Former Vernon Vipers goalie Andrew Hammond is now a member of the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens. (Black Press file photo)

Former Vernon Vipers goalie Andrew Hammond is now a member of the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens. (Black Press file photo)

Former Vernon Vipers goalie Hammond claimed by Habs

Andrew Hammond is now a member of the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens following a weekend trade

The Hamburlgar has been pardoned from the American Hockey League, returning to the NHL.

Former Vernon Vipers goalie Andrew Hammond – nicknamed The Hamburglar during his college playing days at Bowling Green State University – was acquired by the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens Saturday, Feb. 12, from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for minor league forward Brandon Baddock.

The Canadiens also announced Saturday that Hammond will be recalled to Montreal, while goaltender Cayden Primeau will be assigned to the AHL’s Laval Rocket.

Hammond, 34, has a 6-2-3 record with the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League this season, posting a 2.44 goals-against average with a .908 save percentage.

The 34-year-old native of Surrey has played 56 career NHL games with the Ottawa Senators and Colorado Avalanche, registering a 27-15-6 record with a 2.31 goals-against average, a .923 save percentage and four shutouts.

He burst onto the NHL scene in 2014-15, when he went 20-1-2 down the stretch to help the Senators clinch a playoff berth. Fans would throw cheeseburgers onto the ice in Ottawa after each Hammond victory.

He started the first two games of the first-round playoff series against Montreal before being replaced by Craig Anderson. The Habs eliminated Ottawa from the post-season.

Hammond played two seasons for the Vipers, leading the team to the first of two consecutive Royal Bank Cup Canadian championships in 2009. He made 27 saves in the final played in Victoria as Vernon beat Saskatchewan’s Humboldt Broncos 2-0 for their fifth national title.

Montreal has surrendered a league-high 184 goals this season and continues to await the return of star goalie Carey Price, who’s working his way back from off-season knee surgery.

The Habs host the Buffalo Sabres today, Sunday, Feb. 13.

READ MORE: Last-minute goal propels Vernon Vipers past Cranbrook Bucks

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