It’s game day! The Calgary Flames will look to get one back tonight vs. the New York Islanders as Travis Hamonic plays his former team for the first time.
After a rough loss to the New York Rangers on Friday night, the Calgary Flames will be looking to get one back tonight vs. the New York Islanders. The Flames and Isles are in somewhat of the same place, standings wise. Both are in that “every point matters” stage and are fighting to climb their way back up the standings.
Tonight also marks Travis Hamonic‘s return to Brooklyn. He’ll be playing his former team in his former home arena for the first time since being traded to the Calgary Flames during the NHL Draft. Hamonic wasn’t only a player for the Islanders, but he contributed a whole lot more.
Losing his father at the age of 10 to a heart attack, he wanted to help children going through what he went through in an attempt to also remove the stigma of men not being able to talk about their grief. He created the D-Partner program, where he brought a child to each game who had lost one or both parents. He won the NHL Foundation Award this past season for the work he does in the community.
"“Grief is something that in 2017 is not discussed as much as other things. Quite frankly, it’s a huge factor in a lot of people’s lives,” Hamonic said. “There are lot of people doing unbelievable work, and I just happened to have a situation so close to my heart that I felt I was best able to recognize an opportunity to do something.”“I struggled with it when I was younger,” Hamonic said. “As you get older, it’s not cool to talk about your emotions and what you have to go through, I think just knowing that it’s OK, whatever you’re feeling is normal.”“I know that being a guy and being sad and dealing with your emotions is not always the most common thing to do publicly,” Hamonic said. “I think it’s pretty important if we can try to discuss grief and the process of it and let everyone know that what happens in your own personal life is completely normal.”"
Hamonic has continued the D-Partner program in Calgary and even started a new initiative with his wife called The Northern Project. They bring Indigenous families from the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon, and give them five-star treatment all weekend as they come down to the ‘Dome for the game and get to meet and talk with Travis Hamonic.
He probably has a special place in lots of Isles’ fans hearts and he’ll most likely be getting a warm welcome tonight. But how does he feel coming back?
"“To set the record straight I didn’t go in there demanding anything – it was never me saying, ‘I’ve got to go,’” said Hamonic in the midst of the Calgary Flames’ New York swing that will see his return to Brooklyn, Sunday, for the first time in red.“It was brought up that it was a possibility. That’s how much it meant to me to be an Islander. I cared about my teammates and the organization. It was, ‘here’s what’s happening and here’s my life.’”"
Hamonic, who’s wife is due in April, has been back home in Winnipeg. Hamonic says that Winnipeg to Calgary is way closer and better for their family.
"“For myself, my family and my career I tell you honestly, from the bottom of my heart, I couldn’t be in a better spot,” said Hamonic, 27, who has played all season alongside T.J. Brodie on the Flames second pairing.“Anyone who knows me can see how much I enjoy being a Flame and my teammates here especially. The Islanders got what they wanted and I’m in an awesome spot.”“It will be weird,” said Hamonic, who is just five games short of playing 500 in the NHL.“A new experience to be on the other side of things. I won’t know what it’s like until after the game.“I’ve been around enough to know you have to park those emotions and treat it like any other game. I’m not the first and the last player in the game to get traded, but with cell phones today it’s pretty easy to stay in touch. I’m looking forward to seeing some friends and enjoying some time there before the game. There are lot of good people over there.”"
It’ll be an emotional night for him.
Some links surrounding the Flames
GameDay: Flames at Islanders (Calgary Sun).
Hamonic unsure what to expect in return to New York (Sportsnet).
Calgary Flames recall record-setting rout of Sharks a quarter-century ago (Calgary Sun).
Some links surrounding hockey and the NHL
Jack Eichel injury update: Sabres star out with bad ankle (FanSided).
Passing on Pyeongchang? Most Canadians less interested in Olympic hockey without NHL players (Angus Reid).
Ryan scores his first 2 in NHL, Sharks beat Oilers (TSN).
That’s all in today’s Calgary Flames Daily!