The new deal will keep the 33-year-old at the NHL club until the end of the 2017/17 campaign. Anderson was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent next summer and will now be paid $4.75 million in the first two years of the contract and $3.1 million in the third season. The Senators now appear set in goal as they also recently signed 23-year-old Robin Lehner as a restricted free agent. Lehner’s deal is worth $6.675 million over three years and the salary cap hit for the two goalies will be $6.45 million a year.
Pierre Dorion, the assistant general manager of the Senators, said the club believes it now has one of the league’s best goaltending tandems as both goalies are capable of winning games at the NHL level and will push each other. Anderson said he looking forward to playing with Lehner as he rates him as a one of the league’s top young goalies. He remarked that the competition will be good for both of them as well as the team and its fans. “If I do my job, it will make him to do his job better and when he does his job, it’s going to make me do my job better.”
The Senators failed to make the playoffs in the 2013/14 season and Anderson struggled slightly. His save percentage was 91.1 in 53 games and he posted a goals-against average of 3.00 per game. His save percentage ranked him 34th in the league while his goals-against was 44th best. Lehner didn’t fare much better as he played in 36 games and finished the season with a 3.06 goals-against average to go along with his 91.3 save percentage. Statistics-wise, both goalies went through the worst seasons of their NHL careers.
Anderson admitted that he didn’t have a good season, but the whole team needs to play better next season of they hope to reach the postseason. Dorion agreed that everybody needs to improve next season and said he’s not worried that Anderson will be 37 years old by the time his contract extension runs out. The assistant GM said there are a lot of elite NHL goaltenders at that age and the Senators believe Anderson can be one of them. However, if things don’t work out as planned, Anderson and/or Lehner could be shipped out of town since neither of them has a no-trade clause in their contract.
Anderson of Park Ridge, Illinois was originally chosen in the third round of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft with the 73rd-overall pick by the Chicago Blackhawks. He’s played with Chicago, the Florida Panthers, Colorado Avalanche and Senators. Anderson’s appeared in 371 career regular-season games with a 2.75 goals-against average and 91.5 save percentage. He’s played in 23 playoff games with a goals-against of 2.60 and 92.6 save percentage.
Lehner hails from Gothenburg, Sweden and was chosen in the second round of the 2009 Draft by Ottawa with the 46th-overall pick. He’s played in 61 career regular-season games with a 91.8 save percentage and 2.82 goals-against average and has appeared in just two playoff games.