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Sens begin preliminary extension talks with Condon

Ottawa Senators v New York Islanders

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 18: Mike Condon #1 of the Ottawa Senators tends net against the New York Islanders at the Barclays Center on December 18, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Senators defeated the Islanders 6-2. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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Mike Condon has all but saved Ottawa’s season, so there’s little surprise to learn the two sides have started discussing a new deal.

From the Ottawa Sun:

[Condon] told Postmedia before he returned to the club’s net Thursday night against the Dallas Stars that despite being an unrestricted free agent on July 1 he’d be happy to stay with Ottawa.

Though the Senators have had very preliminary contract discussions with his Buffalo-based agent Michael Wulkan, Condon isn’t going to spend any time worrying about what the future might hold.

The duo had dinner when the Senators were in Buffalo last Friday and Condon made it clear he doesn’t want a play-by-play of discussions. He trusts if there are serious talks between Wulkan and Ottawa GM Pierre Dorion that Condon will get involved when there’s something he needs to accept or reject if the opportunity presents itself.

As mentioned above, Condon has been a real find. After losing the services of No. 1 Craig Anderson -- he hasn’t played since Dec. 5, taking a leave to be with his wife while she undergoes cancer treatment -- the Sens proceeded to give Condon a lion’s share of the No. 1 duties.

He’s responded by going 16-9-5 with a .912 save percentage and 2.56 GAA. The numbers don’t exactly jump off the page, but they’re fairly impressive given the circumstances (and in light of the fatigue factor, as Condon at one point appeared in 27 straight games.)

Looking ahead, the Sens have Anderson and Andrew Hammond under contract through 2018, at $4.2 million and $1.35 million respectively. But Hammond has clearly fallen out of favor. The club put him on waivers back in November and, as evident by Condon’s workload, they don’t have a ton of faith in the Hamburglar.

Hammond is 0-2-0 this season, with a 4.08 GAA and .837 save percentage. On Tuesday, in one of his rare starts, he allowed six goals on 30 shots in a blowout loss to St. Louis.

Condon’s in the last of a two-year, $1.15 million deal with a $575,000 cap hit. One would assume he’s in line for a raise, but it sounds like he enjoys playing in Ottawa and might opt to stick around, rather than test free agency.

“I love everybody,” he told the Sun. “The management and the coaches are very transparent here. They communicate very well which as a player is very valuable.”