Canucks re-sign Travis Hamonic to two-year, $6 million deal

VANCOUVER, BC - MARCH 22: Travis Hamonic #27 of the Vancouver Canucks skates during NHL action against the Winnipeg Jets at Rogers Arena on March 22, 2021 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BC - MARCH 22: Travis Hamonic #27 of the Vancouver Canucks skates during NHL action against the Winnipeg Jets at Rogers Arena on March 22, 2021 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images) /

The Vancouver Canucks have locked in another right-handed defenceman.

On Wednesday afternoon, the team announced that they had signed blueliner Travis Hamonic to a two-year, $6 million contract extension. Hamonic’s new deal will carry an AAV of $3 million per season.

The 30-year-old initially joined the Canucks on a professional tryout (PTO) in early January 2020 before signing a one-year, $1.25 million deal with the team just under two weeks later. He didn’t have a great start in Vancouver, only suiting up for the first five games before suffering an upper-body injury that sidelined him for the next 18 contests.

Upon his return to the line-up, Hamonic was able to improve his overall gameplay, while also establishing chemistry with linemate Quinn Hughes on the second defensive pairing. Similar to Chris Tanev, who also played with Hughes during the 2019-20 season before inking a four-year deal with rival Calgary Flames, Hamonic was able to log around 20 minutes of ice time per night, while also assisting with the team’s penalty kill units.

Contract negotiations had been up and down with Hamonic prior to his signing.

Earlier in June, it was reported that Hamonic was open to playing outside of Western Canada this upcoming season, a sentiment he had been adamant about since 2015 due to family reasons.

However, late Tuesday night, insider Rick Dhaliwal reported that the Canucks were still engaging in contract negotiations with the St. Malo, Manitoba native about a possible return.

Hamonic will receive a base salary of $2.75 million for the upcoming season. That number will drop to $2 million during the 2022-23 campaign, but the team will be including a $1.25 million salary bonus in lieu, for a total salary of $3.25 million that year. Hamonic also has a modified-NTC in his first year, and will need to submit a list of eight teams that he doesn’t want to be dealt to.

Given the need for top-four right-handed defencemen, especially with Nate Schmidt now in Winnipeg and newest Canuck Tucker Poolman set to find a home in the bottom defensive pairing, most fans are expecting Hamonic to slot right back next to Hughes for the upcoming season.

He’ll be a familiar face for Hughes, who could use more consistency in his defensive pairings. With Hamonic back beside him, Hughes should be able to utilize his quick transitions and strong offensive prowess more, while Hamonic can be more of a stay-at-home presence on the blueline.

Hamonic was able to contribute to the scoresheet as well, with six of his 10 total points coming in the final eight games of the season. He also participated in three separate scraps last year, proving that he’s willing to land some punches to stick up for a teammate.

Hamonic’s most productive season came in 2014-15 with the New York Islanders, the club that drafted him 53rd overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. He posted career-highs in points (33) and assists (28) that year.

There are definitely mixed reactions to this new deal, especially when comparing Vancouver’s first two pairings to others around the league, and when considering Hamonic’s age and declining footspeed. However, despite this, Hamonic should still be relied upon as a steady, defensively-sound blueliner that can effectively block shots and shut down his opponents in the offensive zone.

And that’s exactly what the Canucks needed to round out their defensive group for next season.

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What are your thoughts on the Canucks bringing back Hamonic? Let us know in the comments!