The Ottawa Senators are expected to sign free agent netminder Craig Anderson to a one-day contract to officially retire as a Sen, TSN’s Darren Dreger reports Thursday morning. It will likely come Tuesday, October 24, when the Senators host the Sabres, Anderson’s most recent team.
Anderson is arguably the best netminder in Senators history and certainly the longest-serving starter. After coming over via trade from the Avalanche in 2011, Anderson would go on to record a 202-168-46 record, a .914 save percentage and 28 shutouts in 422 starts and 13 relief appearances. He’s most remembered from the team’s storybook 2016-17 campaign when Anderson returned from a lengthy leave of absence to be with his wife, Nicholle, who was battling cancer. He recorded a sparkling .922 save percentage in the postseason as he guided the Sens to the Eastern Conference Final, losing to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins in overtime in Game 7.
He departed the Sens in free agency in 2020, serving as the Capitals’ taxi squad netminder for the COVID-shortened 2020-21 campaign before heading to the Sabres for the final two seasons of his 20-year, 709-game career. While there was never an official announcement, it became clear at the end of last season that Anderson would not return for a 21st year. PHR wishes him and his family the best in his post-playing career and looks forward to providing more coverage of Anderson’s career when an official announcement is made.
Elsewhere in the Eastern Conference today:
- Lightning captain Steven Stamkos told reporters today he expects to make his return to the lineup Thursday night against the Canucks (via the Tampa Bay Times’ Eduardo A. Encina). Stamkos missed the last two games with a lower-body injury after a hot start to the season, already potting two goals and two assists in two contests. His return couldn’t come at a better time for the struggling Lightning, who begin a crucial five-game homestand tonight after going 0-2-1 on an early road trip against key divisional rivals.
- The Canadiens announced Thursday that defenseman Kaiden Guhle is day-to-day with an upper-body injury, likely a wrist ailment. Guhle left Tuesday’s 5-2 drubbing at the hands of the Wild with the injury and has not practiced since. There was some concern in Habs circles that Guhle’s absence would be longer-term, but he appears to have avoided the worst. It’s the second injury to a core Habs player in a matter of days after a dual ACL-MCL injury costed center Kirby Dach the remainder of his 2023-24 season. Guhle, 21, had notched an assist and a +4 rating in three contests, the latter being the second-highest on the team behind Johnathan Kovacevic. Another 21-year-old defender, Justin Barron, is expected to make his season debut Saturday against the Capitals with Guhle out of commission.
- In more positive news, Sabres head coach Don Granato said today that defenseman Mattias Samuelsson has avoided any further absence after leaving Tuesday’s win over the Lightning in the third period and will dress Thursday against the Flames. Samuelsson left the game with an upper-body injury but participated in morning skate today and seems no worse for wear. The 23-year-old is in the first season of a seven-year, $30MM extension signed just over a year ago and leads Sabres defenders with a +2 rating through three contests, adding one assist while averaging over 20 minutes per game.
- After being listed as day-to-day yesterday morning, Rangers head coach Peter Laviolette says center Nick Bonino will be a game-time decision for tonight’s tilt against the Predators. Bonino, who’s still looking for his first point as a Ranger, is dealing with a lower-body injury. The 35-year-old joined the Rangers on a one-year, $800K deal during free agency and has anchored their fourth line alongside a mixture of Barclay Goodrow, Tyler Pitlick and Jimmy Vesey to begin the season.