The Washington Capitals announced on Wednesday that they have signed goaltender Craig Anderson to a one-year contract worth $700,000 and put him on waivers with the intention of putting him on the taxi squad. The 39-year-old became an unrestricted free agent on October 9.
Anderson went 11-17-2 with a .902 save percentage and a 3.25 goals-against average in 34 games with the Ottawa Senators last season. He also posted a .918 save percentage, a 2.71 goals-against average, a -0.99 goals-saved above average, and a .827 high-danger save percentage at five-on-five last season.
In 648 career NHL games with the Senators and Colorado Avalanche, Anderson has gone 289-251-67 with a .913 save percentage, a 2.84 goals-against average, and 42 shutouts. The best season of his career came in 2012-13 when he went 12-9-2 with a career-high .941 save percentage, a career-low 1.69 goals-against average, and three shutouts as a member of the Senators.
The Capitals signed Anderson to provide some veteran experience as their goalie tandem of Ilya Samsonov and Vitek Vanecek, who went 19-10-2 with a .917 save percentage, a 2.26 goals-against average, and two shutouts with the AHL’s Hershey Bears last season. The two, in addition to goaltender Pheonix Copley, have a combined 55 games worth of NHL experience. The team signed Henrik Lundqvist to be Samsonov’s back-up on October 9 but the 38-year-old will not play this season after he underwent an open heart procedure last month.
Anderson will be the Capitals’ taxi squad goalie, according to head coach Peter Laviolette. Every team will be required to carry at least three goalies this season.
The Capitals placed Copley, who went 17-8-6 with a .905 save percentage, a 2.47 goals-against average, and two shutouts with the Bears last season, on waivers on Monday and he cleared.
In 46 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, Anderson has gone 23-22 with a .929 save percentage, a 2.35 goals-against average, and four shutouts. He went 11-8 with a .922 save percentage, a 2.34 goals-against average, and one shutout as the starter for the Senators during their run to the 2017 Eastern Conference Final.
The Capitals will open the 2020-21 season at the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday (7 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington). Anderson could make his team debut this week as the Capitals clash with the Sabres again on Friday.
The Capitals now have $20,123 left in cap space after signing Anderson.
By Harrison Brown