Saturday, May 2, 2015

Viper Alumni Hammond's Success Presents The Senators With A Pickle:

Former Vernon Vipers goaltender Andrew Hammond is 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 in the Ottawa Citizen Newspaper:

Hammond's regular season success presents the Senators with a pickle

Ken Warren, Ottawa Citizen

Published on: April 28, 2015

Now that it’s all over, The Hamburglar’s contract situation has left the Ottawa Senators in a bit of a pickle this barbecue season.

Goaltender Andrew Hammond is to become an unrestricted free agent July 1, while Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner have guaranteed NHL contracts. Anderson has three years remaining on his deal, while Lehner, still experiencing post-concussion symptoms, is under contract through the end of the 2016-17 season.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Hammond said Tuesday, as Senators players packed up and said goodbye for the year. “I love Ottawa. I love everything about Ottawa: The fans, the organization and everything. It’s still early. No one knows what’s going to happen here. I’d obviously love to stay.”

During Hammond’s record-setting 20-1-2 stretch, his agent, Dan Plante, and Senators general manager Bryan Murray agreed to put any contract discussions on hold.

Along with his teammates, Hammond has spent the past few days getting over the disappointment of the six-game first-round playoff loss to the Montreal Canadiens. He recognizes his contract is big topic that he and the Senators need to discuss, but he’s not ready to go there just yet. He hasn’t talked to his agent about the next step.

“Obviously, my contract situation does play into it, but the season is just ending, it’s pretty fresh.”

The Senators will certainly entertain trade talks for Anderson and Lehner – the NHL draft could be the trigger for a swap — but Lehner’s health could prevent a team from taking a chance on him. Also keep in mind that part of the Senators sales pitch in trying to sign Boston University goaltending prospect Matt O’Connor is that there would not be a long line of netminders ahead of him on the depth chart.

Hammond has also not allowed himself to dwell on his remarkable, improbable rise to become the key piece of the greatest comeback to a playoff spot in NHL history, after spending the first half of the season struggling with Binghamton of the American Hockey League. He says he needs some time to “decompress” after the crazy ride.

“I’m going to try and make a conscientious effort to look back at everything and soak it in. Part of being able to have success at this level is being able to be numb to what’s kind of going on around you. At the same time, it was my dream growing up to play in the NHL and to go through what we’ve gone through, so it’s also important to kind of take a step back and enjoy it as well.”

While Hammond says he’s comfortable in the NHL and is confident that he can “be an asset to an (NHL) team,” he’s also not assuming he’s guaranteed to be in the big leagues next season.

Even though the end of his season came on a bit of a sour note, replaced by Anderson after losing the opening two playoff games against the Canadiens, he understands why the move was made.

“Every goalie wants to play every game, it’s just natural and the the decision was made,” he said. “You can look around the league and we’re not unique in that regard that that happened. There are goaltenders (Corey Crawford) have won Stanley Cups that are sitting on the bench, so for me to be kind of selfish about it and take away from the team wouldn’t be right. I understand the decision and obviously you saw what happened and Craig played extremely well. Part of being a good goaltender is being a good team player.”

Anderson, in fact, played that role for the longest time while Hammond was the star of the show. On Tuesday, Anderson paid the utmost respect to Hammond.

“That was remarkable,” Anderson said of Hammond’s performance in the final two months of the regular season. “There would have been no opportunity to play in the playoffs if it wasn’t for what the team and Andrew did. It was outstanding. He was so calm, so controlled, so humble. He came in, worked so hard. It’s one of those things where you can’t explain it, but he did it. He found a way to do it. It’s a credit to what his make-up is.”

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