Sunday, May 31, 2015

Senators Sign Viper Alumni Hammond To Three-Year One-Way Contract:

The Ottawa Senators have signed former Vernon Vipers goaltender Andrew Hammond who was set to become an unrestricted free agent July 1 2015.

Hammond attended the Ottawa Senators development camp in 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 played last year as a rookie with the American Hockey League (AHL) Binghamton Senators. In 48 games with Binghamton Hammond went 25-19-3 with one shutout and a 2.81 GAA.

Hammond made his NHL debut last season 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 last 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. In 52 regular season games with the Vipers Hammond posted a (33-15-1) record recording 6 shutouts.

Andrew Hammond's Player Profile:

This is posted on the Senators website:

News Release: Senators agree to terms with goaltender Andrew Hammond on a three-year contract extension

Wednesday, 05.20.2015

OTTAWA – The Ottawa Senators (@Senators) announced today the club has agreed to terms with goaltender Andrew Hammond on a three-year contract extension which will run through the end of the 2017-18 National Hockey League season. The average annual value of the contract is $1.35 million ($1.2M, $1.35M, $1.5M).

Hammond, 27, earned a record of 20-1-2 in 24 games with the Senators last season, posting a 1.79 goals-against average and a .941 save percentage, while recording three shutout victories.

This was in the Ottawa Citizen Newspaper:

Senators sign Andrew Hammond to three-year one-way contract

Peter Robb, Ottawa Citizen

Published on: May 20, 2015

One of the NHL’s feel-good stories of the past season had a happy ending Wednesday morning as Andrew Hammond got what he wanted from the Ottawa Senators — a three-year deal to play for the NHL team in the city he and his wife have grown to love.

The man known as the Hamburglar is now looking forward to the upcoming season and competition for a spot in the net.

The Hammond contract carries an average annual cap hit of $1.35 million ($1.2M, $1.35M, $1.5M) for a total of $4.05 million. The deal is a one-way contract meaning he will be staying in the National Hockey League next season. The B.C. native was set to become an unrestricted free agent July 1.

One thing the deal does not have is a “no move” clause meaning Hammond could be traded at the club’s discretion. He says there were no job guarantees offered by the club.

But all that is for another day. Right now, Hammond is basking in a reward for what was a truly remarkable debut on the NHL stage and settling into his summer home in Grosse Pointe, Michigan.

Hammond’s critical role in the team’s historic run to the 2014-15 playoffs made him a fan favourite and almost a must sign. During that improbable journey, the 27-year-old’s record was 20-1-2 in 24 games. He posted a 1.79 goals-against average and a .941 save percentage with three shutouts. He lost two games in the playoffs.

Hammond took part in a conference call with Ottawa media telling reporters it was a personal priority to stay in Ottawa.

“My wife and I really loved Ottawa. It was a place that we wanted to be.”

Most of the negotiations were handled by Pierre Dorion, the team’s assistant general manager, Hammond said, and once Dorion returned from the world championships this past weekend, where Canada won a gold medal, the contract came together quickly — in fact, in the last two days.

“The three-year deal was pretty important to me,” Hammond says, “just to give me some security. And start moving forward to build a career.”

Dorion told reporters that because of Hammond’s record during the stretch run, the team felt comfortable signing Hammond, despite the relatively short sample size of 26 games.

“Andrew came in and under difficult conditions showed he was an NHL goalie through his ability to win pretty much every game he played in. He showed he could win under pressure and win big games under pressure. We thought we should reward him with an NHL contract.

“We feel he can push our other two goalies. We don’t get into the playoffs without Andrew

The idea of a one-way deal was important as well and Hammond says he is happy Ottawa felt that way too.

Reflecting back on the incredible run, the B.C. native says he tried to keep it in perspective and took it one day at a time at the time.

“The great thing about sports is that anything can happen and I was given a chance to hit the refresh button when I was called up.”

Typically thoughtful and always seemingly ready to learn, Hammond said he did not play his best during the playoff series against Montreal, but nor did he play his worst.

“I think I got caught up in the emotion of the games in Montreal and it took away from my game a little bit. … I was having too much fun playing and that made some of my movements speed up. Ultimately as a goaltender, that will open up holes.”

He knows there are now more expectations of him.

“I am aware that the expectations are obviously going to change, but I’ve proven myself over the past few months here that I can play at this level and I am more than willing to learn every day. You go in just trying to play as many games as you can. No matter what happens you have to keep training and practising as if you are the No. 2 guy.”

Hammond praised Senators goalie coach Rick Wamsley for helping him to improve his technique and he says he intends to build on those improvements.

The signing leaves the team with three goaltenders with NHL contracts:

• Craig Anderson, the team’s No. 1 with three years left on his latest contract;

• Robin Lehner, who is also under contract for two more years and is working out and expected in camp in the fall free of concussion symptoms;

• And now Hammond.

As well the team signed a highly rated U.S. college free agent this spring. Matt O’Connor will report to AHL Binghamton next season on a two-year entry-level contract worth $925,000 per year plus bonuses, the maximum for an entry-level player. The club also has Chris Driedger, who played well in Binghamton after Hammond moved to Ottawa, under contract. The team has also drafted Marcus Hogberg, who is a 20-year-old, playing in the Swedish Elite League.

Dorion says a team can never have too much talent in net. “We feel we have an abundance of talent at that position.”

For Hammond’s part, he says he gets along well with Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner.

“They were both extremely supportive of me the more I played; they are both just quality guys. I don’t know what will happen here but we are all professionals and you learn that this is part of the game.”

Dorion says the team will now look at trading one of their three NHL goalies.

“We could go into training camp with three. We haven’t started to explore the trade market yet.”

Dorion said the team has been in talks with its bevy of pending free agents. He said he has permission to talk to Erik Condra’s representatives, who will be unrestricted July 1. They are still looking at making him an offer, but much will depend on what happens with other contracts.

He said there have been a range of contacts with the agents for several restricted free agents including Mike Hoffman, J.G Pageau, Mark Stone, Alex Chiasson and Mika Zibanejad. He says the team is prepared to go to arbitration if it comes to that but hopes to have all RFAs signed and in camp by Sept. 15.

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