36-Year-Old Goalie – Ottawa Senators
Craig Anderson Contract Information:
Signed a three-year extension with Ottawa in August of 2014. The deal averages $4.2 million per year beginning in 2015-16.
Anderson will be in the blue paint for Monday's preseason opener against Toronto.
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Age is determined on October 1st of each season.No Yes
Craig Anderson: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Anderson just couldn’t get it going last year -- he made 60 starts, but ended up with a disappointing 31-23-5 record, .916 save percentage and 2.78 GAA. The Sens’ netminders gave up the first goal an astounding 51 times during the year, putting the team in an early hole on a regular basis. That said, the 35-year-old isn’t in any real danger of losing his starting role at this point, but a short leash could be in his future if he underachieves in the early going. Andrew Hammond is waiting in the wings, and he's led the team to a playoff berth once already. At best, Anderson has to be considered a middle-of-the-road goaltender, and his downside from there at his age is considerable.
Anderson finds himself in an odd position entering this season. He's coming off a year -- injury-shortened though it may have been -- in which he put up a shiny .923 save percentage, and as such, is set to be Ottawa's starting netminder once more this season. However, after an injury, Anderson lost his job for a long stretch of time to Andrew Hammond, who Hamburglared 20 wins in 23 starts down the stretch last year, only to win the job back in the playoffs. There's going to be a lot of pressure on him this year, as any struggles on Anderson's part will make the Senators turn to Hammond, and if Anderson gets hurt -- as he's wont to do -- there's certainly a chance that Hammond takes the job away for good and runs with it. On the flip side, Hammond could very well regress and never truly challenge the generally solid Anderson for the starting role. This promises to be one of the league's more interesting goalie situations, which means Anderson comes with a fair share of risk on draft day.
After having the best statistical season of his career in 2013 despite some injuries, Anderson was largely a disappointment last season, finishing with a 25-16-8 record, a .911 save percentage, and a 3.00 GAA. The huge goals-against number is a good sign that not all of the regression in his statistics was his fault, as the Sens’ defense struggled to keep opponents under control all year. Anderson will likely enter 2014-15 as the starter once again, but backup Robin Lehner just signed a new three-year deal, and the team has shown a willingness to give Lehner an opportunity when Anderson is struggling. If the blue line can make some improvements of their own, it's certainly possible that Anderson could rediscover his 2013 form and reemerge as an elite fantasy goaltender once again.
Anderson missed about a month-and-a-half of the shortened season in 2013, and it very well may have cost him the Vezina Trophy. He finished the regular season leading the NHL with a 1.69 GAA and a save percentage of .941. Despite those sparkling numbers, Anderson's record was just 12-9-2, which can be attributed to a mostly innocuous Senators offense that ranked 27th in the league at 2.33 goals-per-game. If the stars align, Anderson should get more offensive support in 2013-14. Robin Lehner, Ottawa's backup, played well last season, but has yet to be tested as a full-time backup through an 82-game NHL schedule. Since Anderson should get the majority of the starts between the pipes for the Sens, don't be surprised if Anderson is the first goalie off the board on draft day.
The years of the goalie carousel in Ottawa finally ended in 2011-12 as Anderson established himself as a solid number one in Canada’s capital. While his numbers weren’t elite, his calm demeanor and on-ice leadership helped provide confidence to a very young team in what was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Sens. The only drawbacks to Anderson’s game is the fact that he sometimes tries to do too much when handling the puck, which can get him into trouble. That being said, he’s the best number one goalie Ottawa’s had since Patrick Lalime of the early 2000s. If Ottawa can continue its upward trajectory then look for Anderson to get at least 35 wins with a solid save percentage. Ottawa’s up-tempo attacking system does allow for more odd-man rushes than other team’s systems, so don’t expect a gaudy goals-against average.
Anderson enters the 2011-12 season as Ottawa's clear-cut No. 1 netminder, something that hasn't been seen in quite some time in Canada's capital. Anderson, acquired from Colorado in the later stages of the 2010-11 season for Brian Elliott, gave Senators fans a reason for hope. Appearing in 18 games for Ottawa, he went 11-5-0-1 with a 2.05 GAA and a .939 save percentage, numbers he'll be hard pressed to repeat for a rebuilding Senators squad in 2011-12. While the wins may not be there this year, Anderson should have a respectable GAA and save percentage. Just don't count on him carrying your fantasy squad's goalie categories, especially for a young Senators team that will likely have two rookies (Jared Cowen and David Rundblad) suiting up on the blue line.
Last season, Anderson went from unproven NHL starter to franchise savior in a very short period of time. Anderson had just posted a 15-7-5 record and .924 save percentage in a backup role with the Florida Panthers in 2008-09 when the Avs signed him to replace Peter Budaj as their No. 1 netminder. Expectations were pretty low for the team at the start of 2009-10, but those were quickly dispelled as Anderson started 14 straight games for the Avs in October, posting a 10-2-2 record. He wobbled from time to time in the coming months, possibly due to overuse by coach Joe Sacco, but Anderson nevertheless finished the season in fine form, with a 38-25-7 record, 2.64 GAA and .917 SV%, and helped the Avs take the Sharks to Game 6 of their first-round playoff matchup. This season, Anderson will return as the Avs' main man between the pipes. Provided the guys in front of him do their share by scoring goals and playing solid defense, Anderson has more than enough talent to produce the kind of numbers he did last year.
After signing a two-year deal with the Avs in July, Anderson will get every opportunity to wrestle the title of No. 1 goaltender away from Peter Budaj this season. Anderson played very well as backup to Tomas Vokoun on an inconsistent Florida club in 2008-09, posting a 15-7-5 record with a .924 save percentage, and getting the Panthers to within sniffing distance of the playoffs. He's emerging as a quality NHL starting goalie, but he's not an elite fantasy goalie by any stretch - not yet, anyway. He'd be a good No. 2 goalie on most fantasy rosters - someone you can get the odd start out of in case your No. 1 guy goes down.
Anderson raised eyebrows with a sparkling .935 save percentage in 17 games last season, which — if nothing else — cemented his spot as a dependable back-up with Florida. But he is still behind Tomas Vokoun on the depth chart, and thus can't be counted on for much more than a few spot starts.
Anderson did well enough in his five games with the big club last season to essentially be handed the backup job this season. Since he'll play behind Tomas Vokoun, don't expect Anderson to get many starts or put up serviceable fantasy numbers barring an injury.
Anderson will settle in as the No. 3 goalie on the Panthers' depth chart and will probably split time in AHL Rochester with a goalie under contract with the Buffalo Sabres. Entering his fifth professional season, Anderson has yet to prove he's capable of a backup job in the NHL.
Coming into the 04-05 season Anderson was battling for the number two spot behind Nikolai Khabibulin. If Khabibulin ever misses any time, Anderson could grab a share of playing time. He played well with Norfolk last season before a hip injury kept him out of the lineup for most of the season.