Senators Acquire Mike Condon for Fifth Round Pick
Ottawa Senators have acquired former Montreal Canadiens goaltender Mike Condon from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft.
Condon, 26, was claimed off waivers by the Penguins on October 11, after Montreal opted to move forward with new signing Al Montoya as Carey Price’s backup for this season.
Condon backed up Marc-Andre Fleury in Pittsburgh while Matt Murray recovered from a hand injury sustained during the World Cup of Hockey. With Murray ready to start his first game on Wednesday, the Holliston, Massachusetts native became a third fiddle in Pennsylvania so the decision to move him comes as little surprise, with many expecting the Penguins to waive the Princeton graduate at some point.
Condon featured in just one game for the Penguins, replacing Fleury for the final 20 minutes of Pittsburgh’s 5-1 loss to the Nashville Predators on October 22.
Condon signed with Montreal in 2013 as an undrafted free agent and claimed the backup job behind Price, last season, in large part because Canadiens goaltending coach Stephane Waite believed his neutral depth and controlled style of play was less reliant on rhythm and timing, and therefore better suited to playing once every couple of weeks behind Price. Despite a strong start in that role, things began to unravel after Price was sidelined in November, with Condon bearing the brunt of many fans ire, along with Ben Scrivens who had been acquired by the Canadiens midseason in the hopes of arresting their decline.
In 56 career NHL games, Condon is 21-25-6 with a .904 save percentage and 2.71 goals-against average. He also recorded one shut out for the Canadiens against Tampa Bay on March 31.
The Senators see Condon as a perfect fit for the backup job currently vacant because of a groin injury to Andrew Hammond, in part because they liked the same calm style traits Waite praised early last season and believe it fits their defensive system. Condon has experience against most of the league, is a hard worker and already has a strong reputation for understanding and being good in the backup role, which isn’t always an easy one. Adding Condon allows the Senators to leave young goaltenders Chris Driedger, who struggled in in relief of Hammond against Calgary on October 28, and former Boston University goalie Matt O’Connor in the American Hockey League with the Binghamton Senators.
Condon may also provide an insurance policy for any uncertainty surrounding Craig Anderson, who took a leave of absence last week following his wife, Nicholle’s, cancer diagnosis before returning to post a shutout against the Edmonton Oilers. For now, though, they see Condon as a perfect fit behind Anderson.