Sunday, June 28, 2020

Vipers Alumni Hammond Looks Back At The Wild 2015 Run With Senators:

Here is an article/story on former Vernon Vipers goaltender Andrew Hammond.

Hammond was is in his first season with the American Hockey League Rochester Americans/Buffalo Sabres before the season was cancelled due to COVID-19.

Hammond was a free agent signed with the Buffalo Sabres July 1st 2019 was reassigned to the Americans September 22nd 2019. In 33 games this season, Hammond is 16-12-3 with a 2.53 GAA

The American Hockey League has advised its clubs that the indefinite suspension of AHL play due to the Coronavirus will not be lifted before May.

Hammond made his Sabres preseason debut September 17th 2019 in a 4-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Hammond replaced Sabres starting goaltender Linus Ullmark halfway through the 2nd period, allowed two goals on fifteen shots.

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Hammond played last year with the American Hockey League Iowa Wild. In 33 games last season Hammond went 19-14-0 with three shutouts and a 2.81 GAA Hammond & the Wild clinched a playoff spot for the first time in franchise history.

The Minnesota Wild signed Hammond July 1st 2018, reassigned Hammond to the Iowa Wild October 1st 2018. Hammond played the past five seasons with the Ottawa Senators/American Hockey League Binghamton Senators before being traded to the Colorado Avalanche November 5th 2017. 

After four seasons with Bowling Green University, Hammond signed his first pro contract with the Ottawa Senators on March 20th 2013. Hammond attended the Chicago Blackhawks 2012 development camp and Ottawa Senators 2013 development camp.

Hammond made his NHL debut February 27th 2014 vs the Detroit Red Wings. Hammond was called up that night from the American Hockey League as the backup for Senators starting goaltender Robin Lehner. Hammond would replace Lehner late in the 2nd period who was pulled after 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 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. Hammond is the only goaltender in NHL history to earn 21 wins in his first 27 games.

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. In 52 regular season games with the Vipers

Hammond posted a (33-15-1) record recording 6 shutouts. 

Andrew Hammond's Player Profile:

This was in the Ottawa Sun newspaper:

The Hamburglar looks back at the wild 2015 run with the Senators

Ken WarrenMore from Ken Warren

Published: March 25, 2020

Andrew Hammond considers himself a lucky man today.

In this instance, we’re not talking about that unparalleled stand-on-his-head goaltending performance five years ago, a stretch that unleashed Hamburglar mania and carried the Ottawa Senators from Nowhere Land into a playoff berth.

Rather, it’s about being healthy with his family at home in Ohio.

Only two weeks ago, his wife, Marlee, gave birth to the couple’s second son, Carson, in Rochester, N.Y., where Hammond was playing for the Rochester Amerks of the American Hockey League. The Hammonds also have a four-year-old son, Cal.

“(Carson) was born two days before the league was suspended,” the even-keeled Hammond said Wednesday morning in a telephone interview with Postmedia. “There was talk about (the novel coronavirus), but there really hadn’t been a lot of cases. The first (confirmed) one in Rochester was that day. Then they told everyone to go home. It wasn’t really that complicated for us, but it definitely wasn’t the usual process. We got lucky. So, right now this whole thing is kind of like my paternity thing.”

Hammond, 32, is primarily occupied with his young family while in self-isolation. As he was speaking on the phone, cries of “Daddy, Daddy” could be heard in the background.

Yet when Ottawa sports radio station TSN-1200 put out an informal Twitter poll last week asking Senators fans for their best memories of the Hamburglar run, Hammond joined in on the fun, offering up his two cents.

“I don’t normally (tweet), but I was bored,” he said Wednesday.

Just in case you’ve forgotten the details of the too-bizarre-to-be-believed story, Hammond was recalled from Binghamton of the AHL (where he had a record of 7-13-2, a 3.51 goals against average and an .898 save percentage) and thrust into the Senators net because of injuries to Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner.

All he did from there was post a record of 20-1-2, with a goals against average of 1.79 and a save percentage of .941, as the Senators climbed from the NHL basement into a first-round playoff berth against the Montreal Canadiens.

Which wins stood out the most for Hammond? That’s kind of like asking which Springsteen song is the best.

In his three tweets about the experience, Hammond talked about the memories of victories over Montreal, Boston, Winnipeg and the playoff-clinching triumph over Philadelphia. And then there was the 4-3 overtime win over Sidney Crosby and Pittsburgh Penguins, a game in which the Senators rallied all the way from a 3-0 first period deficit.

“That was my first (game) against Crosby and he scores 10 seconds in,” Hammond tweeted. “I was able to confirm he’s pretty good.”

On Wednesday, he also brought up the 3-0 shutout victory over the New York Rangers, a vital victory in the last week of the regular season before facing Philadelphia.

“Every game has its own story and it’s hard to pick one,” he said. “How we came back and won some games, different things. One that was special to me was the win over the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. That was the one team that beat me (in Ottawa) and I got pulled in that game and then we beat them and I got a shutout. I went in there and kind of redeemed myself.”

While Hammond will always be proud of what he and the Senators accomplished in 2015, he has moved on and says, “I’m not searching up old boxscores or anything.”

After losing twice to Montreal in the playoffs, Hammond was replaced by the then healthy Anderson. In 2015-16, he struggled through hip problems and never fully regained his hold on the Senators net, eventually spending time back in Belleville of the AHL. Ultimately, he was traded to Colorado in the Matt Duchene deal in 2017 and got a taste of the 2018 NHL playoffs with the Avalanche.

He has also played with Iowa in the AHL and has spent the past year with Rochester — Buffalo’s AHL affiliate — posting a record of 16-12-3 with a 2.53 goals against average and .908 save percentage. While with the Amerks, he had a few conversations with former Senators first round pick Curtis Lazar, who has since been recalled by Buffalo. After a fan tossed a hamburger on the ice to celebrate a Hammond win over Boston, Lazar grabbed it and took a bite out of it, one of the signature moments of the ride.

“We would talk about it from time to time,” said Hammond. “Both of us are in the same situation somewhat (trying to return to the NHL on a full-time basis) and we both think back on it fondly, but I’m not consumed by it or anything.”

On the topic of hamburgers, whatever happened to that gift card allowing Hammond to eat free at McDonald’s for the rest of his life?

“I only got a few gift cards at the start and I gave them to friends because they were only valid in Canada and I misplaced a couple of them,” he said. “But I’ve got one of them in a frame.”

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