After almost a decade in an Ottawa Senators uniform, the Sens have decided to move on from goaltender Craig Anderson.
From a trade deadline acquisition to breaking records
The Sens originally acquired “Andy” back in February of 2011, just 10 days before the NHL Trade Deadline. Then-General Manager Bryan Murray sent Brian Elliot to Colorado for Anderson. At the time, Murray wanted to bring a stable netminder to the nation’ss capital. That he did. Before Andy, the Sens’ crease was not a bragging spot for the team to say it lightly. I won’t spend too much time talking about the trade, but I will instead link to an article written back in 2011 when the trade happened.
A look at numbers
When Ottawa acquired the Illinois native netminder, he had a mere 87 career wins in 213 games played. Those numbers are already respectable for a then-29-year-old netminder. However, his stats would increase drastically. Now that his time with the Sens is over, his numbers boast 289 wins in 648 games played. These numbers rank the netminder at 41st all-time in NHL win leaders.
Craig Anderson is in 8th place for active netminders in wins. Andy won 202 games as an Ottawa Senator in 435 appearances. These numbers put him number one for both stats. Andy has almost double the number of games played than the number two ranking in games played, Patrick Lalime, who played 283 games for the team and won 146 games. I don’t think I have to argue that Andy is the best netminder the Senators have ever seen. Pierre Dorion even said it himself!
Anderson was even ranked as the 91st greatest goalie in NHL history by The Hockey News. This article mentioned a very interesting stat. That stat being that Andy seemed to alternate between a dominating year followed by a weaker year. That, most Sens fans already knew. However, I did not know that the Sens only made the playoffs during his tenure when he was having a good year. If that does not scream team MVP, I don’t know what does.
A walk down memory lane
While I started actively cheering for the Ottawa Senators thanks to Andrew Hammond and his historic run with the team in the 2015-16 season, I quickly learned that this was Anderson’s team. I remember when the sens had to decide between the two aforementioned netminders and Robin Lehner. While Lehner has become an elite netminder of his own, I’m glad Ottawa chose Andy. This is no hate towards Lehner, as he has become my favourite netminder in the league today. However, Anderson will always hold a special place in my heart.
While I wanted to list some of my favourite Craig Anderson moments, I will stick to one – his return after missing significant time to be with his wife, Nicholle, as she was battling cancer. Andy did not allow a goal for two whole games after his return, further cementing his legacy as Ottawa’s greatest goalie of all time.
While there was no mention in GMPD’s press conference as to what would be next for the Sens Icon, there has been a lot of speculation.
I have seen a lot of people think he retires, while I have also seen people think he signs with a contending team as a backup next year, to pursue a Stanley Cup.
What I would like to see if Andy sign to a contender, maybe a team like Colorado(if they trade one of their current goalies as rumours suggest) and make a push for a Stanley Cup. It would be interesting to see him return to his previous team. After that, I’d love to see him make his way as a coach of some sort.