The waiver-wire pickup of Mike Condon has led to a crowded crease in Ottawa, but the Senators made a surprising move Saturday that will clear up the situation in goal.
Days after it surfaced that Senators goaltender Andrew Hammond had turned down the option to be sent down to the AHL’s Binghamton Senators on a conditioning stint, Ottawa has placed the backup netminder on waivers and there’s a fair chance this could be the end of his time with the big club.
It’s a surprising move by Ottawa if only because he’s a mere season removed from rising to prominence in the Senators’ crease with one of the most remarkable goaltending runs in recent history. Hammond made his mark in the back half of the 2014-15 campaign when he was called up in February 2015 and went on an incredible winning streak, picking up 20 wins in 23 games and failing to earn the Senators a point in only one outing.
His play since that streak, however, hasn’t been nearly as satisfactory. After signing a three-year, $4.05-million deal with Ottawa in May 2015, Hammond proceeded to go 7-11-4 in 24 appearances in 2015-16, boasting a 2.65 goals-against average and .914 save percentage. Things haven’t been much better this season, either, as Hammond has only managed to get into two outings, has posted an unsightly 4.50 GAA and .793 SP and hasn’t suited up since Oct. 28.
It’s been difficult for Hammond to find time in goal with the play of Craig Anderson and Condon, too. And considering that lack of playing time, it might have made sense for Hammond to accept the conditioning stint and get back into the swing of things in Binghamton. Hammond said he wasn’t interested in going down to the AHL, though, and said he felt he would be better served facing NHL competition.
“Once I feel it’s not beneficial for me to be here and practicing with NHL players we’ll definitely address that,” Hammond said, according to the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch. “For now, I feel what’s best for me is being here and being around NHL players. I don’t feel rusty in practice and, as I said, I just feel it’s best for to be here practicing with these guys.”
Regardless of whether or not he wants to be sent down, though, Hammond could find himself in the AHL in the near future.
Want more in-depth features and expert analysis on the game you love? Get 10 issues of The Hockey News magazine for just $15.99!