Flames' Hamonic first player to opt-out of NHL's Return To Play plan

Five more players have also opted out of this summer's playoffs

Brayton Wilson
July 11, 2020 - 8:28 am

Calgary Flames defenseman Travis Hamonic is the first player in the National Hockey League to opt-out of the league's Return To Play plan this summer.

In a statement released by Hamonic late Saturday night via his agent's Twitter account, Titan Sports 365, he said that he's come to the decision to opt-out and will seek a leave of absence from the Calgary Flames for the remainder of the playoffs. He sites that family has, and always will come first for him, and that his daughter has already contracted a very serious respiratory virus in the past, and he is concerned for her if she were to contract COVID-19.

"Earlier this evening, Travis called me to inform us that he has decided to opt-out of the NHL Return To Play program," Flames general manager Brad Treliving said in a team statement on Friday night. "Travis explained that due to family considerations, he has made the difficult decision not to participate in the Stanley Cup Qualifier and Playoffs.

"While we will miss Travis in our lineup, we understand and respect his decision. Our focus remains on preparation for training camp and our upcoming series in the NHL Qualifying Round."

Hamonic has spent the last three seasons in Calgary after playing the first seven years of his career with the New York Islanders. In 193 games with the Flames, the 29-year-old has scored 11 goals and registered 31 assists for 42 points. This season in 50 games played, Hamonic scored three goals while adding nine assists for 12 points.

In 637 career games in the NHL, Hamonic has a total of 37 goals and 151 assists for 188 points.

The Flames will open their formal training camp in Calgary when Phase 3 commences on Monday. The team will then travel to Edmonton on Sunday, July 26 to prepare to meet the Winnipeg Jets in the play-in qualifying round starting Saturday, Aug. 1.

Since Hamonic opted out of the Return To Play format, a total of five other players have elected to opt-out this summer:

  • Sven Baertschi - Forward - Vancouver Canucks
  • Roman Polak - Defense - Dallas Stars
  • Mike Green - Defense - Edmonton Oilers
  • Steven Kampfer - Defense - Boston Bruins
  • Karl Alzner - Defense - Montreal Canadiens

The opt-out deadline for the players who choose not to participate in the Return To Play format is set for Monday.

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