The Carolina Hurricanes have signed goaltender Frederik Andersen to a two-year deal with an AAV of $4.5 million.
Andersen’s Time in Toronto Comes to an Odd End
Andersen, 31, appeared in 268 games for the Maple Leafs over five seasons, registering a 149-74-36 record, 2.79 GAA, .914 SV% and 13 shutouts.
Andersen was the undisputed number-one guy in the first four seasons since being acquired from the Anaheim Ducks in June, 2016. Last season, however, he recorded career-worst numbers (a 2.96 GAA and .895 SV% in 23 starts) and also struggled with a lower body injury, losing the starter’s role down the stretch to Jack Campbell. The Maple Leafs were once again dispatched in the first round of the playoffs, with Andersen not seeing a single second of ice.
Despite his struggles, Andersen indicated he desired a bump in salary, to north of $5 million per year. It’s unknown whether GM Kyle Dubas offered him a short-term “show-me” contract, but it’s clear they were not willing to meet his ask (there were contract talks between Andersen and the team in mid-July, TSN reported, but no offer had been made at that time.)
Hurricanes Find Nedeljkovic’s Replacement, But Still Need a Backup
Despite finishing first place in the re-aligned Central Division last season, the Hurricanes didn’t have a true number-one guy, with three different goaltenders taking to the crease: Alex Nedeljkovic, James Reimer, and Petr Mrazek.
All the goaltenders had good seasons, but Alex Nedeljkovic was the best of the trio, posting a 15-5-3 record with a minuscule 1.90 GAA, sparkling .932 SV%, and three shutouts in 23 starts. Despite that, the 25-year-old was traded to the Detroit Red Wings earlier this month in exchange for Jonathan Bernier (who has since signed with the New Jersey Devils.)
Meanwhile, Reimer made 21 starts, recording a 15-5-2 record, 2.66 GAA, .906 SV%, while Mrazek made 12 starts, posting a 12-6-2 record, 2.06 GAA, .923 SV% and three shutouts. Both Reimer and Mrazek are unrestricted free agents.
With the Andersen addition, Hurricanes’ GM Don Waddell must be feeling a bit better, knowing he at least has his starter. He will still need to find a backup, whether that’s in-house or on the open market.
The Denmark-born Andersen was originally drafted 187th-overall in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft by the Anaheim Ducks and sports a career 226-100-48 record, 2.65 GAA, .915 SV% and 19 shutouts in his eight-year career. He has also made 53-career playoff starts; 28 with the Ducks and 25 with the Maple Leafs.
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Declan Schroeder is a 27-year-old communications specialist and freelance journalist in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He holds a diploma in Creative Communications with a major in journalism from Red River College and a bachelors in Rhetoric and Communications from the University of Winnipeg.
Deeply rooted in the city’s hockey culture, the original Jets skipped town when he was two and the 2.0 version came onto the scene when he was 17.