Sometimes trades don’t happen, but not for a lack of trying.
The buzz surrounding the Ottawa Senators and what they’ll do with some bigger-name players prior to February 24th isn’t hard to find. In fact, the Senators have one of the biggest names in Jean-Gabriel Pageau on most people’s top-five watch list.
One name that isn’t as highly ranked but still getting a lot of focus from Senators management is Craig Anderson. In one case, should the Sens try to officially move Pageau, it won’t take long to get an decent return. In Anderson’s case, they’re finding that trade might be a bit more complicated.
In fact, the Senators might not be able to move the goaltender at all, despite their attempts to do so.
Not Even The Sens Plan to Use Anderson
Anderson’s trade value is rapidly falling. An NHL veteran at 38, he’s is running out of chances to win a Stanley Cup and it wouldn;t take much arm twisting if you asked him to waive his modied no-trade clause for a chane to win. And, the Senators are likely sellers this season. So even though both sides ready to try and get something done, it requires another team to bite. So far, there’s not even been a nibble.
The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch writes:
And, if the Ottawa Senators are serious about moving the 38-year-old goaltender before the Feb. 24 trade deadline at 3 p.m. EST then Anderson is going to have to get back into the net and prove he can help a contender down the stretch.source-‘Anderson has to improve if he has any hopes of being dealt at deadline’ – Bruce Garrioch – Ottawa Sun – 01/13/2020
That could be a tough sell for the Senators because, simply put, Anderson has not been good. He’s not likely to get much of a chance to change that perception either. “Part of it is we want to see these young guys play,” head coach D.J. Smith explained at one point on Monday to media members asking about Anderson’s relegation to the backup position. “For me, I’m going to put the guy in the net that gives us the best chance to win,” Smith said.
So, if Anderson wants another chance to show he’s not as bad as the below .900 save percentage suggests or the four or more goals in each of his last four games seems to reinforce, someone else will need to falter. Smith said throughout the year he’s gone with the hot hand and will continue to do so. “… at times it’s been [Nilsson] and at times it’s been [Anderson]. Right now, we’re riding [Hogberg]. The guy who’s playing the best is the guy who gets to go in and play.”
That’s not good news for Anderson who is taking all of this in stride and being a consummate professional, while also running out of time. “All I can do is control my attitude and the way that I approach the game,” Anderson said.
In the meantime, management has read the tea leaves. They know the coach isn’t likley going to use him and that Anderson probably knows that too, even if his 600 games in the NHL has told him to be ready for anything. The problem is, what team wants a $4.75 million backup who is 38 and posts the kind of numbers Anderson has this season? You don’t even need to showcase him since everyone in the NHL knows exactly what Anderson is and isn’t.
That’s not a tough question to answer. Perhaps the Senators aren’t making it a priority to move Anderson at this juncture. But, if they decide to, it won’t be the easiest trade to finalize.
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