Senators look to shift goalie

The Ottawa Senators’ decision to re-sign Andrew Hammond to a three-year contract extension might have been a boost for the franchise but it did leave something of an overload of goalies on the roster. It’s looking as if either Craig Anderson or Robin Lehner will be traded before the end of the draft. While it will be a blow to lose either goalie, the Senators are rumoured to be asking for a top-six winger as well as a draft pick for either player, although Lehner has been attracting the interest of a host of teams, with Buffalo and .

Ottawa’s general manager, Bryan Murray, always made it clear that re-signing Hammond was at the top of his list and that, should he be successful, Lehner and Anderson would be battling it out to remain as backup for a team that are currently way down the betting odds. The question now is whether the Senators decide to trade their most valuable remaining goalie or look to release whoever they feel is their current number-three stopper. There might not be much to choose from between Lehner and Anderson, and both have done enough during their time in Ottawa to ensure they won’t be short of offers if either are told to move on by the Senators.

Lehner would probably be the cheaper option of the two, and the second round pick from 2009 showed last season just what he can do in the league. Despite his campaign ending prematurely due to a concussion, the 23-year-old finished with a .905 save percentage. The youngster has proven himself to be a very reliable back-up goalie. With another two seasons left on his contract with the Senators, Lehner could be tempted to leave now rather than wait until the end of the 2016/17 season when he can enter the unrestricted free agency. The youngster is still some way away from reaching his prime and the Senators may decide to keep a 23-year-old prospect rather than a 34-year-old on a sizeable contract.


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Anderson, meanwhile, will be hoping to be a starter if he left Ottawa, and the stopper has done enough during his time with the Senators to prove he can handle being a team’s number one. Since the start of the 2010/11 season, the veteran has achieved a .920 save percentage and established himself as one of Ottawa’s most reliable players in the postseason, boasting a .933 save percentage in 27 playoff appearances. The fact the Senators have never enjoyed the most successful of times in the postseason has been down to a failure from the rest of the team to achieve the same level of consistency as the experienced goalie. With three more years on his current contract worth $4.2 million per season, Anderson won’t be looking to leave but could be tempted if the offer of a starting spot was on the table.

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