With the Ottawa Senators’ unexpected playoff run now in the past, Andrew Hammond is waiting to see what’s next for him. The 27-year-old posted an incredible 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage in 24 games to lead the team into the postseason. Once they got there though, Hammond struggled somewhat and was replaced by Craig Anderson.
Now Hammond is set to become an unrestricted free agent and hasn’t entered into contract talks with Ottawa yet.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Hammond told the Ottawa Citizen. “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.”
It’s a challenging situation for the Senators. The first and most obvious roadblock to re-signing Hammond is the presence of Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner, who have three and two years left on their respective contracts. Even if Ottawa was both inclined and able to trade one of the two veteran goaltenders, finding fair value for Hammond would still be tricky.
Hammond couldn’t have done much better in his regular season run, but before that he looked like he might spend his career as a journeyman goaltender. After all, he also had a 3.51 GAA and .898 save percentage in 25 AHL contests in 2014-15. So the question is, how much faith does Ottawa want to put in the idea that Hammond can come close to replicating his recent NHL success.
At the same time, Hammond might make that part easier for Ottawa. He thinks he can perform at the NHL level, but he also isn’t assuming he’ll end up with a guaranteed roster spot in 2015-16. That might be an indication of his willingness to settle for a two-way deal.