The past month has been a whirlwind for Mike Condon, who was waived by Montreal, traded by Pittsburgh and now finds himself as a potential three-man unit in Ottawa.
Mike Condon is becoming to goaltending what duct tape is to a terrible household handyman. If there’s a problem, get yourself Mike Condon and fix it.
During his freshman season, Condon became the replacement starter for the Canadiens when Carey Price went down injured. Come this season, after Condon became expendable in the Montreal crease, he was waived and picked up by the Pittsburgh Penguins to back up Marc-Andre Fleury with Matt Murray on the shelf. And now, with the Ottawa facing goaltending issues due to an injury to Andrew Hammond and the awful news that Craig Anderson’s wife is battling cancer, Condon finds himself heading back to Canada as a stopgap option for the Senators.
The Senators announced the acquisition of Condon from the Penguins in exchange for a fifth-round pick in 2017 on Wednesday afternoon, and, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, it’s expect that Condon will make his first appearance in Ottawa’s lineup Thursday against the Vancouver Canucks.
That Condon finds himself in his third locale in less than a month speaks to his usefulness as backup netminder, and it also speaks to the value that teams have put on being able to scoop up the 26-year-old puck stopper. The Canadiens waived him knowing full well he would be picked up and the Penguins, despite having Murray back in the lineup, held on to Condon rather than waive him knowing a team would be willing to pay something to acquire him.
When it comes to his role with the Senators, though, it’s hard to say exactly where Condon will fit in. At the time being, Ottawa hasn’t given a full update on the expected absence of Hammond and no one quite knows how long Anderson, who returned to the team early from a leave of absence at the urging of his wife, will be gone if he chooses to leave to be with his family.
However, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the one thing that is known is that Condon’s role will be in the NHL — at least for the time being. McKenzie reported that regardless of what comes to pass with Anderson and how long Hammond is out, Condon will remain with the Senators as part of a three-man goalie unit.
And as far as a third-string, NHL-capable goaltender goes, the Senators could do worse than Condon. His numbers weren’t sparkling in Montreal in 2015-16, to be sure, but his 2.71 goals-against average and .903 save percentage were solid enough given the situation he was thrown into. At 5-on-5, Condon ranked 42nd out of 49 goaltenders with a .915 SP, but he was in the same company as Sergei Bobrovsky, Jonathan Bernier and Eddie Lack.
Condon likely isn’t the long-term solution in Ottawa if Anderson and Hammond are out for the foreseeable future, but the newly acquired netminder has carved out his place as a suitable stand-in for teams in need. And with the Senators seeking a solution to their current issues in goal, Condon finds himself with yet another new home.
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