With news breaking this week that the Senators have re-signed goaltender Craig Anderson to a three-year deal with an AAV of $4.2M, many in the Senators community, including here at Silver Seven, have offered their thoughts on the extension which I'll link below.
For the purpose of this blurb though, I'd like to focus on a point made by our very own Adnan:
If the Sens hold to their $56M internal payroll, they have $8M next season to sign Ryan, Methot, Condra, Zibanejad, Hoffman, Stone.— Adnan (@sens_adnan) August 25, 2014
Ryan: $2.5M Methot $2M Zibanejad: $1.5M Condra: $0.5M Hoffman: $0.5M Stone: $0.5M Chiasson: $0.5M DONE AND DONE!— Adnan (@sens_adnan) August 25, 2014
Given that 11 of the 16 players the Senators have under contract after 2014-15 have backloaded deals (more salary in their later years), I'm under the assumption that the Senators management team believe that they will have more money available at a later date. However, with the cap projected to rise drastically, the Senators internal payroll of $56M may become the floor, and spending a little above that will still leave them in the same relative financial situation as they're in this year.
This brings me to my main qualm with the Anderson deal, which is that the Senators currently cannot afford to be paying a potentially backup goaltender $4.2M when they may not have the resources to lock up their young talent like Zibanejad, Stone, and Chiasson, or their star talent like Ryan. There are only 60 goaltending positions available around the league, and with potentially San Jose, Pittsburgh and Buffalo needing a starter next year, how much leverage would Anderson have if he was unsigned in June? Due to this clamp on the amount of roster positions available for goalies, there are always options available for cheap ($$ or by trade) that can provide league-average goaltending. This is a similar thought process as I had with the deals given to Phillips, Greening, and Borowiecki - why lock up or give money to talent that either a) can be easily replaced or b) aren't good bets to improve?
If the Senators were a cap team, I wouldn't have a big problem with the Senators giving this type of $ to a goaltender that has a .917 sv% over the last two years, but considering the players the organization has left to re-sign, I would've preferred if the organization had waited on Anderson's deal and instead tried to lock-up their talent that, by all indications, appear to be on the way up. I'm sure part of the reason was that ownership wants to show the fans that the organization can spend and keep their veteran talent, but this is a deal that does not fall under "spending smart" in my opinion.
Quick look at goalies with similar performance to Craig Anderson between age 30-32 and how they did the next 3 years pic.twitter.com/MY8rKYxPCU— Adam Gretz (@AGretz) August 25, 2014
- Here's the official announcement of the Anderson extension, AGM Pierre Dorion's thoughts on the extension, and our discussion thread. I'd definitely check out the Dorion link, as it offers updates on the other pending UFAs as well, and also answers some questions on whether Anderson and Lehner will co-exist. [Ottawa Senators, Dorion, Silver Seven discussion thread]
- NKB had a fantastic piece examining the Anderson extension from multiple perspectives. [Silver Seven]
- The blogosphere recap: Nichols, Yost, and Jared had thoughts on Anderson. [6th Sens, HockeyBuzz, SenShot]
- Ken Warren's piece for the Citizen on Anderson's deal, which also does NOT include any type of no movement or no trade clause. [Ottawa Citizen]
- Nichols transcribed both of Pierre Dorion's media appearances yesterday. The first was a media conference call, and the second was an interview with TSN 1200. Of note, Dorion talked about ownership sending a message by getting these deals done, which is something that I touched on above.
- Yost has a piece on a guy that we're forgetting about: Milan Michalek. I'll be happy with ~35-40 points and positive possession numbers, but I'm sure it depends a lot on his linemates. [HockeyBuzz]
- Here are the latest Top 25 Under 25 pieces, with Sheer_Craziness covering Jean-Gabriel Pageau, and Mrs. O looking at #9 - Mike Hoffman. [Pageau, Hoffman]
- Amelia explores whether Marc Methot's current contract is a bargain - a great read especially if you're trying to project what he'll be worth in 2015. [Silver Seven]
- Lastly, two great fanposts by you folks! SensFan90 ranks the Top 10 trades in Senators history, and SensForLife11 asks whether Bryan Murray's drafting resume is overrated. [SensFan90, SensForLife11]
- An old but fantastic piece on the risks of drafting goaltenders with high picks, from Kent Wilson. [Kent Wilson]
- A really informative read by former BSens goaltender Mike McKenna on the benefits of having a goaltender who can handle the puck. [InGoal Magazine]
- Analysis from Fear the Fin on how much a standings point costs in today's NHL. [Fear The Fin]
- The St. Louis Blues updated their jerseys. I think they look fantastic, with a really clean design. Death to jersey piping! [St Louis Blues]
- The Pittsburgh Penguins are going to wait to re-sign Marc-Andre Fleury in order to gauge his performance before re-signing him. Why aren't the Senators doing this with Anderson? Is it because that they think that they'd have to pay more and not be able to re-sign him if he has a great year? [The Score]