Marking the first known NHL player to elect sitting out the play-ins and playoffs, defenseman Travis Hamonic has informed the Calgary Flames that he will not be joining the rest of the roster when the Flames head to Edmonton for their play-in round starting on August 1.
“Earlier this evening Travis called me to inform us that he has decided to opt out of the NHL Return to Play Program,” Flames GM Brad Treliving said in a statement. “Travis explained that due to family considerations, he has made the difficult decision not to participate in the Stanley Cup Qualifier and Playoffs.”
The Flames are set to open up their qualification round against the Winnipeg Jets and losing Hamonic is a blow to the team’s blueline.
Will Other Players Opt Out?
It will be interesting to see if Hamonic’s decision to opt out will make it easier for other NHL players to do the same. There was talk quite a few players were uncomfortable with coming back but the pressure to show up for teammates might have overridden doing what they felt best personally. Sometimes, all it takes is for one player to stand up for others to do the same.
Players have until Monday at 5pm to inform their teams without consequence.
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