After jettisoning Mike Hoffman earlier this week the Ottawa Senators may have a few more significant trades coming their way this offseason.
The big names at the top of that list include defenseman Erik Karlsson and forward Zack Smith.
Another name that could be on the way out of town: Starting goalie Craig Anderson, a potential move that only adds to a suddenly increasing goalie market.
Earlier on Friday there were multiple reports that the Senators were working with Anderson to facilitate a trade. TSN’s Frank Seravalli reported the team was working with Anderson’s agent to find the veteran goalie a new home, while The Athletic’s Chris Stevenson reported that Anderson had expressed a desire to move on. Meanwhile, Anderson’s agent told Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun that “Ottawa has never asked for me help. They’re going to do whatever they can to improve their team. If that means they’ll trade Craig Anderson, they’ll trade Craig Anderson.”
So there is all of that.
While the unrestricted free agent market for potential starting goalies looked thin at the start of the season the goalie market has improved quite a bit over the past few days.
First, it seems quite likely that the Washington Capitals are going to trade Philipp Grubauer as he attempts to get out of Braden Holtby‘s shadow and become a starter. The Capitals are expecting to get a late first or early second round draft pick. He might be the most intriguing option available given his age and the fact he has played exceptionally well when given an opportunity with the Capitals.
Robin Lehner is also going to be available after the Buffalo Sabres confirmed that they will not be giving him a restricted free agent qualifying offer, allowing him to become an unrestricted free agent. Lehner is coming off of a down year for the Sabres in 2017-18 but was one of the few bright spots for the team in 2015-16 and 2016-17 with a .922 save percentage in 80 appearances. He turns 27 later this summer and would not cost any assets to acquire in a trade.
[Related: Time for the Sabres to upgrade in goal]
And then there is Anderson. For most of his career Anderson has been one of the more productive starting goalies in the league and has pretty consistently posted strong numbers. But like most of the Senators he is coming off of a brutal 2017-18 performance and will be 37 years old at the start of the season, making him the third oldest goalie in the league behind only Henrik Lundqvist and Ryan Miller. He also is signed for two more years at more than $4 million per season. Along with the assets a team would have to give up in a trade (probably not a lot) that is a big price to commit to a goalie that has probably already played his best hockey.
Still, there are some options. And there are a lot of teams that will be in the market for a goalie — probably more than we are used to seeing at this time of year.
The New York Islanders should be desperate to fix their goalie situation and have a connection to Grubauer with Trotz taking over as their new head coach.
The Sabres, by letting Lehner hit the open market, will also be in need of a new starter unless they really trust Linus Ullmark, which doesn’t seem likely.
The Senators, assuming they trade Anderson, would also need a new goaltender and you can’t count out the Philadelphia Flyers, Carolina Hurricanes, or Detroit Red Wings. The Chicago Blackhawks could also be in play for one of these guys if Corey Crawford — a player we still have no official update on — isn’t ready to return for the start of the season.
Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.