Washington Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said today that goalie Craig Anderson is expected to retire this offseason. 40 years old, Anderson retires after just one season in the nation’s capital.
Anderson leaves the NHL after one of the more underrated careers put together by a netminder in recent history. Playing in the league for 18 seasons, Anderson played for the Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, Colorado Avalanche, and Washington, but will be most remembered for his 10-year stint with the Ottawa Senators. Anderson, drafted 73rd overall by Chicago in 2001 after re-entering the draft, bounced up and down between the NHL and minor leagues before securing a full-time job as the Panthers’ backup in 2007-08. After an impressive three total seasons in Florida (24-14-7, .928 SV%), Anderson found himself in a breakout situation with Colorado in 2009-10, starting 71 games, posting a .917 save percentage and finishing top-10 in both Hart Trophy and Vezina Trophy voting.
He put up another solid season the following year but got off to a shaky start in 2010-11, leading to Anderson being traded to Ottawa. Anderson’s best years came there, including a 2012-13 campaign in which he started 24 games and posted a .941 save percentage to lead the league, leading to him receiving more Vezina Trophy votes. Anderson’s career, however, fell sharply after helping the Sens to a surprise Eastern Conference Final appearance in 2017. Anderson won his only NHL award that season, the Masterton Trophy, after taking a hiatus from the game earlier that year to support his wife Nicholle, who was dealing with and has since recovered from a rare form of throat cancer.
Anderson signed a one-year deal with Washington this past season and served mainly as the team’s taxi squad netminder, posting a 2-1-0 record with a .915 save percentage.
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