The Ottawa Senators have signed goalie Craig Anderson to a two-year contract worth a reported $9.5 million. The team announced the signing on Friday.
“It’s been a great home for me in Ottawa and I’m really looking forward to playing,” Anderson said. “I want to continue to contribute to the team and the organization. I’m just really ecstatic to be able to be a part of this group, be a part of this team.”
The 36-year-old would’ve become an unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of next season.
It’s hard to discount exactly how much the relationship between Anderson and the Senators has meant as of late, especially after his wife Nicholle was diagnosed with cancer last season. The club was supportive and ensured that the Andersons had what they required in such trying times.
When it came time to discuss the new contract offer, Craig and Nicholle discussed it and the conclusion came with relative ease.
“When I came back and just realized how much fun the game was and how much I missed it I knew that I wanted to push hard and continue to push my abilities to continue to get better and improve,” he said. “This has been home for me since I got here. Ottawa’s pretty much the reason why my career has expanded and taken the road it’s been on is because of what Bryan Murray did for me to get me from Colorado to here.”
Anderson had 25 wins in 40 starts last season, posting a goals against average of 2.28 and a save percentage of .926. He had five shutouts.
Anderson has always been a fighter. He was actually drafted twice into the NHL, once in 1999 by the Flames and then in 2001 by the Chicago Blackhawks. It wasn’t until 2009 in Colorado that he became a starter at the NHL level. He was 28 at the time.
And now, he’s been playing some of his best hockey in Ottawa. It’s safe to say he’s a late bloomer and he sees it that way, comparing himself to Tim Thomas.
“He came into the league a little later and was able to thrive,” Anderson said. “His passion for the game just kind of continued to allow him to continue to get better and that’s kind of the same path that I’m on.”
Whether or not Anderson will be able to pile up the trophies like Thomas remains to be seen, but the Senators like their chances with the veteran netminder in the fold.