Travis Hamonic won’t be one of the players to opt-out of the 2021-22 season for reasons related to COVID-19, Canucks GM Jim Benning said Friday night.
With the deadline set for end of day Friday, the Canucks PR team put out a statement on Benning’s behalf on Twitter.
“We’ve received confirmation that Travis Hamonic will not be opting out this season,” the statement read. “He remains at home, dealing with some personal matters. We continue to support him, and out of respect for the situation, we will have no further comment at this time.”
Hamonic, who inked a two-year, $6-million AAV deal with the team, has yet to report to camp for what Benning has called a personal matter.
“He’s dealing with a personal issue, and I think everybody should just leave it alone,” Benning said, per the Vancouver Province. “I don’t know why people think with everything that’s going on in the world that when we make a statement about a personal issue, people think they can stick their noses in it.
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“Just leave the guy alone and let him figure out what he needs to figure out. I’m in constant communication with his agent and he’s got a decision to make with how he’s feeling about everything. When he lets me know, we’ll work from there.”
If Hamonic opted out of the campaign, the club would’ve been able to let the first year of the contract to slide one season, or allow for the first year of the deal to be burnt.
Earlier this week, Rick Dhaliwal reported retirement was a potential option for the veteran of 675 NHL games.
Hamonic opted out of the NHL’s return to play in 2020 citing health concerns over his daughter who had been hospitalized as an infant with a respiratory illness. He was one of the first to test positive for COVID-19 during the Canucks’ outbreak last season.
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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]