The situation between veteran defenseman Travis Hamonic and the Vancouver Canucks has been a pretty strange one, and now the latest chapter in that story has just been told.
According to a report from Cap Friendly, the Canucks have moved to suspend Hamonic without pay. The news comes as somewhat of a surprise given that the Canucks only just recently signed Hamonic to play for their team this past July. At the time Hamonic and the Canucks came to terms on a 2 year deal worth a total of $6 million or an average annual value and salary cap hit of $3 million per season, but now it would appear as though the Canucks may have not done their due diligence on the defenseman before signing him.
Prior to making this decision the Canucks had already buried Hamonic's contract in the minors and were receiving a significant discount on his cap hit as a result. That initial transaction lowered Hamonic's cap hit from $3 million a season down to $1.875 million per season.
The move to suspend him without pay however is designed to remove him from their cap hit entirely, something the Canucks have now done. This now leaves the organization with $3 million in additional cap space, Hamonic's entire cap hit, although whether or not they plan to utilize that any time soon remains to be seen. Hamonic is still under contract and could in theory return at any point during the regular season, which means using that cap space will be difficult unless the Canucks know for a certainty that he won't be playing this season.
Hamonic has been absent from the team for the entirety of training camp and has yet to play in a single game for the Canucks since signing his new contract. Instead he has been away on what has been described as a personal leave of absence, a leave of absence that has been widely speculated about. The reality is that no one but the Canucks and Hamonic know the real reason he is currently a no show and it would appear that, based on this latest move, the Canucks don't believe it justifies his absence from the team.
Photo Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports