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Welcome to NHL 2015-16 Opening Night! Here are 30 team previews (Puck Daddy)
(Wed, 07 Oct 2015 05:00:14 PDT)
After getting crushed under the weight of several scandals during the offseason, the NHL’s 2015-16 season finally gets underway on Wednesday night. Featuring Patrick Kane’s current team and Slava Voynov’s former team in action. Because, of course.  The New York Rangers visit the Chicago Blackhawks, and will stand around as they raise their Stanley Cup banner. The San Jose Sharks then visit the Los Angeles Kings; both of these games will be featured on NBCSN. The Montreal Canadiens visit the Toronto Maple Leafs as the Mike Babcock Era begins. The Vancouver Canucks, meanwhile, visit the Calgary Flames, the team that eliminated them from the postseason. We’ll be having a live chat tonight beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT here on Puck Daddy to celebrate the start of the season. And stay tuned all day for predictions from Puck Daddy’s esteemed group of writers and editors, if esteem can be achieved through being constantly wrong. Here are previews for all 30 NHL teams from the Puck Daddy staff: METRO ATLANTIC CENTRAL PACIFIC Carolina Hurricanes   Boston Bruins Chicago Blackhawks Anaheim Ducks Columbus Blue Jackets Buffalo Sabres Colorado Avalanche Arizona Coyotes New Jersey Devils Detroit Red Wings Dallas Stars Calgary Flames   New York Islanders Florida Panthers   Minnesota Wild Edmonton Oilers New York Rangers Montreal Canadiens Nashville Predators Los Angeles Kings Philadelphia Flyers Ottawa Senators St. Louis Blues San Jose Sharks Pittsburgh Penguins Tampa Bay Lightning Winnipeg Jets Vancouver Canucks Washington Capitals Toronto Maple Leafs     So kick back with your beverage of choice tonight and enjoy the Cubs’ wild card game vs. the Pirates while occasionally flipping over to hockey. Because that’s just NHL luck, isn’t it?

Canucks have different look, approach in Year 2 with Benning (The Associated Press)
(Tue, 06 Oct 2015 15:42:17 PDT)
The Vancouver Canucks for years were a team built on speed and skill. Entering their second year under general manager Jim Benning, the Canucks are emphasizing hard work and a pack mentality as they try to return to the playoffs. Vancouver piled up 101 points last season, but lost to Calgary in the Western Conference quarterfinals.

After modest cap increase, some NHL vets turn to pro tryouts (The Associated Press)
(Tue, 06 Oct 2015 14:07:35 PDT)
The locker stall belonging to Curtis Glencross was completely cleared out except for two Colorado Avalanche travel bags hanging on hooks. Released by Colorado on Monday - and by Toronto last month - the 32-year-old is searching for work again. It's an awkward position to be in for a player like Glencross, with 507 NHL games and 134 goals.

Canadiens-Maple Leafs Preview (The Associated Press)
(Tue, 06 Oct 2015 12:47:18 PDT)
With a talented roster led by star goaltender Carey Price, the Montreal Canadiens have high hopes of making a deeper playoff run in 2015-16. Expectations are considerably more modest for a Toronto Maple Leafs club under new leadership as it embarks on a rebuilding project. Mike Babcock makes his coaching debut for Toronto on Wednesday night when visiting Montreal goes for its longest regular-season winning streak in the series in 57 years.

Vancouver Canucks at a glance (The Associated Press)
(Tue, 06 Oct 2015 12:45:32 PDT)
LAST SEASON: 49-29-5, 101 points. Lost to Calgary in Western Conference quarterfinals.

Canadiens claim Byron off waivers from Flames (The Associated Press)
(Tue, 06 Oct 2015 10:06:41 PDT)
MONTREAL (AP) -- The Montreal Canadiens have claimed forward Paul Byron off waivers from the Calgary Flames.

NHL 2015-16 predictions: First coach fired? Most overhyped team? (Puck Daddy)
(Tue, 06 Oct 2015 08:56:00 PDT)
Hey, have you heard? Hockey’s back! The NHL season starts this Wednesday, and thus here is another edition of our 2015-16 NHL season preview predictions!   We all want to know who wins the Stanley Cup. We all want to know who captures the Hart Trophy. But there are so many other things worth predicting in the National Hockey League’s 2015-16 season that we had to tackle some appetizers before the main course. (Please note this is a metaphor and in no way intended to be a Phil Kessel dietary reference. We leave those to the Toronto Sun.) [ Yahoo Fantasy Hockey: Sign up for a league today ] Here are some of the trends we have our eyes on this season, and how we think they’ll play out. Your esteemed panel: Greg Wyshynski , NHL editor, Puck Daddy; Sean Leahy , editor, Puck Daddy; Jen Neale , editor, Puck Daddy; Josh Cooper , editor, Puck Daddy; Ryan Lambert , lead columnist, Puck Daddy; Darryl “Dobber” Dobbs , fantasy columnist, Puck Daddy; Sam McCaig, NHL editor/columnist, Yahoo Sports.

Canadiens F Zack Kassian enters rehab program (The Associated Press)
(Mon, 05 Oct 2015 16:39:10 PDT)
Montreal Canadiens forward Zack Kassian has entered a substance abuse program after being involved in a motor vehicle accident. Kassian, 24, was placed in ''Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program,'' according to Monday's statement from the NHL and NHL Players Association. Earlier in the day, Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said Kassian showed a ''lack of character'' when he was involved in the accident.

NHL-National Hockey League roundup
(Mon, 05 Oct 2015 16:35:16 PDT)
Oct 5 (The Sports Xchange) - The NHL suspended San Jose Sharks forward Raffi Torres for 41 games, without pay, for interference and an illegal check to the head in a preseason game against the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday, the league announced Monday. Torres was suspended for his hit on Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg. - - The San Jose Sharks assigned three players to the San Jose Barracuda of the American Hockey League. Forwards Nikolay Goldobin and Melker Karlsson will open the season in the AHL as will defenseman Mirco Mueller. ...

Zack Kassian suspended without pay; enters 'Stage Two' of substance abuse program (Puck Daddy)
(Mon, 05 Oct 2015 16:14:47 PDT)
Montreal Canadiens forward Zack Kassian has been placed in Stage Two of the NHL/NHLPA Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program, both the league and the PA announced Monday afternoon. Kassian is suspended without pay until he is “cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.” The news comes shortly after Kassian was the passenger in a car accident at around 6 a.m. ET Sunday. On Monday, Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said Kassian broke his nose and left foot in the crash. [ Yahoo Fantasy Hockey: Sign up for a league today ] "I'm a firm believer in character, and that's a lack of character on his part," Bergevin said. "I do not have all the information, but it is disappointing to say the least.” Added Bergevin, "Perfection is not a part of this world but if mistakes keep happening then maybe there's a pattern here.” TSN's Bob McKenzie tweeted out the differenes between Stage One and Stage Two of the program: On NHL-NHLPA program (Kassian), Stage 1 can be voluntary or mandatory depending on circumstances but there is rarely public acknowledgement. — Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) October 5, 2015 Stage 1 is with pay. But any violation of Stage 1 conditions (can be very strict) leads to automatic entry to Stage 2, suspended without pay — Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) October 5, 2015 There is always public acknowledgment of Stage 2 because the player is suspended without pay. Once in Stage 2, only doctors can reinstate. — Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) October 5, 2015 Montreal acquired Kassian in July for a trade that sent Brandon Prust and a 2016 fifth-round draft pick to the Vancouver Canucks. Kassian was the 13th overall pick in the 2009 NHL draft, selected by the Buffalo Sabres. He has scored 66 points in 198 games over his NHL career.   - - - - - - - Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @joshuacooper MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY

Montreal eager to get back to playoffs for deeper run (The Associated Press)
(Mon, 05 Oct 2015 15:20:16 PDT)
The Montreal Canadiens enter the season with plenty of confidence. The question isn't whether they can make the playoffs - it's how far they can go with a deep roster and a standout goaltender in Carey Price. General manager Marc Bergevin doesn't view the playoff loss to Tampa Bay as a repudiation of a strong regular season.

Ottawa Senators at a glance (The Associated Press)
(Mon, 05 Oct 2015 14:39:12 PDT)
LAST SEASON: 43-26-13, 99 points. Lost to Montreal Canadiens in Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

Montreal Canadiens at a glance (The Associated Press)
(Mon, 05 Oct 2015 14:37:06 PDT)
LAST SEASON: 50-22-10, 110 points. Won Atlantic Division. Lost to Tampa Bay Lightning in Eastern Conference semifinals.

NHL Ducks, Hawks, Lightning to challenge for Stanley Cup
(Mon, 05 Oct 2015 14:29:34 PDT)
A new era's begun in Toronto, playoff contenders Chicago and Anaheim have retooled their rosters and there is a new overtime format as the puck is ready to drop on another NHL season. The 2015-16 season also marks the arrival of rising stars Connor McDavid in Edmonton and Jack Eichel in Buffalo and several teams have new head coaches like Toronto's Mike Babcock, San Jose's Peter DeBoer and Detroit's Jeff Blashill.

NHL teams waiving players with big contracts (The Associated Press)
(Mon, 05 Oct 2015 12:14:01 PDT)
NHL teams are putting big-money players on waivers. On Monday, the final day of waivers before opening-night rosters must be set, the Philadelphia Flyers waived defenseman Andrew MacDonald and the Calgary Flames waived Mason Raymond amid a flurry of transactions. ''We're caught in a tough place here,'' Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said.

Lightning motivated to build on last year's success (The Associated Press)
(Mon, 05 Oct 2015 11:44:34 PDT)
Hall of Famer Steve Yzerman offers some simple words of advice for the Tampa Bay Lghtning, who have a goal of getting back to the Stanley Cup final this season. The architect of the young team that came within two victories of winning the NHL title last spring says the best way to pursue unfinished business of hoisting the Cup is to not spend a lot of time talking about what they want to accomplish. Yzerman, entering his sixth season as general manager of the Lightning, won three Stanley Cup championships as a player with the Detroit Red Wings, then added a fourth as an executive with the team.

Zack Kassian accident shows 'a lack of character,' says Canadiens GM (Puck Daddy)
(Mon, 05 Oct 2015 10:33:42 PDT)
Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin didn’t mince words when talking about forward Zack Kassian, and the car accident that will sideline  him for an undetermined amount of time. Meeting with the media on Monday, Bergevin revealed that Kassian broke his nose and left foot in a Sunday morning accident.  [ Yahoo Fantasy Hockey: Sign up for a league today ] "I'm a firm believer in character, and that's a lack of character on his part," Bergevin said. "I do not have all the information, but it is disappointing to say the least.” According to the Montreal Gazette , Kassian was a passenger in a truck that crashed into a tree around 6 a.m. ET on Sunday. Kassian, who was in the vehicle with two other passengers, was found "bloodied and dazed." Bergevin, who has yet to speak to Kassian, said that he was aware of the forward's reputation for late nights and that he’s been spoken to in the past by GMs on his previous teams. "Perfection is not a part of this world but if mistakes keep happening then maybe there's a pattern here,” Bergevin said.  The Canadiens dealt for the 24-year old Kassian in July as part of a trade that sent Brandon Prust and a 2016 fifth-rounder to the Vancouver Canucks. Kassian has one year left on his current contract before he would become a restricted free agent. - - - - - - - Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Sean_Leahy MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY:

NHL-Profiles of Eastern Conference teams
(Mon, 05 Oct 2015 10:00:01 PDT)
Oct 5 (Reuters) - Following are brief profiles of the 16 teams in the Eastern Conference ahead of the 2015-16 National Hockey League (NHL) season. ATLANTIC DIVISION BOSTON BRUINS Head coach: Claude Julien 2014-15 record: 41-27-14 (Fell just short of extending streak of seven consecutive playoff appearances) Missing the playoffs triggered an offseason of change in Boston and the team's success will largely depend on how its aging core and promising young talent perform in front of former Vezina Trophy-winning goalie Tuukka Rask. ...

Ex-Canadiens defenseman Mike Weaver retires at 37 (The Associated Press)
(Mon, 05 Oct 2015 09:47:50 PDT)
TORONTO (AP) -- Defenseman Mike Weaver has retired at 37 after an 11-year career in the NHL in which he played the last two seasons with the Montreal Canadiens.

Carolina Hurricanes at a glance (The Associated Press)
(Mon, 05 Oct 2015 07:31:05 PDT)
LAST SEASON: 30-41-11, 71 points. Last place in Metropolitan Division. No playoffs.

Maturation of young players pivotal for Hurricanes' success (The Associated Press)
(Mon, 05 Oct 2015 06:44:41 PDT)
The Carolina Hurricanes figure to spend this season celebrating their past and building for the future. The second year of coach Bill Peters' rebuilding project with Carolina coincides with the 10th anniversary of the Hurricanes' only Stanley Cup title. The only two remaining players who lifted the Cup with Carolina - captain Eric Staal and goalie Cam Ward - are entering the final year of their contracts, and their uncertain futures with the team are accompanied by an added sense of urgency to bring the buzz back to PNC Arena.

What We Learned: What NHL GMs don’t know about quality goaltending (Puck Daddy)
(Mon, 05 Oct 2015 06:26:49 PDT)
(Hello, this is a feature that will run through the entire season and aims to recap the weekend’s events and boils those events down to one admittedly superficial fact or stupid opinion about each team. Feel free to complain about it.) There is a huge shortcoming when you talk about goaltender evaluation at just about any level of hockey: We only have one number that really tells us anything about their quality. All we have is save percentage. That's it. There's not a lot more we can really do at this point to objectively understand their efficiency, efficacy, and so on when it comes to doing anything involved in their job, except for what it ultimately boils down to: Stopping the puck. For example, who's the best in the NHL at getting from one post to the other? Who takes up the most net? Who best takes away scoring chances in 1-on-1 situations? These are all measures that probably could be measured, but not right now, and that means that while we can have opinions as to who does all those things better than anyone else, it's very, very subjective. [ Yahoo Fantasy Hockey: Sign up for a league today ] The good news is that we are at least getting better at this sort of thing. Shot location data is easier to come across now than it ever has been, so we're getting a pretty good idea of how likely a shot from x part of the ice is to go in, generally speaking. Obviously, Steven Stamkos taking a shot from the hashmarks has a much better chance of going in than Brandon Bollig shooting on the same goalie from the same spot. Likewise, Henrik Lundqvist is statistically going to be far more likely to stop that shot than Ondrej Pavelec. But again, we have a general idea of how “shot quality” figures into this sort of thing. Which is why the quality-adjusted save percentage stat that has been developed in the last few years is so valuable. As the name implies, it adjusts for the overall quality of shot the goaltender faces — i.e. giving them more credit for stopping higher-percentage, quality shots — to somewhat level the playing field (it does not, however, account for shot volume, meaning busier goalies get no real benefit here). This was something that became rather hard to ignore when Craig Custance released his now-annual ranking of the league's 30 likely starting goalies on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being the best. This is a poll of six GMs, one assistant GM, three head coaches, and four goalie coaches. These are, then, guys you can safely consider “hockey people,” who watch a lot of games and have a lot of experience in the sport. And yet, the actual rankings they handed in two years running really didn't really make a lot of sense. How, for example, is Jonathan Quick better than Tuukka Rask? How are there 11 goalies in the league rated more highly than Braden Holtby? How is Jonathan Bernier worse than Ondrej Pavelec? There are a lot of questions you can ask here, but even if you check out their justifications (and you should, because the whole thing is really interesting) you're left asking how Mike Smith, for instance, “has as much talent as any guy on the list.” He, in fact, has a long and demonstrated statistical history of exactly the opposite, save for one season in which he was inexplicably a .930 goalie over 67 games. Well, funny you should ask. “It comes down to confidence and consistency,” said one coach. “And being about to go out night after night and reproduce what his strengths are.” And that is just the kind of mumbo-jumbo you hear a lot with goalies because, again, they are incredibly difficult to evaluate. Even statistically minded people will repeat over and over that “Goalies are voodoo,” but what that really means is that they have a position that is more likely to be ruled by randomness than any other in the sport. For goalies, the difference between a good season and a bad one is failing to stop an extra 10 shots out of 1,000 in a lot of cases. But over time (say, the last three years) quality-adjusted save percentage is going to tell you a lot about a goaltender's quality in a lot of cases. What made things a little tricky this year is the fact that Edmonton and San Jose are both using goalies with very good statistical profiles — Martin Jones and Cam Talbot rank first and third, respectively, in adj. 5v5 sv% over that time — with very little actual in-game experience. Most goalies on this list have more starts in a given season than they have in their brief careers as backups, as you might expect. Buffalo and St. Louis are both likewise going with inexperienced hands who were ranked on this list, but whose stats were a little less rosy. Even Minnesota's Devan Dubnyk is little-used in comparison with a lot of these guys. But still, looking at these ratings versus adjusted save percentage highlights that there's a lot of poor evaluation going on out there these days from some very smart hockey people. When looking at this chart, great goalies should be far to the right, and bad ones low to the bottom. And yet you see a lot of guys who are quite high that don't get very far over (the one in the 3 range is Jones, the one closer to 1.5 is Rask), as well as some quite low ones who aren't nearly as far left as they should be (the lowest guy in that far-right group is Pekka Rinne.)

Canadiens F Zack Kassian suffers minor injuries in car crash (The Associated Press)
(Sun, 04 Oct 2015 12:42:37 PDT)
MONTREAL (AP) -- A team spokesman says Montreal Canadiens forward Zack Kassian was treated for minor injuries in the hospital after being involved in a car accident.

NHL players to watch: Ovechkin, Crosby, Kane, Stamkos, Price (The Associated Press)
(Sun, 04 Oct 2015 12:23:38 PDT)
Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby have won five of the last nine Hart Trophies and are the only active players to win multiple MVP awards. Team success, though, has been elusive for both lately and for Ovechkin throughout his career. The Ovechkin-led Capitals haven't made it past the second round of the playoffs.

Canadiens sign forward Tomas Fleischmann to 1-year deal (The Associated Press)
(Sun, 04 Oct 2015 10:04:31 PDT)
MONTREAL (AP) -- Forward Tomas Fleischmann and the Montreal Canadiens agreed to a one-year contract reportedly worth $750,000 on Sunday.

Zack Kassian suffers 'minor injuries' in early morning car crash (Puck Daddy)
(Sun, 04 Oct 2015 09:11:14 PDT)
Montreal Canadiens forward Zack Kassian was involved in a car accident Sunday morning, according to the Montreal Gazette. The Canadiens said Kassian suffered “minor injuries” and is “under the care of the Montreal Canadiens doctors.” From the Gazette: A 20-year old woman was driving the truck, which ran into a tree on Clanranald Ave. A 24-year-old man and 18-year-old woman were passengers in the vehicle, said Montreal police spokesperson Manuel Couture. Speed did not appear to be a factor in the crash, which took place around 6 a.m., said Couture. Also: “(Kassian) was all bloodied up and stuff. He was in a daze,” said Steve Petrenko, a resident on the street where the accident took place. He described the man as a big guy, who he thought looked familiar. “He had a hard time walking, and he almost took a fall.”   [ Yahoo Fantasy Hockey: Sign up for a league today ] On July 1 the Canadiens acquired Kassian from the Vancouver Canucks for Brandon Prust and a 2016 fifth-round draft pick. Last season with the Canucks, Kassian scored 10 goals in 42 games. He also had 81 penalty minutes. In 198 career NHL games he has 66 points and 307 penalty minutes. Kassian is entering the final season of a two-year $3.5 million contract.  - - - - - - - Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @joshuacooper MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY

Foligno, Saad each score twice, Blue Jackets beat Predators (The Associated Press)
(Sat, 03 Oct 2015 21:52:29 PDT)
Nick Foligno and Brandon Saad scored twice to help the Columbus Blue Jackets rout the visiting Nashville Predators 7-1 on Saturday night in their preseason finale.

Hamilton Bulldogs settle into new hockey habitat (Buzzing The Net)
(Fri, 02 Oct 2015 18:58:36 PDT)
There are always surprises with a new endeavour. For the Hamilton Bulldogs, a pleasant one was the din at their home opener. FirstOntario Centre has a NHL-ish capacity of 17,383, and there's probably a strained analogy that can be made about the size of the Bulldogs' new home and how junior hockey can struggle to get top billing in bigger cities. On the contrary, though, when the Bulldogs (ne Belleville Bulls, 1980-2015) hit the ice last weekend and beat Oshawa in their home opener in front of 5,600 fans, it sounded like any other junior barn. "It's actually pretty loud," overage forward Stephen Harper, one of the 13 Bulldogs who played in the Bulls' last-ever game on April 14, related on Friday. "I was surprised, with it being so big, You could hear it. Every hit, every shot, the fans got loud. It was great.  "It's all smiles right now," added Harper, who's been able to reside at home in adjacent Burlington after four seasons of billeting. "Michael Andlauer is a great owner, he's been treating us well, the city's been so great. When you leave a city like Belleville where the fans are so passionate about hockey, it's tough on them. But at the same time we're happy with we are. A lot of our guys are from close by and our road trips are shorter now." Andlauer purchased the franchise in March from Gord Simmonds, giving it the same nickname and colours sported by the city's former Montreal Canadiens AHL franchise that is now playing in St. John's. All of that happened on a plane well above staff such as coach-GM George Burnett and the Bulls/Bulldogs players, who are ultimately the ones most affected by the relocation. The holdovers say they get the sense there's an appreciation for how they've adapted. "Our ownership, Mr. Andlauer, has done a great job with making us feel right at home," overage goalie Charlie Graham said. "It's been a really good start. What you really notice about [Andlauer] is the way he carries himself and speaks to us. He's really built a great relationship with the players and that shows what type of guy he is and what kind of organization he has in Hamilton." A first point of reference whenever Hamilton came up in OHL relocation rumours was the Steel City's skein and come-and-gone clubs — Fincups, Steelhawks, Dukes. That skepticism often comes up when junior puck returns to a city where it's failed. Other observers believe Andlauer's direction will be a game-changer. While this is the honeymoon phase of the Hamilton-OHL marriage, it's going well. "THe first time I met Mr. Andlauer, I was really impressed with his mentality that he's passing on to this team," Harper said. "He's giving us whatever we need to win.   "He's in the room after the wins, he's giving the boys high-fives and stuff. When you have an owner who's active with the team that come downs after a win, it's a really cool. He's had us over for dinner already and makes us feel like a family. He's definitely helping out, especially the guys moving into new billet houses." Hamilton is 1-2-0-0 following a 5-1 loss on Friday to the Ottawa 67's in the nation's capital. Notwithstanding Harper, Connor McDavid's one-time roommate with the Erie Otters, there is a paucity of proven goal scoring after the departures of defenceman Jordan Subban and wing Brett Gustavsen. Top draft pick Matthew Strome bears high expectations, but like his brother, Arizona Coyotes No. 3 overall pick Dylan Strome (of Erie), he is a playmaker whose skating isn't as developed as his vision. Then again, sometimes the more savoury seasons in junior are the ones where the local team takes baby steps toward being formidable in the future. Who knows, perhaps that's a good elective for the new fanbase's freshman-year electives.  "We're young and we're a hard-working team," 18-year-old defenceman Justin Lemcke said. "We're only going to get better." Friday's visit to the nation's capital was the Bulldogs' first trek to another East Division city. It wasn't lost on Graham, Harper and Lemcke that a game against the 67's was an up-and-back round trip for the Bulls, whereas it's an overnighter for the Bulldogs. That was a reminder of their past. "It's tough for the Belleville fans and my heart goes out to them," Graham said. Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @naitSAYger .

Andrew 'Hamburglar' Hammond out two weeks with groin injury (Puck Daddy)
(Fri, 02 Oct 2015 09:18:43 PDT)
Andrew Hammond is out for the start of the 2015-16 season.  According to multiple reports , the Ottawa Senators goaltender, who spearheaded the team’s hot streak into the 2014-15 playoffs, will miss two weeks with a groin injury. Hammond suffered the issue at the team’s morning skate Thursday , prior to its exhibition game against the Montreal Canadiens. [ Yahoo Fantasy Hockey: Sign up for a league today ] At the time, Senators coach Dave Cameron didn’t know how serious the issue was via the Ottawa Sun: “Hammond isn’t going. He tweaked a groin,” said Cameron Thursday morning. “Tweaked groin is all I know. I have no time limit on it. I don’t know (how long he is out). I haven’t talked to anybody. I got the information relayed to me.” This means AHL goaltender Matt O’Connor will likely take Hammond’s roster spot to start the season with Craig Anderson as the team’s starter. During the offseason, Hammond, 27, signed a three-year $4.05 million contract. He made his first NHL start last season and went 20-1-2 with a 1.79 goals against average to lead the Senators into the playoffs. In honor of Hammond’s nickname, ‘The Hamburglar,’ Senators fans threw hamburgers on the ice at points during Ottawa’s late-season run. In Ottawa’s first-round playoff loss to Montreal, Hammond notched a 3.44 goals against average and went 0-2.  - - - - - - - Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @joshuacooper MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY

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