An occasional series wherein we look at possible trade targets for the Carolina Hurricanes
Andrew Hammond, the erstwhile Hamburglar who went on a ridiculous run two seasons ago that propelled the Ottawa Senators from the dregs of the Eastern Conference into a playoff spot, is looking more and more like the victim of a numbers game in Canada’s capital. According to Elliotte Friedman, he could be on his way out of town.
With a couple of teams looking at goaltending help, hearing OTT is testing the market on Andrew Hammond. We'll see what evolves.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) November 14, 2016
Hammond is caught in a bit of an awkward situation. Craig Anderson, the unquestioned starter, is playing lights-out hockey when he’s able to do so, given the health situation of his wife who is battling cancer. The Sens made a trade after the announcement of Anderson’s wife’s diagnosis, picking up Mike Condon from the Pittsburgh Penguins, and all he’s done is go 2-0 with a shutout and a .983 save percentage in limited action.
Which brings us to Hammond, about to return from a lower-body injury suffered in Calgary in October (before Anderson left the team, it should be noted). Should the Canes kick the tires on the former freshman phenom?
The Case For
When’s the last time you saw a Hurricanes goaltender do this?
Hammond is more than capable of a game-stealing save the likes of which haven’t been seen around these parts too often in recent years. He’s also young, but not too green, only a month younger than Eddie Lack.
And he’s affordable. He signed a three-year contract off his show-stealing performance in 2015 that pays him an average annual value of $1.35 million, less than half of Lack’s $2.75 million AAV.
The Case Against
It’s not exactly the biggest sample size in the world, but Hammond’s play in one-plus games this year has been...uh, a bit suboptimal.
And it’s not like he’s been beaten by a bunch of unstoppable shots so far this season either:
Given that, are the Canes really upgrading by picking Hammond up?
The Sens being willing to deal Hammond despite Anderson’s uncertain status also raises a huge red flag. No one, including Anderson himself, is sure if his wife’s health situation will cause him to miss more action. If he has to leave, and they’ve traded Hammond away, they’re left with Condon and a callup. Not a great look for Hammond right there.
Not to mention, Cam Ward has seemingly found his stride over the last few games. Would the Canes be better served to ride that train for as long as they can, hoping that this is the level of play they can expect from him henceforth and not just a hot streak that will revert itself later in the year?
You make the call: should the Canes make a play for Andrew Hammond?