With Cayden Primeau struggling and Samuel Montembeault playing through injury, it was only a matter of time before the Habs added a goalie. They did so on Saturday, acquiring Andrew Hammond from Minnesota in exchange for winger Brandon Baddock.
While the 34-year-old netminder hasn’t come close to matching the elite performance he had at the beginning of his career in Ottawa, he has been a serviceable third-string veteran for a few teams now. This season, he has played in 11 games with AHL Iowa, posting a 2.44 GAA along with a .908 SV%.
Hammond last saw NHL action back in the 2018 playoffs with Colorado where he won a must-win game to keep the Avs alive against Nashville, making 44 saves. Overall, he played in three games that postseason as all of the Avalanche’s regular goalies were injured as the playoffs went on.
As for Baddock, his inclusion in the deal allows the Canadiens to shed a contract which for them is preferable to signing someone like Kevin Poulin to an NHL deal or claiming Aaron Dell off waivers when he was available recently. This keeps them at 48 out of 50 and while they’re expected to move some players out in the next six weeks, they’ll also have to take players back for contract-matching purposes so they may not shed as many as you might think. Baddock had seven points in 33 games with Laval this season and scored a big game-tying goal in their comeback victory over Syracuse last night.
Both players are on league minimum contracts in the NHL worth $750,000 and are set to become unrestricted free agents in July. Hammond has a guaranteed payout of $250,000 in his deal and since he’ll almost certainly be going to Montreal to allow Primeau to return to Laval, he’ll be set to earn more than that down the stretch.