There were many who believe that the NHL’s biggest surprise of 2014-15 would never return to the NHL.
Well, that ideology took a hit on Wednesday.
White Rock’s Andrew Hammond was recalled by the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday after Semyon Varlamov went down with an illness on Tuesday.
Hammond was recently involved in a blockbuster NHL trade that saw three teams swap players.
His old team, the Ottawa Senators, acquired Matt Duchene. The Nashville Predators received New West native Kyle Turris, and the Avalanche received Hammond along with a boatload of prospects and draft picks.
— Andrew Hammond (@andrewhammond30) November 7, 2017
Oddly enough, Hammond was loaned back to the Senators AHL in Belleville following his trade to the Avalanche. It was rumoured that Colorado was shopping Hammond, and that his inclusion in the trade was no more than a salary dump.
Andrew Hammond will remain with the Belleville Senators on loan from the Avs. COL will be looking to flip him to someone else.
— James Gordon (@James_J_Gordon) November 6, 2017
That could prove to be false if Hammond gets into the lineup with the Avalanche while Varlamov is on the shelf. While the odds might seem slim, the Avalanche do play three games in the next four nights, including back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday.
There is an opportunity here for Hammond. Neither of the Avalanche netminders, Jonathan Bernier and Varlomov, have played all that well to start the season. Both have a goals against average above 3.20, and their save percentages rank in the bottom third of the league.
Meanwhile, Hammond has had a resurgent season in the AHL after injuries derailed his once promising career. His .919 save percentage is top-15 in the AHL, and he’s 5-2-1 as a starter in Belleville.
He had hip surgery earlier in 2017, and the injury was reportedly affecting him even back to his college days.
Now that he’s feeling healthy again, the local hero is primed to make an NHL comeback.