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The Sports Daily > The 6th Sens
Andrew Hammond Waived Again
ANAHEIM, CA – DECEMBER 11: Andrew Hammond #30 of the Ottawa Senators splashes water on his face during the third period of a game against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on December 11, 2016 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

In a move that could signal that his career with the Ottawa Senators is over, Andrew Hammond was waived by the team before today’s noon deadline to make room for the returning Craig Anderson.

If Hammond goes unclaimed, he’ll be returned to Binghamton where he’ll congest their goaltending picture and take playing time away from prospects who the Senators need to evaluate and make decisions on in Chris Driedger and Matt O’Connor. (Read: both goalies are restricted free agents this summer.)

It is not the situation anyone envisioned when the Senators inked Hammond to a three-year contract extension after Hammond improbably led the Senators on their storybook run to the playoffs in 2015, but here we are.

It’s the second time this season that Hammond has been placed on waivers this season and thanks to two injuries this season, one which necessitated the trade to bring in his successor, Mike Condon, Hammond has not struggled to regain his job, he has failed to demonstrate to other teams around the league that he warrants a pick-up.

It hasn’t helped that Hammond’s value has taken a hit from limited viewings this season.

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As the visuals demonstrate, Hammond’s been at a serious disadvantage this season when it comes to the kinds of shots that Hammond has had to face. Thanks to the volatility that small sample sizes offer, coupled Hammond’s poor results, decision on his future may not necessarily be the most-informed one.

Of course, it’s not like Hammond’s track record and numbers aren’t skewed in the other direction because of his historical run during the 2014-15 season when he posted a 20-1-2 record, a 1.79 goals against average and a .941 save percentage in 24 appearances.

Even if you believe Hammond’s recent performances are more representative of his true-talent because of his AHL history, it’s hard to take those numbers too seriously either given the shittacular nature of Binghamton’s rosters these past few seasons.

Hammond’s NHL numbers normalized during the 2015-16 season, but there was enough in his performance and underlying numbers to believe that he could be a competent NHL backup.

Maybe things would be different if Hammond did not have a year left on his contract or if this current coaching staff was part of the Senators’ magical 2015 run, but every remnant from the Dave Cameron’s staff has been turfed. Any loyalty to Hammond is left to the presence of management, but it appears as though they’re more than willing to move on.

They just have to figure out how to shed Hammond’s contract.

Fortunately it’s just a short-term problem and relatively inexpensive problem to solve, but unlike other teams that would be able to paper over the mistake, the Senators have to have to wring out the talent out with each dollar they spend. Even if Hammond’s $1.35-million real-dollar salary isn’t that burdensome, it’s money that the Senators aren’t able to spend to address another weakness on the roster.

Reports from Bruce Garrioch suggest that the Senators have kicked tires on an extension with Condon’s representatives, but considering Condon’s waning performance and the team’s ongoing Hammond problem, maybe Hammond’s extension will be a lesson in giving term to a backup goaltender.