Travis Hamonic part of new dawn for Islanders franchise

Travis Hamonic
Travis Hamonic could soon be Sidney Crosby’s teammate on Team Canada.
Credit: Getty Images

To hear Travis Hamonic tell it, his decision to re-sign with the Islanders wasn’t a difficult choice at all.

“Speaking for myself, I never would have gone for seven years if I really didn’t believe in what was going on here in what [owner] Charles [Wang] and [general manager] Garth [Snow] are building,” Hamonic said on the first day of training camp. “I really just wanted to be a part of it. It’s fun to be an Islander. It’s a fun time and I have a lot of faith in what we’re doing.”

The Islanders enter the 2013-14 season as one of the NHL’s more intriguing teams. The team is coming off its first playoff appearance since 2007, a six-game series loss to Pittsburgh in the first round. Core players have been locked up to long-term deals, while talented prospects are in the organizational pipeline.

The franchise has been selected to play in one of the six Stadium Series outdoor games this season, as the home team at Yankee Stadium against the Rangers. And, the franchise will move into Brooklyn’s Barclays Center before the 2015-16 season.

“Now we get that recognition,” Hamonic said. “It seems like everyone is looking at our organization in a different light from the outside.”

Yes, things have changed for the Islanders.

“I definitely see the expectations are higher and people are going to expect for us to be in the playoffs,” John Tavares said. “We played well for six to eight weeks last year and now we’ve got to carry that over for eight to nine months, which is going to be really tough especially for our team which is still a young group and developing in a lot of ways. To play with that level of consistency the way we played, it’s going to be tough.”

Much of the reason for the Islanders’ success in the lockout-shortened 2013 season was a physical, up-tempo attacking style. The Islanders finished the regular season with a 24-17-7 mark which was good enough for eighth in the Eastern Conference. Their 2.81 goals per game average was seventh in the league and their 19.9 percent power play efficiency was tied for 10th in the league.

The Islanders’ play earned their players some individual notoriety as Tavares was a Hart Trophy finalist last season, and he and Hamonic were invited to Team Canada’s Olympic Orientation Camp in late August.

It’s believed that Tavares will make the team, although Hamonic said Hockey Canada officials told the 47 players that attended the camp in Calgary that jobs are up for grabs.

“It’s nice to see Hockey Canada see me in that light,” Hamonic said. “They made it very clear that anyone can make the team. So it’s nice that I’m on the radar. It’s definitely exciting that I have an opportunity to play myself [onto the Olympic team].”

And it would be another example of how a new day is dawning for the franchise.

Follow NHL beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.