Ottawa Senators goaltender Andrew Hammond’s dream is coming true tonight as he made his NHL debut, but he probably didn’t think it would happen like this.
The 26-year-old netminder with 33 games worth of AHL experience entered the contest as Robin Lehner’s understudy because Craig Anderson is with his family for the birth of his child. Under normal circumstances, Nathan Lawson might have gotten the call over Hammond, but as TSN’s Steve Lloyd noted, Lawson had just returned from an injury.
Warming the bench was expected to be the highlight of Hammond’s stint with the team, but Detroit Red Wings forward Johan Franzen had other plans.
Franzen beat Lehner three times tonight and the Senators goaltender allowed six goals on just 15 shots before he was mercifully pulled 25:04 minutes into the contest.
This was Franzen’s first hat trick since Nov. 8, 2011. It also continues his trend of dominating the Senators. He now has 12 goals in roughly eight and a half games against Ottawa, including his stunning five-goal night on Feb. 2, 2011.
As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.
Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.
While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.
It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.
One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.
Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.
Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.
Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?
Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.
The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.
The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:
That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.
Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:
Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.
Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.