Former Vernon Vipers goaltender Andrew Hammond painted his new mask to honour a special young Senators fan.
Hammond who was set to become an unrestricted free agent July 1 2015 re-signed with the Ottawa Senators on May 20th 2015.
Hammond attended the Ottawa Senators development camp last July before being released from the Sens Training camp was sent down to the AHL. Hammond was in his second season with the Binghamton Senators before being recalled from the American Hockey League on January 29th 2015 where he would finish the remainder of the season in the NHL with the Senators.
Hammond made his first career NHL start February 18th 2015 vs the Montreal Canadians, recorded 42 saves in a 4-2 win over the Habs for his first career NHL victory.
After four seasons with Bowling Green University Hammond signed his first pro contract with the Ottawa Senators on March 20th 2013.
Hammond made his NHL debut was called up to the Ottawa Senators on February 27th 2014 vs the Detroit Red Wings. Hammond was the backup for Senators starting goaltender Robin Lehner that night but made his NHL debut after Lehner was pulled late in the 2nd period giving up six goals on fifteen Detroit shots. Hammond would finish the game playing just over thirty four minutes stopping all eleven Red Wing shots in a 6-1 loss to Detroit. Hammond attended the Chicago Blackhawks 2012 development camp and attended the Ottawa Senators 2013 development camp playing in a few exhibition games with the Senators that season. (no stats)
Hammond played parts of two years in Vernon (2007-2009) after coming over in a trade with the Surrey Eagles during the 2007-08 season. On January 9th 2008 the Vipers acquired Hammond from the Surrey Eagles for future considerations. In 52 regular season games with the Vipers Hammond posted a (33-15-1) record recording 6 shutouts.
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This was posted on the Sportsnet website:
Andrew Hammond’s new mask honours brave young fan
EMILY SADLER AUGUST 19, 2015,
Andrew Hammond is one step closer to being ready for a new NHL season. He revealed his new goalie mask via Twitter yesterday, showing off a helmet that creatively checks off all the boxes for a guy nicknamed “The Hamburglar.”
A closer look, however, will reveal the mask’s most meaningful feature: a butterfly and the initials “JP”, a tribute to 15-year-old Jonathan Pitre.
The mask designer, Jason Bartziokas, posted the following photo of the back of Hammond’s helmet to Instagram with the caption “Jonathan Pitre. An inspiration to us all.”
Pitre suffers from Epidermolysis bullosa, a rare and incredibly painful genetic skin disease. Children with this condition are often known as “butterfly children” because of their extremely fragile skin.
“I wanted him to feel special and let him know how much he has inspired me, the fans of Ottawa, and the entire hockey world,” Hammond told The Ottawa Citizen.
“I think Senators fans attached themselves to Jonathan and his story because he teaches us all a lesson: a reminder that we are only given this one chance at life — and we have to enjoy the moments we have.”
The Senators first met the then-14-year-old hockey fan when general manager Bryan Murray invited him to the rink to watch a game with the team’s scouting staff.
“I’m done with the dream of trying to play sports,” Pitre told the Citizen back in November.
“I knew I’d never be able to play sports, but I tried to have hope that I would. Now I know what’s reality. But I still would like to do something in sports. I’d like to be a scout, or a sportscaster on Sportsnet, you know, one of the commentators.”
Pitre’s hockey dreams didn’t stop there. In January, the Senators invited him back for another game — this time, with the chance to call the Senators-Canadiens game from the broadcast booth.
You can read The Ottawa Citizen’s full feature on Pitre,