The Ottawa Senators made their second significant goaltending commitment of the summer on Monday, agreeing to terms with Craig Anderson on a three-year, $12.6 million contract extension.
Anderson, 33, will carry a $4.2 million cap hit through 2018 (annual salary breakdown: $4.75M, $4.75M, $3.1M) and will be alongside Swedish netminder Robin Lehner for almost the entirety — on July 31, Lehner inked a three-year extension of his own with Ottawa, agreeing to a deal that’ll pay $2.2 million per until 2017.
This is an interesting decision from Sens GM Bryan Murray. Anderson is coming off a disappointing year — injuries and ineffective play limited him to just 53 appearances, in which he went 25-16-8 with a 3.00 GAA and .911 save percentage. The disappointment was magnified given his brilliance during the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign — Anderson went 12-9-2 with a .941 save percentage and 1.69 GAA, finishing fourth in Vezina and 12th in Hart voting. He was also stellar in that spring’s opening-round playoff series against Montreal, allowing just nine goals on 180 shots — good for a .950 save percentage — in the five-game victory.
The hope, it seems, is that the veteran can reclaim some of that past glory while allowing Lehner — who is still just 23 years old — more time to cut his teeth at the NHL level.
That said, one wonders how close the Swede is to being a No. 1. A former AHL playoff MVP, Lehner is the bigger of the two goalies (at 6-foot-4, 223 pounds) and was stellar down the stretch last year — here’s a look at his last five games of the season:
It’s also worth noting that, between these two deals, Ottawa is carrying $6.4 million in goalies (it’s also worth noting that Anderson got a pretty significant pay bump, up from the $3.1 million he was making annually on his last deal.)