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Former Warriors' defenceman Hamonic signs tryout contract with Canucks

Move comes after veteran NHL rearguard left Calgary Flames last season to protect family from COVID-19
Travis Hamonic
Former Moose Jaw Warriors defenceman Travis Hamonic has signed a professional tryout contract with the Vancouver Canucks.
When former Moose Jaw Warriors defenceman Travis Hamonic decided to leave the Calgary Flames when the National Hockey League announced their return to play plan in early July, it could have marked the end of his hockey career.

But it turns out the Vancouver Canucks think the 11-year veteran has something left in the tank. And at only 30 years old, many onlookers are expecting him to be a lock to make the team, with the only question being who his defence partner will be.

Hamonic signed a professional tryout contract with the Canucks on Jan. 3 and is currently in a seven-day quarantine before joining the team for their abbreviated training camp.

Hamonic, as you may recall, decided to opt out of returning to the ice when the NHL and NHLPA agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement and return-to-play plan after the COVID-19 pause.

And he had a very good reason for doing so.

Hamonic’s daughter had gone through a battle with a severe respiratory illness a year earlier, and with a newborn son having recently joined the family, he decided the risk of catching and spreading the disease was too great. Given the unknowns surrounding how safe the NHL would be at that time, the move was prudent.

“Due to what my daughter has already gone through and the concerns if she were to catch COVID-19, I’ve decided to opt out and seek a leave of absence from the Calgary Flames for the remainder of the playoffs,” Hamonic said at the time. “I wish I could lace up my skates and be out there battling, blocking a shot and helping the team win, but my family has and always will come first. Being my little kids’ dad everyday is the most important job I have.”

The NHL’s COVID-19 protocols and safety measures ended up keeping the teams safe through the remainder of the season, and that was enough for Hamonic to throw his hat back in the ring for the new campaign.

Hamonic played for the Warriors from 2006-08 through the first half of the 2009-10 season before joined the Brandon Wheat Kings at the trade deadline. In his decade-plus of NHL action, he’s played 637 games, scoring 37 goals and 188 points while acting as a defensive rock on the blueline.

He had three goals and 12 points in 50 games before leaving the Flames last season.