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Don't count out Hamonic

Forgotten man has shot at Team Canada

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CALGARY -- Travis Hamonic is on no one's list to make this team. Except maybe his own.

St. Malo's Hamonic knows he's a long shot but said Tuesday it's not the media lists that matter to him but the final one put forth by Team Canada GM Steve Yzerman.

'As much as I'm trying to learn, I'm also trying to show I fit it and I can work my way onto the team'

-- Travis Hamonic

"This much talent in one dressing room, it's an experience you have to try and learn from. I'm one of the younger guys in the camp but I think I fit in really well with this group," said Hamonic. "But as much as I'm trying to learn, I'm trying to show I fit in and I can work my way onto this team. It's not different for me than anyone else, the coaches have been clear and fair about it. The guys playing the best will get to be on the team."

Hamonic signed a long-term contract with the New York Islanders this summer and is developing a reputation as one of the better shutdown defencemen in the NHL. A smooth skater with the ability to match the best forwards in the NHL, Hamonic believes he can fill a role with Team Canada.

"For a defenceman that plays my style of game, if you're getting noticed, often it's because you're not doing the right things," said Hamonic. "Every team needs a player that can play my style and that can shut players down. New York is no different and obviously there's a lot of good defencemen here in this camp. I was told once to find something and be the best at it. My skating ability and my shutdown ability are things that hopefully I can bring to this team."

Team Canada GM Steve Yzerman says there is lots of room for young players such as Hamonic to earn a spot on the team.

"I would say, conservatively, there are eight players we think are likely to be with us," said Yzerman. "These guys are proud players and they all have great confidence in themselves and they all feel they belong on the team. That's the way they think. And that's why they're good players. There's no doubt there will be players that are disappointed. We can't avoid that. We'll try to pick a good team and hopefully, we'll win.

"I don't consider these guys long shots. They're all here. They all have a good chance."

gary.lawless@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @garylawless

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 28, 2013 D4

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