In trading Brian Elliott to the Colorado Avalanche for Craig Anderson, the Senators have swapped one goalie who had difficulty being a full-time starter, for one who excelled his first season as a starter but has struggled immensely this season.
Anderson was a revelation last season in Colorado posting 38 wins en route to the upstart Avalanche making the playoffs somewhat surprisingly. That was his first season as a full-time starter, and his level of success came out of left field. This season has brought him back to earth, and his sub-.500 record, inflated GAA and middle-of-the-pack save percentage leave a lot to be desired.
Remember what happened last time the Senators went after a one hit wonder goalie? His name was Martin Gerber, and that didn’t work out so well for Ottawa. Anderson is a UFA after the season, so Ottawa will have 2 months to look at him (behind a sub-par team) to determine if 2009-10 was a flash in the pan or if that was the real goalie, and this year is the aberration.
I have been on record stating that Elliott was playing his way out of the league this season, and he has done little to sway my opinion on that matter. He may be able to catch on in a backup role, but his upside is limited. He is a RFA and he should come cheap for the Avs should they decide to make him a qualifying offer.
When all is said and done, this deal has limited impact this season. It will be up to Anderson to prove that he is worth a long-term investment to be the guy to handle the transition for Robin Lehner to full time starter status. If he can prove that, he should be an affordable option, since his struggles this season and lack of real track record mena he likely won’t be able to garner a big-money contract in July.
I don’t know if Anderson is the answer, but combined with Robin Lehner next season, could form a decent tandem to get the Senators through what looks like it could be another long year.
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Find Tony’s take on this trade HERE