Friday, March 27, 2015

The Phone Call That Saved Viper Alumni Andrew Hammond's Career:

 Former Vernon Vipers goaltender Andrew Hammond come very close to hanging up his skates and quiting hockey.  Here is an article on that story.  In 17 games this season with the Senators Hammond is 14-1-1 with two shutouts.  Hammond suffered his first regulation loss this season after a 5-1 loss to the Rangers Thursday.

The Ottawa Senators recalled Hammond from the American Hockey League (AHL) Binghamton Senators on January 29th 2015. Hammond was in his second season with the Binghamton Senators before being called up to Ottawa where he attended the Senators development camp in July before being released from the Sens Training camp.

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 Citizen Newspaper:

The phone call that saved Andrew Hammond's career

Ken Warren, Ottawa Citizen

Published on: March 6, 2015

While the city – hell, while the entire NHL – can’t stop talking about the remarkable, calm, cool, collected success of Andrew Hammond, think for a moment about a guy named Aldo Bruno.

Nine years ago, it was all over for Hammond. Cut after one game with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs of the British Columbia Hockey League, Hammond returned home, hung up his pads and replaced them with books, enrolling full time in college.

Enter Bruno, the coach/GM/part owner of Grandview Steelers of the Pacific Junior (B) Hockey League. Hammond had played for Grandview the previous season and Bruno called to see if Hammond was willing to take a step back to keep playing.

“He was pretty down and out, but we follow our kids,” Bruno said by phone from his East Vancouver office Thursday. “I asked if he still wanted to play. He waited a few days, but then he came back rejuvenated.”

Bruno, who has seen hundreds of players pass through the team during his 20 years with the organization – including a 15-year-old phenom named Kyle Turris – could never have predicted the eventual stardom.

“I would be lying to you if I said I knew he was going to be a pro hockey player, but he worked so hard at it,” he said. “Andrew is very quiet, laid back, but he has a will to compete. He’s got that fire.”

Hammond was lights out that season and continued his hot play when he headed back to the BCHL with the Vernon Vipers earning himself a scholarship to Bowling Green University.

As most of the hockey world now knows, Hammond went from there to Binghamton to the Senators net – a net the team can’t take away from him now.

Bruno has watched as Hammond swept through California, Minnesota and Winnipeg, lifting the Senators back into the playoff race by picking up nine of a possible 10 points.

“I like to follow everything, especially the kids I coached and the kids that have been though our league. This is just one of those things, one of those stories where everyone pulls for the guy. I’ve known Andrew since he was 15. I’m really, really happy for the guy.”

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