Teams around the league scrambled to get their deals in by the National Hockey League’s 3 p.m. deadline The New Jersey Devils, however, made only one trade acquiring goaltender Andrew Hammond from the Montréal Canadiens in exchange for prospect Nate Schnarr.
Hammond is 34 years old and appeared in four games this season for Montréal recording a 3-0-0 record with 2.40 GAA and .920 save percentage. Hammond is in his sixth NHL season and is most known for his improbable run to the playoffs during the 2014-15 season where he went 20-1-2 down the stretch.
Hammond has split 60 games over six seasons between the Ottawa Senators, Colorado Avalanche, and Canadiens. He has a career record of 30-15-6 with a 2.31 GAA and .923 save percentage as well as four shutouts. Hammond is currently on injured reserve with a lower-body injury and is considered week-to-week.
The Devils made the choice to hold onto players with expiring contracts. Jimmy Vesey and P.K. Subban will remain with the team through the remainder of the year as there was little market for the two players.
Damon Severson’s name was also being thrown around in trade rumors over the last month. The 27-year-old does not become a free agent until 2023 and Tom Fitzgerald expressed little desire to move the player. Reports surfaced last week that Severson would be interested in extending his contract and did not want to be traded.
Fitzgerald also chose to hold onto forward Pavel Zacha. Zacha’s struggles are well documented as he seems like a player that could use a change of scenery. The 24-year-old is set to become a restricted free agent at season’s end and could be trade candidate in the offseason if the team chooses not to bring him back.
Deadline Grade: C+
While everyone knew a Subban trade would be harder to pull off because of his monstrous contracts, seeing Vesey still on the roster is a surprise. The 28-year-old does not provide much offensive upside with only 14 points in 58 games but he is an above average penalty killer that a team could really need in a playoff series.The fact he did not fetch a late-round pick is shocking.
The trade for Hammond is not a sexy one. Hammond is here to give the team a better option in net. Jon Gillies has not been performing well since his trade from St. Louis in December and Nico Daws cannot play every game until the end of the season.
Hammond will also provide a veteran voice to the club’s young goalies. Having seen a plethora of highs and lows in his career, the experienced goaltender can give some valuable advice to Daws, Mackenzie Blackwood and Akira Schmid.