With rumors that the team might be looking for a veteran netminder after the team lost veteran Henrik Lundqvist to injury, the Washington Capitals announced they have signed longtime Ottawa Senators goaltender Craig Anderson to a professional tryout.
Washington had high expectations for their goaltending when they signed Lundqvist to help share the workload with young phenom Ilya Samsonov. However, when Lundqvist backed out due to a heart condition, the team was left with very little cap room and two AHL goaltenders, Vitek Vanecek and Pheonix Copley, to fill that void.
That prompted the team to bring in the 39-year-old Anderson to see whether he can fill the void in net for Lundqvist and give the two AHL goaltenders another season to develop. Anderson, who spent the last 10 years in Ottawa, has struggled the last few years with the Senators, albeit behind a terrible defense. He finished last season with a 11-17-2 record with a 3.25 GAA and a .902 save percentage.
His biggest competition will likely be Vancek, who many people feel is ready to take on the backup job after two impressive seasons with the Hershey Bears, including one as an AHL all-star. The 24-year-old Vanecek, however, has no NHL experience (despite being Braden Holtby’s backup in the bubble last year) and with the expectation of many back-to-back games coming this season, it could be a tough situation to put an untested goalie in. However, Anderson will have to prove that he still has it after Ottawa informed the veteran that it wanted to move on from him after his contract expired this past offseason and no other team came calling until now.