The Minnesota Wild signed Andrew Hammond during the offseason to provide goaltending competition in the preseason, and a veteran stability to the Iowa Wild crease.
His performance in the preseason was solid, but not spectacular enough to overtake the pairing of Devan Dubnyk and Alex Stalock on the NHL roster. He was sent to Iowa, where he has been a stabilizing presence for the young Wild in Des Moines.
Hammond has 6 wins in 8 games, a 2.59 GAA and a .920 Sv% at the AHL level. These stats are much better than what Stalock has been producing in Minnesota, and could be enough to see the Wild make a swap for their back-up goaltender.
Kaapo Kahkonen has been playing strong, but the Wild would like him to continue in the backup role with an established goalie taking more starts. If Hammond were to get the call-up, and perform well enough to stay, then Stalock would need to clear waivers to go down to Iowa.
More realistically, Hammond is waiting for his opportunity to come from injury or illness. If Dubnyk or Stalock fall victim to sickness, then Hammond is getting a ton of time to stay in a rhythm in Iowa.
Hammond has NHL experience, and played well in limited stints through his career. Should the Wild need to dig into the goaltending depth, there should be no hesitation to give Hammond a shot in the Minnesota crease.
It is an enviable situation for the Minnesota Wild to be in, with a 3rd NHL-caliber goalie waiting for his opportunity. With goaltending depth being a struggle in recent years, it has now become a position of strong depth for the Wild.