under the right system he might surprise you; his best season with the Isles was a 33 point campaign in 2014-15. He blocks shots. He battles hard. And doesn’t mind getting into a dust up. He’s a heart and soul player.
Question 2: That being said, do you think he’ll fit in well with a team like the Calgary Flames?
Michel: I don’t see why not. With the established defensive core that the Flames already have, Hamonic isn’t stepping in to be the catalyst for a new way to play the game. He’s steeping into a lineup that’s well established and just needed that extra piece to make them a cohesive unit.
He’s a Western Canadian guy so in terms of adjusting to the culture and the climate there shouldn’t be any issues. The Flames also acquired him pretty early in the offseason, giving Travis plenty of time to adjust, on a personal level to what Calgary has to offer. So, you know, go buy a really big truck.