The Calgary Flames have reported some sad news and hopefully things are not too serious.
The Flames welcomed the Arizona Coyotes to the Scotiabank Saddledome on Sunday night and it turned out to be one hell of a good time for the home town fans in Calgary. The Flames absolutely demolished a depleted Coyotes team, eventually winning by a whopping 7 - 1 margin over the Coyotes, this in spite of missing one of their core players from the line up.
The Flames were without the services of veteran defenseman Travis Hamonic on Monday and unfortunately his absence from the line up was due to a family related issue. According to an official statement from the Calgary Flames organization the beloved blue liner was sitting out the game in order to be with his family due to a "family related illness." Again hopefully this is not a serious matter but if it was enough to cause Hamonic to miss an game in the National Hockey League I can't imagine it was anything particularly good.
This becomes an even bigger concern when you consider the fact that Hamonic sought a trade out of New York during his time as a defenseman for the Islanders specifically because he wanted to be closer to home and his family. There was speculation at the time of those initial trade rumors that the desire stemmed not from some selfish place within Hamonic but rather a selfless desire to be with a family member that was struggling through illness at the time. I of course have no way of knowing whether or not this current situation is related to the previous one, but either way I hope that Hamonic and his family will pull through in this difficult time.
Additionally due to the nature of this announcement from the Flames it is also effectively impossible to tell how long Hamonic might be out of the line up as a result of this family illness. I have no doubt however that fans around the league will unite in their support of Hamonic, a player who entered the minds and hearts of many hockey fans when he shared the tragic story of how he lost his father as a young man.