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Homecoming for Islanders’ Travis Hamonic on trip to Winnipeg

Travis Hamonic of the New York Islanders defends

Travis Hamonic of the New York Islanders defends against Sean Monahan of the Calgary Flames in the third period at Barclays Center on Monday, Oct. 26, 2015 in Brooklyn. Credit: Jim McIsaac

WINNIPEG, Manitoba — Travis Hamonic made his one trip back home Thursday, playing before the usual assortment of family and friends. This trip certainly may have had more meaning than the previous few, however, given Hamonic’s preseason request to the Islanders that he be traded so he could be closer to home.

Now that the trade deadline has passed, any minuscule chance that the Isles and Jets could have worked out a trade is done until the offseason. And Hamonic, who scored his fifth goal in Tuesday’s win over the Canucks, has played well throughout what could have been a trying season once word of his request leaked in November.

“We’ve known about and he’s still played his best hockey,” coach Jack Capuano said. “When that time comes, if it comes this summer, someone’s going to get a first-class player and a first-class person, I can tell you that. To have that on your mind and continue to play the way he has, it shows the type of player, the type of teammate Travis is.”

Hamonic, who declined to address the situation with the Winnipeg media Thursday morning, was busy doing what he always does in Brooklyn and on Long Island while his teammates went through an optional skate at the MTS Centre.

Hamonic met with three young Jets fans from the same family who lost their father not long ago, talking with them about his own experience losing his father at age 10.

Pulock plays in familiar surroundings

Ryan Pulock, the other Manitoba native on the Islanders, played his third straight game on Thursday since being recalled from the AHL. Pulock’s parents made the 10-hour drive from his Grandview home to Edmonton to see his NHL debut. They were a little closer to home this time — it’s only four hours from Grandview to Winnipeg — and a slew of family and friends watched Pulock on Thursday night.

“I’m not sure of the total, but I think it’s around 20 or so,” Pulock said.

Capuano kept his lineup the same as Tuesday, so Steve Bernier, Eric Boulton, Brian Strait and Marek Zidlicky were the scratches.

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