Almost three years later, Travis Hamonic still isn’t comfortable revealing exactly what prompted him to ask for a trade. It was the fall of 2015 when a personal family matter prompted him to sit down for a heart-to-heart with New York Islanders GM Garth Snow that would eventually thrust the private life of the quiet product of St. Malo, Manitoba into hockey’s spotlight. "To set the record straight I didn’t go in there demanding anything – it was never me saying, ‘I’ve got to go,’" said Hamonic in the midst of the Calgary Flames’ New York swing that will see his return to Brooklyn, Sunday, for the first time in red. "It was brought up that it was a possibility. That’s how much it meant to me to be an Islander. I cared about my teammates and the organization. It was, ‘here’s what’s happening and here’s my life.’" Hamonic, who was 10 when he lost his father to a heart attack, felt he needed to be closer to his home just outside Winnipeg. Once it became public, he immediately addressed his teammates with an emotional meeting fellow Islanders defenceman Thomas Hickey said had everyone’s full understanding. What followed was a litany of trade rumours and speculation surrounding the reason for his request. Yet, Hamonic and Hickey agree it wasn’t a distraction at all. "It really wasn’t," said Hickey, still one of Hamonic’s closest friends on the Islanders. "He went about it the right way – he addressed the team and I think guys are very understanding in hockey. He just explained it to us and everyone understood and everyone was okay with it." That has always been Hamonic’s calling card – doing things the right way. He continued to be one of the league’s most dependable shut-down defencemen while faithfully running his post-game D-Partner program hosting youngsters who’ve lost parents as he did. The Islanders went on to make the playoffs before losing a second round series to Tampa Bay Hamonic still thinks they should have won.