Craig Anderson had a very down year for the Senators as the team struggled as a whole, but could provide the New York Islanders with respectable goaltending for the next two years.
Lou Lamoriello’s first step in helping the on-ice product is in bringing in more defense, and more importantly, a proven number-one goalie.
With limited free agent options being snatched up left and right, the Islanders turn to teams building for tomorrow, not today.
The Senators posted the league’s second-worst record and finished with just 67 points. That, plus the likelihood of Erik Karlsson being traded this offseason is leading Ottawa to re-evaluate their future and sell all assets.
TSN’s Bruce Garrioch reports that the Islanders are just one of a few teams kicking tires on the veteran netminder.
Just a year ago in 2016-17, Anderson posted a .926 save percentage and a 2.28 GAA to go with playoff statistics of a .922 save percentage and a 2.34 GAA as the Sens came just a Game 7 overtime goal short of reaching the Stanley Cup Final.
Anderson’s shaky season reflects the truly abhorrent year the Senators suffered overall. After a blockbuster, three-team trade for star center Matt Duchene, the Senators’ record did not fare as well as they expected.
There are just two years left on Anderson’s contract, and the Islanders can more than afford his $5.5 million-cap hit for 2018-19 and $4 million for 2019-20. Of course, as good of a goaltender as Anderson is capable of being, he turned 37 just over a month ago and not every goaltender can age as well as Roberto Luongo.
Regardless, if the Islanders want to compete sooner than later, Anderson gives them the best chance to do so on paper.