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Sports: Canucks recall veteran defenseman Travis Hamonic

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After just one game in the AHL, Travis Hamonic is back with the Vancouver Canucks. The veteran defenseman has been recalled to the NHL, with Jack Rathbone loaned back to the Abbotsford Canucks to make room.

Vancouver Canucks defenseman Travis Hamonic (27) © Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports Vancouver Canucks defenseman Travis Hamonic (27)

Hamonic, 31, had previously taken an unpaid leave of absence from the team, cleared waivers and recently reported to Abbotsford. While in the AHL part of his $3M cap hit had been buried, but now that he’s back with the NHL team the full thing will be carried by the Canucks. That pushes the team right up against the salary cap ceiling and in a tricky situation should anyone else face an injury that does not require placement on long-term injured reserve.

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Oliver Ekman-Larsson happened to be missing from practice Monday, while Hamonic was working in on the second pairing alongside Kyle Burroughs, trading rushes with Luke Schenn. It’s unclear whether he will be inserted directly into the lineup for Tuesday night’s game against the New York Rangers, but he is obviously an important part of the Canucks when healthy.

In 38 games last season, Hamonic averaged more than 19 minutes a night with the vast majority of those coming next to Quinn Hughes. With the team struggling — Vancouver has just three wins in its first nine games — Hamonic will likely be a welcome addition whenever he is added to the lineup sheet.

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