Now that he has cleared waivers, Craig Anderson’s contract with the Washington Capitals has been officially announced. The veteran goaltender has inked a one-year deal worth $700K and will be immediately assigned to the club’s taxi squad.
Anderson, 39, comes to Washington as a pseudo-replacement for Henrik Lundqvist, after the latter was forced to sit out the season due to health concerns. Though their ages may be similar, the Capitals’ expectations of them are not. While Lundqvist was set to partner with Ilya Samsonov in the NHL, playing regularly, Anderson will slot in as the third option behind promoted Vitek Vanecek and be insurance for injury or inconsistency.
That means there is a lot riding on Samsonov, who certainly showed he could be one of the league’s best in his debut last year. Through 26 NHL games the 23-year-old goaltender has a .913 save percentage and a 16-6-2 record. Samsonov will take the lion’s share of the starts for the Capitals this year, with Vanecek, who is a strong goaltending prospect in his own right, slowly working his way in as a rookie.
Anderson meanwhile is mostly expected to watch from the sidelines, though it is quite the luxury for the Capitals to have a veteran of 648 NHL games waiting in the wings. He posted a .902 save percentage in 34 appearances last season, better than many backups around the league.