The Vancouver Canucks announced that they have signed one of the top remaining unrestricted free agents, defenseman Travis Hamonic, to a professional tryout contract. Much like the PTO that Mike Hoffman signed last week with St. Louis, it’s expected that Hamonic will likely sign a one-year deal once Vancouver clears out some money. The blue-liner is expected to travel to Vancouver on Sunday and begin a seven-day quarantine before joining the team at training camp.
© Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
The Canucks have signed to a PTO.
The 30-year-old Hamonic was one of those free agents who normally would have received a long-term deal on the free-agent market. However, with the pandemic and a flat $81.5M salary cap, Hamonic struggled finding a long-term deal that he was hoping for. Like many others already, Hamonic will bet on himself this season and hope to find that long-term deal next offseason when, hopefully, the NHL’s financial outlook will look more promising.
Hamonic, who spent the last three years with the Calgary Flames, was second on the team last year in ice time. The blue-liner averaged 21:11, and while he’s never been an offensive presence on the ice (three goals, 12 points in 50 games), Hamonic has been a solid defensive presence, which included 110 blocked shots.
The defenseman should provide Vancouver with another top-four presence on their blue line after the team lost Chris Tanev to the Flames during the offseason, which almost makes it a one-for-one move. The Canucks also lost Troy Stecher, leaving an opening on right defense. With Quinn Hughes, Tyler Myers and Jordie Benn already on the roster from last year, plus the addition of Nate Schmidt from Vegas, the Canucks roster looks completely rebuilt. Hamonic should be able to provide the team an outstanding penalty-killer, bolstering the Canucks chances of challenging among the better teams in the new North Division after the team lost a number of top free agents, including Tanev, goaltender Jacob Markstrom and Tyler Toffoli.
To get Hamonic under contract in the next few weeks, it looks like Vancouver just needs to wait until it can place Micheal Ferland on LTIR at the start of the season and the team can officially ink the blue-liner.
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