Conflicting reports around the status of Travis Hamonic continue to cloud the Vancouver Canucks.
Early Monday, CapFriendly reported that the club had suspended the 31-year-old defenceman without pay — a move they would be able to do under the league’s current COVID-19 protocols.
This, however, has been refuted by the organization.
Monday afternoon, general manager Jim Benning issued a statement stating the club placed Hamonic on a “temporary leave of absence.”
“The mutually agreed upon leave of absence will give Travis time as he works through his personal matters,” the statement read. “The team asks that the media respect Travis’ privacy and the club will not be making any further comments on this matter at this time.”
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CapFriendly followed up on the statement reporting that Hamonic currently does not have a cap hit with the organization.
“In this situation where the player takes a leave of absence, and the team isn’t paying their salary, the player has no cap hit for the duration,” they tweeted Monday. “For cap purposes, this is the same as Suspended Without Pay.”
Hamonic, 31, signed a two-year deal with the Canucks this past offseason that carried a $3-million cap hit. He didn’t report to the Canucks’ training camp this year and hasn’t joined the club.
His absence has been widely cited as personal reasons by team officials, however, it has been reported that Hamonic isn’t vaccinated against COVID-19 — a move that would limit his ability to play for not only the Canucks, but the club’s AHL affiliate in Abbotsford, too.
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Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at [email protected]