The Ottawa Senators announced this morning that goaltender Craig Anderson has signed a 3 year contract extension with the club for a total value of $12.6M. He has 1 year left on his current deal before the new contract kicks in, so he will likely be a Senator for the next 4 seasons.
The extension will see him make $4.75M in 2015-16 and 2016-17 with the final year of the deal paying him $3.1M.
Anderson is coming off a sub-par season in terms of numbers, with a 3.00 GAA and .911 SP and a personal perception that his penchant for allowing bad goals at bad times cost the Senators games, or at least the chance to win games, thus missing the playoffs.
However, Anderson had an outstanding lockout-shortened 2013 season, where he was probably the best goalie in the league for a short period of time.
However, the moments of greatness have been few and far between in his 12 year career, and with Robin Lehner chomping at the bit to take the reins as the Senators #1 goalie, and goalie of the future, I think this signing will stunt the growth of the young Swede. Lehner has played his best hockey for the Senators in periods of time where he was not having Anderson look over his shoulder, and Anderson’s 4 years will not run out until Lehner is 27.
Hopefully well before that time, Lehner has taken over the #1 role, and Anderson should be supporting him from the bench, as early as sometime this season.
Having a nearly $5M backup doesn’t seem like the kind of thing a budget team like the Senators should be spending their money on.
Personally, I would have waited until partway through the season to see where Anderson is really at, because from what I have seen throughout his stint in Ottawa, there hasn’t been enough consistency in his game to warrant another medium-term extension, especially at that value.