Monday, June 18, 2018

Will Ex Vipers Goaltender Hammond Be Back With Colorado?

Former Vernon Vipers goaltender Andrew Hammond is a pending unrestricted free agent.

Hammond has played the past five seasons with the Ottawa Senators/American Hockey League Binghamton Senators before being traded to the Colorado Avalanche November 5th 2017. Hammond spent last season in the American Hockey League with the Belleville Senators, San Antonio Rampage & NHL Colorado Avalanche.

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 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:

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Colorado Avalanche Free Agency Profile: Scott Wedgewood

by Nadia Archuleta 1 week ago

Follow @hockeygrrls

The Colorado Avalanche don’t plan to make a big splash during Free Agency Frenzy. However, one area they may attend to is goal tending.

The Colorado Avalanche have a goalie problem. They have two goalies signed — Semyon Varlamov and Pavel Francouz. The latter has never played in North America. Spencer Martin is a pending restricted free agent. Even if they sign him, he has exactly three NHL games under his belt (4.35 goals against average, .865 save percentage).

Jonathan Bernier, Andrew Hammond and Joe Cannata are all pending unrestricted free agents. Of the three, only Cannata is likely to be signed. But the 28-year-old has no NHL experience and he’s likely to be tapped just for Colorado Eagles duty.

The Colorado Avalanche have a big goalie problem. And for a team that relies so heavily on goal tending, that’s an issue that can hold them back, if not now, then when Varlamov’s contract is up in one year.

Let’s see if goalie Scott Wedgewood, a pending UFA from the LA Kings, could be a solution.

The 25-year-old Wedgewood has played 24 NHL games, recording a 3.05 goals against average and .903 save percentage. The majority of those games came with the Arizona Coyotes during their dreadful 2017-18 season. He was traded to LA just before the trade deadline.

Scott Wedgewood isn’t the most technical of goal tenders. He can get down into the butterfly too soon, getting caught off his feet.

However, he does have good size to his advantage, and he’s very flexible. He has lightning-quick reflexes and can flash the glove with the best of them. Overall, Wedgewood is an athletic goalie with some upside.

Scott Wedgewood and the Colorado Avalanche

Scott Wedgewood isn’t going to answer all of the Colorado Avalanche’s goalie problems. He’s not gifted or technical enough to steal too many games for the team — and that’s something they expect from their goal tender.

That said, Wedgewood does have more experience than Martin, Francouz and Cannata combined — especially since only one of those actually does have any NHL experience. He could provide backup duties for Varlamov while Francouz gets his North American legs and Martin, presuming the Avs sign him, works on his development.

The Colorado Avalanche also have goalie Adam Werner floating around the system somewhere — he signed a tryout with the San Antonio Rampage last season, but there’s been no news of a forthcoming contract. That nonetheless fives the Swede just 4 games of North American hockey experience, all at the AHL level.

The Colorado Avalanche may ultimately solve their goalie problem through draft and development. However, to tide them over in the meantime, they might consider signing Wedgewood to a one-year, two-way contract.

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