As soon as the NHL trade deadline was over on April the 12th, Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas held a press conference and spoke to the media to answer general questions both about the trades and about the status of the Maple Leafs going forward. One set of the questions, obviously, centered around the status of long-time starting goalie Frederik Andersen.
In this post, I’ll share what Dubas said about his team’s starting goalie Andersen, who’s been injured for quite a long time. In fact, Andersen was recently placed on LTIR (long-term injured reserve) and another goaltender – David Rittich from the Calgary Flames – was picked up to help the Maple Leafs move forward through the end of the season and into the playoffs.
The Media’s Questions About Andersen
The media asked a number of questions focused on the status of Andersen – both about his health and about his position on the team now that Rittich has been brought into the roster for the 2020-21 regular-season stretch run.
For example, the media asked about Andersen’s injury and whether he would play again during the 2020-21 regular season. Dubas spoke at length and quite straightforwardly when he answered the questions put to him. One thing that was obvious from Dubas’ general tone is that it’s clear that he holds a great deal of respect for the job that Andersen’s done since he’s come to the Maple Leafs five years ago now.
It’s Clear that Dubas Holds Great Respect for Andersen
As you listen to Dubas’ his answers, you can clearly hear that he holds a great deal of respect for Andersen. Regardless of what happens next year (and I’m guessing Andersen won’t be back with the Maple Leafs), there is a great appreciation for Andersen from the Maple Leafs’ organization. He certainly carried the load for them for many years now.
In the video below, you can see the part of the interview where Dubas is asked and answers specifically questions about Andersen’s status. His answers suggest that picking up David Rittich was done to completely support the goaltenders that were there and had carried the team thus far through the season. As Dubas notes, that goal was an important reason for making the trade for Rittich.
Andersen’s Situation Remains Unchanged
It’s clear from Dubas’ answers that Andersen’s injury situation remains unchanged and that the Maple Leafs remain patient with Andersen’s injury issues. Dubas was clear that the key for the organization is to help Andersen get fully healthy, but the team would – and now can with the addition of Rittich – continue to be patient with his injury until then. [There’s also good salary-cap reason not to bring Andersen back until the playoffs, but that’s another story.]
Dubas’ Repeats Three Key Points in His Answers to Questions About Andersen
The following are three of the thoughts Dubas expressed in his interview.
Point One: Andersen “has carried tremendous load for us over the last four and a half seasons, and our main ambition with Fred … is to make sure that he’s at 100%.”
Note: Andersen last played on March 19th and the season has only about four weeks to go. The team’s goal is to make sure that it gets through this last stretch of the regular season and enters the playoffs with him at 100% and “ready to roll come playoff time.”
Point Two: Andersen’s “a huge important part of what we do here, and we wanted to bolster that position.”
Note: The Maple Leafs outlined position is that it’s job was to add support (rather than replace) the goalies that are already present in the lineup.
Point Three: As Dubas notes, “When it comes down to it, in the end the goaltenders that have been here are the ones that have led us to this (point in the season with the team ahead in the race for the North Division title).”
Note: Again, Dubas noted that his move to bring in Rittich was done to support the group of goalies that was already here. However, in his mind “when it comes to Fred, we’re just continuing to focus on getting him 100% healthy and being ready to roll for us during the most important time of year (playoffs).”
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