Now that they shipped Robin Lehner to Buffalo, the Ottawa Senators face a more typical situation in net.
On paper, it’s actually pretty straightforward, especially if you’re looking at money. Craig Anderson is, theoretically, the clear No. 1 while Andrew Hammond stands as the probable backup.
Of course, the No. 2 guy also happened to save the Senators’ 2014-15 season and earn a lifetime supply of Mc-whatever-he’d-likes, so perhaps it’s not that simple.
A quick breakdown of Anderson vs. Hammond
Again, one would assume that Anderson, 34, at least gets the early edge.
With far more experience and a $4.2 million cap hit for the next three seasons, he makes the most logical sense. He’s also upped his game since coming to Ottawa, averaging a .920 save percentage in that span.
That said, you sort of know what you’re getting with Anderson, while “The Hamburglar” looms behind a mask of intrigue. Hammond only boasts 24 games of NHL experience at age 27, yet he was sensational. Ottawa needed just about all of his 20-1-2 run to make the playoffs, and that cannot be forgotten.
It’s plausible that this could end up being a platoon situation at times, but let’s narrow things down a bit: when Dave Cameron needs a win, which goalie should be turn to? Who should be in the net in a win-and-you’re-in regular season situation or a Game 7 in the playoffs?
Note: in tribute to Hammond’s out-of-left-field run in 2014-15, you can write in a different choice if you feel like the Senators have another random sensation waiting in the pipeline.