According to a report from Vancouver Canucks insider Rick Dhaliwal, Canucks defenseman Travis Hamonic is seriously considering retirement at just 31 years old due to the NHL's vaccine mandate.
"Things I heard over the weekend are Mr. Hamonic is thinking about retirement, sitting out this season, everything is on the table. Everything is family related."
It's worth noting that Hamonic has not yet attended Canucks training camp and it's not yet known what his vaccination status is or if he is opposed to the NHL's vaccine mandate. In other words, we're speculating here mostly but Dhaliwal is a pretty well respected Canucks reporter and I think that his words likely carry a lot of meaning.
It's also worth noting that Hamonic opted out of the NHL's return in 2020 due to concerns over his daughter who has respiratory issues. Again, we can only speculate as to what this means but I'm certain that his family's health is at the forefront of his decision making.
More from Dhaliwal:
"Everything I'm hearing... his mom's a nurse... I am not hearing that he is anti-vax. But this is a personal, family decision. He puts his family first, this guy is a really outstanding person that way so family first for him always."
For what it's worth Hamonic signed a two year contract worth $3 million per season just two months ago with the Canucks. If he were to opt out or choose to retire, the Canucks would essentially wipe that contract off their books and get $3 million in extra cap space. And, to be honest, that might not be the worst thing for this team. Given how negotiations with unsigned RFAs Quinn Hughes and Elias Pettersson have gone this offseason, an extra $3 million might go a long, long, long way toward getting those two under contract.
At the same time, given that Hamonic only signed two months ago you have to wonder how the team didn't foresee this issue in the first place? Assuming Hamonic is in disagreement with the NHL's vaccine policy, why wasn't this addressed during contract negotiations? I mean... it's not like a global pandemic just popped up in the past 8 weeks...
Source: Rick Dhaliwal · Photo Credit: Zuma Press