A player has decided to defy official team orders, and it may wind up costing him his position with the team.
According to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Citizen, Ottawa Senators' goaltender Andrew Hammond has refused his reassignment to Binghamton in the AHL.
“We’ve talked about it and it’s ultimately something that’s in the player’s hands,” Hammond told Postmedia after the morning skate. “Once I feel it’s not beneficial for me to be here and practising with NHL players, we’ll definitely address that.
“For now, I feel what’s best for me is being here and being around NHL players. I don’t feel rusty in practice and, as I said, I just feel it’s best for to be here practising with these guys.”
Normally it wouldn't be such a huge issue for a player to politely state he doesn't need an AHL conditioning stint, but the Sens' are in a precarious position when it comes to their goaltenders.
The Senators are currently carrying three goalies - Hammond, Craig Anderson, and Mike Condon. The team believed that a stint in Binghamton would allow Hammond to get back into game shape. The "Hamburglar" doesn't seem interested in competing unless it's at an NHL level.
Hammond is currently No. 3 on the depth chart behind Anderson and Condon and hasn’t played since he suffered a groin injury on Oct. 28 against the Calgary Flames.
There have been multiple rumors that the Senators have begun shopping Hammond to interested teams. He is currently making $1.35 million per season on a contract that runs through next year. Hammond, 28, hasn’t been able to recapture the magic since his incredible 20-1-2 run down the stretch in 2014-15 to help the club qualify for the playoffs.
He posted a 7-11-4 record and .914 save percentage with the Senators last season.
Among teams that might show some interest in Hammond are the San Jose Sharks, Philadelphia Flyers and Los Angeles Kings.
Hammond seems unconcerned with being traded, as long as he will get some playing time.
“I’m just taking it day by day,” Hammond said. “Today I think practice is best for me and I think that’s all you can really worry about. I’m not going to look too far in the future.”
Well the Senators are definitely going to have to figure this mess out sooner rather than later.