Although 33-year-old Craig Anderson will continue to be paid like a starter after inking a three-year, $12.6 million extension that will start with the 2015-16 campaign, he realizes that his role isn’t secure with 23-year-old Robin Lehner on the rise and Anderson isn’t bothered by that.
“Robin and I have gotten along really, really well the last few years,” Anderson told the team’s website. “I’m looking forward to working with him and continuing to help him improve. By him being a better goalie it’s going to help me become a better goalie and we’re going to become a better team because of it. … If I do my job it’ll make him do his job better and when he does his job it’ll make me do my job better.”
Re-signing Anderson was a bit of a gamble given that he’s coming off of a rough campaign where he posted a 3.00 GAA and .911 save percentage in 53 games. At the same time, this move takes some of the pressure off of Lehner and allows the Senators to hedge their bets as promising young goaltenders don’t always grow in the way teams hope.
Lehner also signed a three-year deal worth roughly $6.7 million earlier this summer and the Senators were upfront with him at the time that they were simultaneously negotiating an extension with Anderson.
The Senators finished 27th in the league in goals per game in 2013-14 and while their issues extended far beyond their goaltending, it’s fair to say that Ottawa is hoping to get more out of its netminders next season.