It Seems Unlikely that the Edmonton Oilers will land Travis Hamonic

The last 36 hours or so have been all about Travis Hamonic. For the Edmonton Oilers, the possibility of landing Hamonic is tantalizing. He’s a perfect fit for positional need, his age, cap hit and experience level are all extremely appealing, and he even wants to come to Western Canada. Colleagues Jason Gregor and Matt Henderson have both written on the subject already, and that’s just at this website.

It’s a shame then that a trade which sees Hamonic land in Edmonton seems so unlikely.

The Radio

Hockey’s big-name insiders were understandably in high demand in Canada with the news, and they took to the radio. Chris Nichols spends a good portion of his time making sure that what’s said over the air makes it to the internet; here’s a selected sample of his transcription:

The Problems

Peter Chiarelli3

It has been widely reported—including in Elliotte Friedman’s initial piece breaking the story—that New York wants a similar player in exchange. Edmonton doesn’t have one.

Newsday’s Arthur Staple, in confirming the report, noted that Hamonic made his request prior to the start of the season. The Oilers and Islanders made a trade in the summer involving defenceman Griffin Reinhart, and it’s hard to imagine Edmonton would have grabbed Reinhart if it could reasonably have landed Hamonic instead. LeBrun confirms that Edmonton general manager Peter Chiarelli has been talking to the Isles about this for a long time; if it hasn’t happened yet, it’s hard to see how the news going public is going to change things.

Trading a forward (Jordan Eberle, Nail Yakupov, Leon Draisaitl, insert-name-here) doesn’t work because the Islanders are loaded with forwards. They need help on defence if they move Hamonic. 

Trading Darnell Nurse is a solution which likely works for neither side. It didn’t make sense for the Oilers to trade Nurse for Dougie Hamilton in the summer, and Hamilton is a younger defenceman with a potentially higher ceiling than Hamonic. Nurse doesn’t address the Isles’ need for a defenceman who will help them win a Stanley Cup this year.

Oscar Klefbom is problematic for similar reasons. I’m not convinced that it’s a bad trade for the Oilers; Hamonic played much the same role for the Islanders at Klefbom’s age that Klefbom is now playing for the Oilers. But Klefbom’s age is probably a better fit for a team planning to win with Connor McDavid, and Hamonic’s age is certainly a better fit for a team planning to win with John Tavares.

What about a three-way deal, where the Oilers brought in a good, young defenceman and then flipped him to the Islanders for Hamonic? That makes sense, except that it seems entirely obvious that Chiarelli has been shaking the trees for good, young defencemen for ages and settled for Griffin Reinhart because that was the best he could do. If he could turn around and get a good, young defender he’d likely have already done it, and if he managed to land Seth Jones or Adam Larsson or whoever he wouldn’t necessarily have any incentive to flip that player for Hamonic because that player would already be filling the Oilers’ obvious defensive hole.

All of that makes it very difficult to imagine a scenario where Hamonic lands in Edmonton mid-season. Things might be different in the summer, but right now it would be a surprise if the Oilers and Islanders could reach a deal which satisfied both parties.


  • Bucknuck

    The thing that makes me angry about this is that they had that solid RHD and they let him go for nothing. Worst thing MacT ever did.

    I still think the Oilers first round pick should have amazing value, even to a team like the Islanders trying to win now. If they don’t want it, they could flip that pick now or at the deadline for a real difference maker.

  • Zarny


    Right now, Klefbom for Hamonic is not a lateral move. Hamonic is the better player. Maybe not offensively, but he’s much better defensively.

    In 2-3 years that may not be the case; or maybe it will still hold true. Oiler fans need to quit projecting what they think a player will become onto what they are today.

    And even if it was a lateral move AND Snow was OK with taking a downgrade defensively today for what may be in the future, there is merit to exchanging one of the two left-shot D that the Oilers have (Nurse & Klefbom) for an equivalent right-shot D.

    Here is the thing with Hamonic; if he had a bit more offense and was putting up 50 pts he’d be a Norris candidate. He’d be in the top 15 elite group.

    And in terms of Snow being under the gun Cgy can offer up a 56 pt replacement in a heartbeat. Min can offer up Spurgeon. Van has players like Edler, Tanev and Hamhuis. Wpg may very well offer Myers.

    Every one of them is better than Schultz or Fayne.

  • Zarny

    Will wrote:

    So while I understand it sounds like I’m throwing out an Omark for Weber trade, really I’m just saying Snow will need to take back less than fair value for Hamonic, and on the Oilers, the player that fits that bill is Schultz.

    No, Snow doesn’t.

    Not if Wpg offers Myers.

    Or Van offers Edler.

    Spurgeon in Min might be a bit less in return, but he’s more than Schultz.

    Or Snow can call Col to see if Barrie is available.

    Or Snow can just not trade Hamonic.

    I don’t think anyone disagrees that a package including Schultz is best case scenario for the Oilers, but if that worked for Snow this deal would have been done 2 months ago when Chiarelli first called.

    And the reality is D like Hamonic are not regularly available. No, he isn’t Drew Doughty; but he’s one of the top 30 D in the league. That’s significant and exactly what the Oilers need.

    And the suggestions that the Oilers should only pursue such an opportunity by offering up players that don’t hurt to lose is beyond silly.

    • Hemmercules

      I think you’re right that the Peg has better pieces, and maybe Van as well, and maybe Colorado or Minny, but he didn’t ask to be traded to Colorado, or Minny. He wants to be close to the Peg, and I don’t think Vancouver fits the bill.

      And yes IF the Jets offer Myers I’m sure Snow would take it. But why would they do that? Meyers contract is about to hit value time just as he’s about to hit his prime. He’s a big two way defender as well who the team just acquired. I think if they were gonna do that, it would have been done.

      Also, your whole, if he got 50 points he’d be Norris… that is so stupid to say. If GIO didn’t get injured he would have won the Norris, if Hall scores 100 points he would be considered elite. What if’s are dumb. He didn’t score 50 points, nor has he ever, so he isn’t Norris, and he didn’t win. So saying if he would have is almost hypothetical in that of course he would be considered for the Norris if he scored 50 points.

      I’m not saying they should pursue by offering up players that won’t hurt to lose, saying they should do it only if it upgrades the D, and trading either Klefbom or Nurse, I don’t think does that.

      Cause hey, what if one of those guys scored 50 points? Well they could win the Norris!

      • Zarny

        Edmonton – St. Malo = 1,407 km
        Denver – St. Malo = 1,766 km
        St.Paul – St. Malo = 719 km

        Min is half the distance compared to Edm and a flight from Denver is maybe 30 min longer. I doubt Hamonic has a problem with either.

        I agree Nurse is off the table, but trading Klefbom for Hamonic upgrades the D. Certainly for this year and next. 2-3 years from now is unknown and it’s possible Klefbom eventually surpasses Hamonic. But it’s also possible that he never does.

        Oiler fans, like pretty much all fans, over-rate their players. The comments certainly indicate many over-rate Klefbom for the player he is right now, today. Hamonic is the better player right now.

        The whole “if he got 50 pts” is an attempt to put Hamonic’s defensive game in context. Many have commented they hadn’t heard of Hamonic. So what? That only tells me you don’t watch a lot of hockey because I pegged Hamonic as a good target 2-3 years ago and I’m not special. I guarantee you every GM knows him.

        Oiler fans have a bad habit of only viewing unicorns as good trade options. If a player isn’t an perennial award candidate the general consensus is to pile on more fringe players and draft picks until the NHL video game approves the deal. That’s not real life.

          • Zarny

            Sure, if you don’t have a Nexus card. So tack another 30-60 min on from Denver.

            Does that really make a difference? Maybe; hard to say without knowing the exact details of Hamonic’s situation.

            The point is simply that Snow has options and doesn’t appear to be under any real time constraints despite Hamonic’s request. He’s isn’t in Wilson’s position of basically trying to trade Marleau to one team.

            Which is why thinking the Oilers can pile up a mountain of ‘meh’ to land a player like Hamonic is silly. Every team can do that.

            Travis Hamonic is about as good at playing D as Nuge is at playing C; not top 5 elite but very, very good.

            If a GM dialed up Chiarelli and offered Schultz or Fayne or some of the suggestions on here for Nuge the response would be click…block number…delete number.

          • Zarny

            So who gets it done?

            How about

            Fayne or Schultz, Yak, 2017 – 1, 2017 – 3, 2016 – 2.

            The NYI blog has just as many ridiculous offers as ours where others are more reasonable. Most seen is Klefbom and our 2016 first which to me is way too much.

            The other feeling I read there is that a deal with whomever is most likely done and Snow leaked it to media so fans could understand why Hamonic is being traded before the announcement, pure speculation.

            There’s other considerations as well all those Canadian cities also have more than one flight per day DIRECT to WPG can Denver or Minny say the same, no. Plus customs and Nexus gets you through the customs line it does not speed up getting your luggage in Canada. Going to the US sure its faster coming home its about a wash I travel to US every month for work have nexus. So yes it is faster regardless of customs and its only a 2-2.5 hr flight to WPG from EDM done it many times.

        • Zarny

          All true, but Oiler fans also view one stop fixes as good trade ideas. Remember a few years ago when these boards were plastered with cries for Nikkitin?

          Yes, we overrate our own players and yes I understand that’s what you think I am doing, but Oiler fans also have a tendency to overate anyone that is in discussion to be traded here.

          How about when everyone was crossing their fingers for Clarkson, or throwing it in Flames fan faces when we got both Yak and Schultz. All I’m saying is maybe we’re doing that with Hamonic, and already saying he could win the Norris is indicative of that.

          You say he is an upgrade right now on Klefbom, I do not agree. The one for one points comaprisons and underlying stats I think would paint a different picture. Add in Hamonic plays in the East in front of better goaltending and behind a better team and I say again it’s not that far fetched to see it as a lateral move.

          Even saying we need a right shot D. Say for argument sake it is Klefbom going, then I guess Sekera get’s to move back over to the left and it’s Sekera Hamonic and then Nurse and…. Schultz? Fayne? Or as it is tonight… Gryba?

          How is this a sudden “huge improvement?” as everyone is calling it?

    • The Last Of Barrett's Privateers

      Again, these teams would have been made available in the summer.

      At any rate.

      This deal only gets done when Hamonic stop’s playing and things get nasty or Snow gets equal value…… which no team will offer.

      Until then Snow will expect equal value.

  • Tony Montana

    From What I have heard from someone close to the team (I know unmamed sources, but whatever)is that discussions with the Oilers have been ongoing since before the season started. The NYI ask was Taylor Hall straight across. Obviously from an Oiler standpoint a non starter. The Oilers starting point was Yak. My guess if a deal gets done with the Oilers it will be one of two scenarios. Eberle more or less straight across (most likely the deal that would be most palatable to Snow), or Yak and a D-man, either Fayne or Davidson would be my guess. (This is the deal that obviously would be most appealing to the Oilers.)

  • Zarny

    The Oilers don’t HAVE to make a trade. Neither does Winnipeg, or Vancouver, or Calgary.

    Snow HAS to make this trade. Sooner or later. He is automatically under the gun in this situation.

    He’s been trying for 2-3 months, and nothing. He’s been askign for Nurse, Myers, etc. The other GM’s have said no. Now the news is public. The pressure on Snow has been ramped up.

    Considering all the times this has happened to the Oilers – Pronger, Damphousse, etc. – we should realize how hard it is to get fair value when a player demands a trade, for whatever reason. Especially when there’s a limited number of teams he can be traded to.

  • Zarny


    Here is the thing…Eberle, Klefbom, Schultz…none determine whether the Oilers are in or out by the end of November either.

    It’s 2015 not 1985. Drew Doughty or whoever you think is the best D in the game likely doesn’t determine whether the Oilers are in or out by the end of November.

    Hamonic isn’t Drew Doughty, or Duncan Keith, or OEL.

    He is defensively and if he got 55 pts he’d be a Norris candidate.

    Which makes Hamonic the next best thing to a player like Doughty. He’s in that 15-30th best D in the league category where if they had a bit extra they would be in that uber elite group.

    And that is really the only realistic type D the Oilers will be able to trade for. The top 10-15 D in the league aren’t going anywhere.

      • Zarny

        And that is fair and perfectly fine. Everyone will have a different assessment of players.

        But if you’ve never seen Hamonic play you have no idea how he would help the Oilers.

        And if your criteria is whether a single player determines if the Oilers are in or out by the end of November you likely can’t make any trades for any player.

        The Oilers aren’t 1 player away from being a contender. Drew Doughty or Duncan Keith wouldn’t move the Oilers into a playoff position.

        And I agree with Mr. Gregor in that Chiarelli is likely under a lot more pressure right now than Snow. Hamonic is playing well and I doubt that is going to change. If Snow has to wait until next summer to get a deal done I doubt that will be a problem.

        If the Oilers don’t make a move they will most likely be a bottom 5 team again; maybe bottom 3.

        It’s all well and good that we might disagree on what price Hamonic is worth, but if you aren’t willing to pay it you’re stuck with arguably the worst blueline in the league still.

        • Zarny

          The November comment was in reference to Gregor stating that Chiarelli is more under the gun than Snow because the Oilers can’t afford to be out of the running by the end of November.

          I disagree with that – I think the pressure is more on Snow – and I agree that one player, especially Hamonic, isn’t the guy to suddenly move us into a playoff posision.

          Hence my point that the Oilers don’t have to make any trades. We’re not making the playoffs anyway. We have looked better and if we get healthy we shold be able to win more games. The pressure is on Snow because it’s his player who is demanding a trade and that fact just became public.

  • Hemmercules

    It sure would be nice if Edmonton could draft, develop, and then sign on a nice long term deal our own right shooting, excellent skating, top 4 D man and not trade them off for…

    Oh. Wait. Crap.

    Well then. It sure would be nice if Edmonton would learn to jettison executives who, apparently, cannot properly evaluate our own talent and…

    Oh. Wait.


  • Oilcounty88

    I have to agree with what Willis has said here. I think the only trade the oilers could make would be eberle for Hamonic and I doubt the Isles would take that deal…they may have already been offered that deal. The idea of a 3 team trade is intriguing though as there are a bunch of teams around the league looking for scoring. Those deals are hard to put together but usually have pretty good results. I hope cherelli finds a way to make this deal happen even if it means giving up more than market value for hamonic. If Oilers are ever going to make the transition to a winner they need to bring in core players who have the necessary grit, skill, and leadership ability to do so.

  • Zarny

    Interesting read on Backes and Blues cap crunch that lies in the summer ahead. Can a hockey trade for Kevin Shattenkirk be had…

    Excerpt from article:

    Among others, Steve Ott, Troy Brouwer, and Carl Gunnarson are set to hit free agency this summer, which will free up over $9 million in cap room. I’m sure the Blues will be OK with letting Ott and Gunnarson go, as they can be replaced fairly easily with an inexpensive free agent, but Brouwer has been a solid and productive player for them, so they’ll likely be more inclined to try to sign him. Another thing the Blues need to worry about before they fork over a bunch of money to Backes is that Kevin Shattenkirk and Alex Steen are set to become unrestricted free agents at the end of next season, and they have a group of young players like Jaden Schwartz and Jake Allen who aren’t going to on their cheap RFA years forever.

  • Zarny

    It also doesn’t make sense that any team would trade another player that’s just like Hamonic as the Islanders have stated they want. Hamonic is the perfect fit for the Islanders in age and ability, but if you were another team and already had that player, why make a lateral swap? You can’t make the argument that the other team’s potential tradeable player is maybe in a slump or not living up to potential, therefore a good bet to bring Hamonic instead, because then that’s not what the Isles want.

    Seems like they are going to have to accept a decent bet lesser defenceman and another secondary asset. I don’t know if the Oilers have that, but maybe there’s a bit of hope there.

  • Zarny


    I think trading Nurse for Hamonic would upgrade the Oilers for this year, but not next year or the years after that.

    IMO, Nurse is a much better prospect than Klefbom with a much higher ceiling.

    • pkam

      That is all speculation.

      I do think Nurse has a higher ceiling than Klefbom, but I also think Klefbom has a higher ceiling than Harmonic and he will be better than Hamonic is a year to 2.

      If I am right, trading Klefbom for Hamonic is a bad move. But if I am wrong, then keeping Klefbom over Nurse is the right move.

      The only advantage that Hamonic has over Klefbom is he is RH and we need RHD more than LHD, and his contract is cheaper then Klefbom. But I do believe Klefbom will have a better ceiling than Hamonic.

      • Zarny

        Of course it’s speculation; that’s all you can do with the future. Surely it isn’t lost on you that suggesting Klefbom has a higher ceiling than Hamonic is…speculation.

        The advantage Hamonic has on Klefbom is that he is the better defensemen right now. I doubt you’ll find any GM, coach or knowledgeable hockey person who suggests otherwise. Klefbom’s defensive game simply isn’t at that level yet, and quite frankly he has looked bad in many games this year.

        There is always risk when making a trade. If you think the Oilers can trade for D like Hamonic “risk free” you’re crazy.

        If Chiarelli believes, as you do, that Klefbom has a higher ceiling then they won’t make the deal.

        But if you’re wrong and Klefbom’s defensive game is never on par with Hamonic’s then not packaging him for Hamonic is a bad move.

        You seem to think that there is no way 3 years from now that Klefbom is at the bottom of the totem pole regarding Nurse-Hamonic-Klefbom. It is most certainly a possibility. And that doesn’t make Klefbom bad.

        • pkam

          No, I never believe there is no way that Klefbom will be at the bottom of the totem 3 years from now, but I also don’t believe that there is no way that Hamonic or Nurse will at the bottom of the totem 3 years from now.

          However, it is you who believe that there is no way Nurse or Hamonic will be at the bottom of the totem 3 years from now.

  • Zarny


    I don’t remember anyone crying for Nikitin lol. Quite the opposite actually. I remember most saying acquiring a player like Nikitin who had actually played in the NHL wasn’t the worst gamble in the world, but that paying him $4.5M was absolute lunacy.

    And it certainly wasn’t everyone crossing their fingers for Clarkson. My take on Clarkson was that he was an undrafted player who stayed in Jr until he was 21, the minors and a 4th line plugger for another 4-5 years before Kovalchuk, Elias and Parise figured out how to bounce pucks off his a** one season. I never thought he’d be anything more than a player who would have a few good seasons from 27-30 and was a good candidate to be out of the league by 33.

    You are certainly free to think Hamonic and Klefbom are equal, and if all you look at is points you might have an argument.

    The underlying stats however, don’t support your conclusion. Hamonic plays more minutes against better competition with better possession stats. And his points are hindered by getting half the PP time Klefbom does. There is a lot more to playing defense than points and Hamonic, right now, is better than Klefbom in almost every category.

    Now that may not be the case next year or the year after that. I don’t think you can argue it’s a lateral move this year but in a few years it may certainly well be and if you prefer to continue losing until that day comes that is your prerogative.

    For this year though and likely next, Hamonic-Sekera or eventually Hamonic-Nurse is certainly a huge improvement over anything Edm can ice right now. That’s an actual legit top pairing D on the ice for 20+ min a game.

  • Cowbell_Feva

    When is the last time a young, proven stud publicly stated he wants to move to the Canadian market, Edmonton being one of them, with a great cap hit??

    I will go with never. Obviously Chiarelli has interest. What concerns me is that he was kicking the Islanders tires this summer and gave up two premium draft picks in a deep draft for a fringe NHLer.

    It would be foolish to think Snow and Chiarelli didn’t discuss Hamonic. Obviously Snow’s wants are too rich for Chiarelli’s taste. The allure of a stout young right-shooting defenseman is music to my ears. He is exactly what has been lacking on this team for far too long.

    I believe we are one stud Dman away from being a playoff team. The question remains what are we willing to part with to make the team better as a whole. I myself am sick of waiting and losing. Maybe this guy will develop, maybe that guy. We are in last again today….the time has come to shake this roster up. Bad luck, bad decisions and 2 clear goals that didn’t count against the Oilers would have this team much higher in the standings, but those are just excuses now.

    Make it happen Pete!!

    • Cowbell_Feva

      I agree. If the Oilers had a number 15 and also 2 seconds last year and a some reasonable prospects, and Snow did not want that kind of package then Harmonic to the Oilers is not happening. Really all we got is our top 3 pick currently.

      Klefbom is Harmonic in 1 to 2 years. Nurse might be better in 2-3 years. And Snow doesn’t want forwards. So they aren’t comparable players after that.

      Frankly Snow won’t get comparable for out of Winnipeg, Calgary, or Vancouver, cause the reality is Snow is looking for a Heatley Hossa deal which don’t really happen anymore.

      I see a deal outta Minnesota for maybe Dumba and a like a first rounder. Maybe Trouba out of the Peg.

  • Zarny


    I think if Fayne or Schultz + Yak + picks would get it done Hamonic would have been an Oiler on opening night.

    Snow is trying to win a SC right now. 2017 draft picks won’t be ready until 2021 or 2022 when Tavares is 31 or 32 and Boychuk is retired. Not a lot of value there for NYI.

    Unfortunately, I’m leaning towards Friedman’s take…a deal isn’t there to bring Hamonic to Edmonton. Schultz isn’t good enough and NYI might already have a young D in Ryan Pulock who is better than Klefbom.

    I hope I’m wrong. Fingers and toes crossed that none of Cgy, Wpg, Min, Van or Col will offer anything substantial and Snow feels compelled to take less or look at bringing in a forward and maybe flipping Okposo for the D he needs. But I’m not optimistic.

    I don’t believe a deal is done and Snow leaked it so Hamonic can tell his side of the story. He could do that in his exit interview. Either NYI or Hamonic’s agent (or both) leaked the info to turn up the heat and convince one of the options to give up more.

    Obviously all we can do is speculate about Hamonic’s personal reasons and he doesn’t owe anyone more explanation, but if I had to guess he didn’t request a trade to “Western Canada” he requested a trade to Winnipeg.

    Because otherwise I don’t see any difference between Edmonton or Calgary and most cities in the NHL. Flight times differ by maybe a couple of hours at most. Ottawa is only 300 km further from St. Malo than Edmonton. His ability to go home or for family to visit really isn’t any different in Edmonton than it is in NYI.

    The only tangible difference throughout a season is if he’s only a 1 hour drive away from home.

    • Zarny

      Agreed, fair points.

      I hope your right, this turns up the heat and like you said those other teams don’t have too much interest. One can only hope.

      Other thing I read from NYI is that his new Fiancé may be pregnant and they want to raise the family in Canada, pure speculation but stranger things have happened.

  • Zarny

    I’m perfectly fine if we don’t land Hamonic. If it costs Nurse and Klefbom, I’d rather keep them.

    This is a new rebuild… Again. But this time we should have a better G.M and a proper core 4 of center and Dman

    McDavid, Draisaitl, Nurse, Klefbom

    That’s who I’d build this team around and that’s who’s untouchable

  • Zarny

    In a deal involving a player who has publicly asked for a trade the said team is always dealing from a weaker position. The longer this goes the more appealing the Edmonton deal looks. You can get a couple warm bodies as well as a pick for next draft. If I’m Garth Snow I take a flyer on Fayne, Schultz and a pick. You’re already out a player and the Islanders have a player who can match Hamonics output with an incredible upside and a player who has had success in the division. At the most the Isles can flip Fayne back to Jersey for picks and prospects to reuinite him with Green.

  • Zarny

    Sound alike another case of The Oilers unable to get it done. That’s for to be frustrating as a fan.

    Kudos for realizing Hamilton has the highest ceiling if any of them. Great move Treliving again in that one!

    Reinhart obtained when Peter couldn’t get it done for Hamonic. Ouch!!

  • BDH

    Schultz needs to be in the mix and maybe a list of prospects (pick 2) Gernat, Hunt, Laleggia, Musil, Bear, Jones, or Oesterle from the farm and throw in (pick one unless it’s Ference then they can have two) Ference, Fayne, Gryba, and next years 3nd pick and maybe the (pick one) 4th,5th,6th or 7th. Heck I would be willing to add Sekera to the list too if the Isles want him for all he’s done in Edmonton this year. KLEFOM and NURSE are NOT on the table.

  • BDH

    No way would I trade Eberle unless we are getting a high end prospect back from them like Dal Colle or Barzal along with Hamonic.
    The next few years are poised to be Eberle’s best.

    We are just finding our scoring and we’ve waited nearly 10 years for this much firepower to mature.

    Yak’s value will also rise after McDavid gets back.

    I can see why a deal hasn’t been made yet.

  • BDH

    This trade has been in the works since the Reinhart trade. Hamonic is going to the oilers. This is why chiarelli got fleeced in Reinhart trade, make up for this trade coming.

  • Gary Empey

    The sad thing here is Hamonic’s personal issue is taking second place to the actual trade. Hamonic has shown a lot of character in giving the Islanders plenty of time to make a deal.

    Snow needs to make a deal soon or he is a jerk.