Should the Toronto Maple Leafs Trade for Travis Hamonic?

CALGARY, AB - APRIL 19: Calgary Flames Defenceman Travis Hamonic (24) checks the scoreboard during the third period of Game Five of the Western Conference First Round during the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs where the Calgary Flames hosted the Colorado Avalanche on April 19, 2019, at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, AB. (Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
CALGARY, AB - APRIL 19: Calgary Flames Defenceman Travis Hamonic (24) checks the scoreboard during the third period of Game Five of the Western Conference First Round during the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs where the Calgary Flames hosted the Colorado Avalanche on April 19, 2019, at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, AB. (Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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The Toronto Maple Leafs are a team who needs to upgrade their blueline.

Last year, the Toronto Maple Leafs finished the playoffs using Nikita Zaitsev and Ron Hainsey in their top four.  In light of that, it seems like an understantement to say that their defense needs an upgrade.

In addition to the two aforementioned (hopefully soon to become) ex-Leafs, the team also needs to account for starting the season with Travis Dermott on the injured-reserve (shoulder surgery), the potential loss of Jake Gardiner, and an organizational dearth of right-handed defensemen.

It is not outside the realm of probability that the Leafs could start next season with four new faces on the blueline (at least until Dermott is back).

So with that in mind, we’ll be exploring every option that we hear might be available.

Today, that is  Travis Hamonic of the Calgary Flames.

Travis Hamonic and the Toronto Maple Leafs

Travis Hamonic will be 29 when the season starts.  His is a right-shooting defenseman who is 6’2, 215, according to his hockeydb.com profile.

This former second round pick (2008, New York Islanders #53) is about to enter the final year of a contract that comes with just under a $4 million dollar cap hit.

Hamonic makes only $800 K more than Ron Hainsey, just for the record.

Playing in 69 games this season, Hamonic had 19 points (seven goals) and a 54.26 % possession rating. (all stats naturalstattrick.com and 5v5 unless otherwise noted).

Hamonic was part of a solid top-four in Calgary last year that played more or less evenly, at 17 minute per game.

He played almost exclusively with Noah Hanifin on Calgary’s second pairing.  Hamonic did better with Hanifin than on his own, and Hanifin did better without him, however the sample size is so small as to almost be meaningless.

Last year Hamonic had positive differentials in shot-attempts, shots, scoring chances, expected-goals and goals.   Ron Hainsey was negative in everything except goals.

Hamonic is a good player. He’s not great, but he’s a pretty reliable top-four, second pairing guy who can score a bit, put up good possession numbers, and kill penalties (Calgary’s most used per game penalty killing d-man last year).

Here is a chart comparing him to Ron Hainsey, and it’s not even close.

Now, Calgary probably doesn’t want to trade Hamonic for nothing, but keep in mind that last year Erik Karlsson was traded at a pretty big discount as he entered his final year before unrestricted free-agency.  Karlson is about 100 times better than Hamonic, so I can’t see the cost to acquire him being all that high.

If the Toronto Maple Leafs could trade for Hamonic at a reasonable cost, I think he would be a fantastic addition to the team.  He’s a clear upgrade over Hainsey for roughly the same salary, and he is actually right-handed.

Next. Leafs Management Grades. dark

Hamonic on the right side with either Muzzin or Rielly would be a huge upgrade over what the Toronto Maple Leafs currently have to offer.