The Washington Capitals have signed free agent goalie Craig Anderson to a professional tryout agreement. This contract carries him through the preseason. After, the Capitals can choose to walk away or sign Anderson to a contract.
#Caps sign goaltender Craig Anderson to a professional tryout agreement. Anderson, 39, registered an 11-17-2 record with a 3.25 GAA and a .902 save percentage in 34 games with Ottawa last season.
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) December 27, 2020
Craig Anderson to the Caps
Over his 17-year NHL career, Anderson has played for the Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, Colorado Avalanche, and the Ottawa Senators. Over this time has posted a GAA of 2.84 and a save percentage of .913. His record is 289 wins, 318 regulation/overtime losses, and 2 ties in 648 career games. He was originally drafted in the third round, 73rd overall of the 2001 NHL draft by the Chicago Blackhawks.
Last season Anderson played 34 games and posted an 11-17-2 record with a 3.25 goals-against-average and a .902 save percentage.
Anderson started his career with the team that drafted him, the Chicago Blackhawks. Over parts of three seasons as the backup to Nikolai Khabibulin, he went 6-12-4 with a 3.32 GAA. On June 24, the Blackhawks traded Anderson to the Florida Panthers for the Panthers sixth-round draft pick in the 2008 NHL entry draft. In Florida, he served as backup to Tomas Vokoun for three seasons. In this span, he was 24-14-7 with a 2.39 GAA and a stellar .930 save percentage.
Following his third year in Florida, Anderson signed as a free agent with the Colorado Avalanche. He began his career in Colorado for the 2009-10 season. During that year he went 38–25–7 with a 2.64 GAA, .917 save percentage and seven shutouts. This performance had him surpassing Peter Budaj as the Avalanche starter and leading the team to an unlikely playoff spot. However, in the 2010-11 season, Anderson struggled out of the gate, quickly losing his starting position back to Budaj. With the team out of playoff contention, they traded Anderson to the Colorado Avalanche for Brian Elliot on February 18, 2011.
What This Means Going Forward
It was in Ottawa that Anderson finally cemented himself into the starter role for good. Over the last ten seasons, Anderson became the best goalie in Ottawa Senators history.
While his days as a starter are behind him, Anderson offers leadership and a reliable backup who can still play more games in case of injury. With the news of Henrik Lundqvist not playing, Anderson has a legit shot to earn a backup role in Washington. However, he will have to compete for it.