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

Top 10 most hipster college campuses

Hipsters are everywhere these days. You can't walk down the anywhere anymore without seeing a pair of skinny jeans on a handlebar mustachioed 20-something, a…

National

Detained Americans in North Korea seek U.S. help

Three US citizens detained in North Korea appealed to the U.S government for help returning home, speaking in rare interviews.

National

New Apple iPhone to have 'mobile wallet' function:…

(Reuters) - Apple Inc plans to enable its next iPhone to become a mobile wallet by allowing owners to securely make mobile payments in a…

Money

Second Shift: Balancing school, work and a side…

See how a Brooklynite balances getting her PhD while working two other jobs.

Entertainment

Where to place the blame in a nude…

When a celebrity's private photos are leaked online, it's easy to jump to the conclusion that they only have themselves to blame, since they took…

Gossip

Security expert weighs in on 'The Fappening' and…

We speak to Rik Ferguson, vice president of security firm Security Research at Trend Micro, about the hundreds of hacked celebrity photos that leaked.

Gossip

Who is Ashlee Simpson’s new husband anyway?

Find out five things about Ashlee Simpson's new husband, Evan Ross.

Entertainment

Jennifer Lawrence and more: The big names on…

The names of more than 100 famous actresses, musicians and athletes were included in a list of purported hacking victims, nude photos of whom were…

NFL

Odell Beckham still 'weeks away,' Tom Coughlin angry…

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin has fought a losing battle against the media all preseason over the status of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

Travel

10 free apps to make traveling easier

Finding the nearest bathroom, calculating currency exchanges and locating your departure gate must have been difficult for travelers of previous generations. But we wouldn't know,…

Travel

How to get a seat upgrade to business…

It used to be much easier to upgrade your coach seat to business or even first class, but rigid rules and tighter schedules have made…

Career

The number of telecommuters is expected to nearly…

Until a few years ago, telecommuting was not considered a realistic option at most companies. But with technological advances like high-speed Internet and smartphones, more…

Wellbeing

Your new food ally to ward off type…

For people who may be headed for type 2 diabetes, regularly eating pistachios might help turn the tide, according to a small nutrition trial from…