Travis Hamonic will miss the next two to three weeks with a lower-body injury, two sources informed Newsday on Monday night. Hamonic already has missed one game with the injury, suffered in Thursday night’s loss to the Capitals when he blocked a shot late in the second period.
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Further injury information was not disclosed, but Hamonic will not need surgery to repair the injury. The Islanders already were growing thin on defense with Johnny Boychuk out until at least the beginning of February with a shoulder injury suffered against the Sabres on Dec. 31.
In their only game without both of their top righthanded defensemen, the Isles mustered only 20 shots on goal and were shut out, 4-0, by the Flyers on Saturday. The Blue Jackets visit Barclays Center on Tuesday night, followed by the Rangers on Thursday night. The Isles trail the second-place Rangers by two points in the Metropolitan Division.
Rookies Adam Pelech and Scott Mayfield played in place of Boychuk and Hamonic on Saturday and likely will do so again Tuesday night.
Hamonic’s sixth season with the Islanders began with an out-of-the-blue trade request to general manager Garth Snow because of what Hamonic termed a private family issue. Snow searched for a trade match through the first two months of the season, but Hamonic emerged as the Isles’ best defenseman and Snow’s interest in making a move waned.
It disappeared when Boychuk went down, and now it assuredly is gone. Hamonic’s injury likely will take him into the All-Star break at the end of January. With the trade deadline on Feb. 29, the Islanders might need to play catch-up in the Eastern Conference once Hamonic and Boychuk are healthy.